Successful Companies Will Train Their Employees to Network..

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In the New Normal we live in a world where companies are cash rich but are slow to hire and banks are more liquid than they have ever been in decades but don’t lend money.

Companies want loyal and motivated employees but will fire people at the drop of a hat.

Employees want security but readily leave companies for the next best opportunity because they know that today there is no such thing as security.

Many companies today have also cut back on their internal training programs during the recession.

So what’s the one mutual beneficial skill that companies should invest in?  Networking training.

Networking is simultaneously helpful for both parties.  It helps employees become more marketable but at the same time better marketers of their company and that’s the corporate win.

It leads to improved productivity, efficiency, quicker response times, better solutions and makes people smarter which is beneficial for all organizations.  Smart companies win.

I know many companies that have implemented sales training but networking training is very rare in my experience.

I grew up in the advertising business. Networking and relationship building were vital to gaining and maintaining clients.  I received no formal training on networking and really didn’t know what it was.  Standing around a bar at events talking to people you know is not networking.

Today’s workplace is vastly different than a decade ago.  Technology is changing at uber speed and most people are challenged to keep up.  Workforces have been diminished at many companies while work demands have increased.  Smart phones have made work almost a 24/7 endeavor.

Companies that will succeed in this environment will embrace that networking is good for their company and their employees.  They will advocate it, teach it and encourage it.

The most valuable employees in an organization will be the best networked.  The companies that will prosper will be the ones with the best networked employees.  The smartest companies will invest in training their employees on networking because they know it will pay off.

To be able to survive and prosper in today’s quick paced workplace everyone has to be well resourced and networking is a very efficient way to develop a broad solution base that makes you an added value resource center for your clients and a revenue center for your company.  Employees with deep and broad networks will be more valuable that other employees because they can find solutions inside and outside their companies and bring those to the table.  If they leave their company they will be able to find new positions faster because of their networks.

Networking will increase productivity as effective networking makes your smarter and saves you time because you can reach out to experienced talent with the speed of a text. In today’s workplace time efficiency is the new currency of success.  The new paradigm is completing projects quickly but to the highest standards.  Being well networked is one of the most efficient ways to achieve that.  It is the way that companies can keep costs low but performance high.

Smart companies will increasingly believe social media is good for the company and the careers of their employees.  I have blogged in the past that it can hurt your career it your company doesn’t practice social media.  Today most companies social media activities and their employees social media activities are largely in different silos. Finding ways to integrate both will have mutual benefits for their employees. Encouraging employees in every department to be Linkedin with their client counterparts makes great sense.  Having 50 touch points within your client is much better than 3 in today’s transitional world.

So how do you teach your employees to be great networkers?  That is coming soon.

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Here is a video called How to Rise Above the Crowd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkO7efleWX4&list=UUEigDTyDiFGXVfyg7sRErOg&index=5&feature=plcp

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Are You Ready to Get Fired?

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As a Co Founder of Laguna Niguel Connectors and a person that has spoken to numerous transition groups throughout Southern California I am ecstatic that the employment outlook is getting better.

As a native in the New Normal I know that you have to be prepared for all scenarios in a rapidly changing world where a hick up like gas prices can put the brakes on hiring momentum when in the old normal they wouldn’t be linked. The New Normal is a world of sound bite news that lemmings follow. Continue reading

The New Glass Ceiling

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We all know about the term Glass Ceiling which refers to the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements.

I think that today’s glass ceiling is very low. Today’s glass ceiling is the barrier that young people face in getting their first solid career position. I would say it is probably the hardest it has been for youth to get a job for decades.

Many young job seekers find their job prospects somewhat bleak. I have read that the unemployment rate among young people aged 16 to 24 is around 17% and I am sure that number is probably understated.

Continue reading

Networking Tips for People in Transition.

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I have spoken on networking and personal branding to numerous networking groups frequented by people in transition including ExecuNet, CafeNet, Women Sage, Ken Tudhope ‘s Networking Group for CFO’s, and the Challenger Networking Group.  I am also one of the Founders of Laguna Niguel Connectors which has over 2800 members.  I relate to people in transition because as a consultant I am always perpetually employed in many ways.

Because of my network, companies sometimes use me for recruiting so I have talked and met with numerous job seekers.  I see a lot of good things and some things that scare me and make me ask why would a person do that or not do that?

So here are some tips for job hunters for 2012.  Finally the hiring momentum is moving in the right direction.  Make sure that you are ready to capitalize.

  • First, sharpen your tools.  Many times I see resumes with no e mails, I see no salutations on people’s emails, I get calls on my cell phone from blocked numbers so I cannot call the people back when I am driving.  All of these things make it harder to get in touch with people.  In this day and age of numerous candidates for every position you have to make yourself as sticky as possible and extremely easy to connect with.
  • Invest in yourself. When I hear the news comments about the hundreds of thousands of people who have stopped working I can’t help to wonder if some of those people just aren’t keeping themselves marketable. Is your business card stock the weight of toilet paper?  If your Linkedin photo looks like it was shot by an amateur you aren’t investing in yourself.  Who’s to blame if you aren’t staying current on trends, technology, social media and other hiring practices?
  • Drop any negative baggage.  It’s a weight. Don’t listen to your mind. Feed your mind. The smarter you become, the easier you will be to hire and the better your attitude will be.
  • Quit wasting your time.  Asking second degree connections on Linkedin to introduce you to somebody that they are connected with on the second or third degree is not a warm introduction.  It is futility in job hunting.  Networking isn’t connecting strangers to strangers.
  • Remember that in hiring there are two clocks.  There is the company hiring clock that moves very very slowly.  And then there is the hiring clock for people in transition.  They do not run at the same speed.  Not even close.  Quit driving yourself crazy by trying to align them.  Things will happen when they are meant to. You have no control over the schedule.
  • Who were the two or three most influential people you met last year?  Spend more time with them in the coming year.  Obviously they had an impact on you.  Try to stoke those fires by spending more time with them. They are as valuable as Connectors.
  • Think of Linkedin as Twitter and update your profile with substance four times a day.  Remember that your target audience is not your friends but your potential hiring manager.  Post accordingly.
  • If you have stopped networking you have stopped looking for a job.  Over 70% of jobs are found through referrals or associates.  You only need to meet one person to change your life. There is a good chance they won’t come to your house. What if they were at that networking event or Starbucks you blew off derailing your potential journey?  People create opportunities not Tweets.

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Watch some this video on How To Rise Above the Crowd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkO7efleWX4

Read this article on How To Create a Job.

https://hankblank.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/how-to-create-a-job-by-creating-a-consulting-career/