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What happens when business networking allies with a strong corporate culture and good employee engagement
Remarks made by the CBI Director-General have highlighted the dilemma faced by those who are trying to juggle work and home life. In her comments, she particularly highlighted evening events such as networking and corporate dinners which can become “alcohol-fuelled functions lasting into the small hours.” This can leave women in particular either feeling isolated or being unable to attend due to childcare responsibilities.
In fact, according to Carolyn Fairburn ‘A lot of the friendship building, the networks, the support that frankly becomes really important when you start getting to the top are being formed in ways that exclude women.’ Commenting that a lot of men would also prefer to go home at the end the day rather than attend a work function, Mrs Fairburn called for a rethink on evening networking events, perhaps by confining them to the early evening, thus enabling people to better balance work and home life.
Of course, networking is not simply confined to the evening; with networking breakfasts, lunches, and even afternoon teas on offer for those who prefer to keep their evening activities separate from work. And this is where you come down to the way in which business networking basics interacts with employee engagement allied to a strong corporate culture. Companies which genuinely care about helping their employees to grow and to build strong connections will work with those employees to identify suitable networking opportunities which meet with the employees own personal agenda.
Networking doesn’t have to be booze-filled or late at night, and it certainly shouldn’t force people to decide between work and home. Networking is about building relationships which can lead to personal and business growth in the long-term and networking success is partly dependent on the ability to approach the event with a positive mindset. Simply by stopping, thinking and reviewing the networking options available it is still possible to build strong and lasting relationships on your own terms, in effect to (if you’ll forgive the phrase) have your networking cake and eat it at a time to suit you.