Why should you build your network within your workplace? Having a strong support network at work is much more important than you think. Yes, there are obvious benefits in terms of efficiency, productivity and promotions, but in my opinion the importance of your support network goes far beyond that.
Why build your network within your workplace?
We spend many hours at work. Usually, about a third of our day is spent working, 5 days a week, 47 weeks a year. That is A LOT of time.
This is why we need to look after ourselves when we are working just as much as when we are not. This is the entire point of my series Happier At Work and of the book I am planning.
Now, have you noticed how every time someone leaves a job, they say that it was their colleagues that made working there such a great experience? That’s because we, human beings are social animals, and we need other people to be happy.
This is why you need to build your support network within your workplace. It’s because the relationships we have at work will make a huge difference to how we feel when we are at work. If you are having a bad day and you know there are colleagues you can have a chat with, you start feeling better straight away.
How to build your network within your workplace
Be friendly with everybody
And I mean everybody. From the front office staff to the CEO. Every single one of these people is a human being in need of a connection. You don’t have to overdo it though. Being friendly is as easy as saying hi, smile or simply acknowledge people.
With the people you feel particularly attracted to (in a friendly way!!), you can also ask questions about them and start a conversation. But if you do, make sure you remember what they tell you as it will show the next time you speak to them!
When new starters join, welcome them and if you can give them one useful tip to help them settle in. They will remember you for that.
Take an interest in the work of others
Ask people what they are working on and how they are getting on. Suggest solutions when you have the expertise; help is always welcome.
And when something good happens to them workwise, celebrate their wins with them. Plus, this will send good vibes to the Universe and these will come back to you 😉
Invite your colleagues to lunch or coffee
Don’t be shy with the people you like. Suggest grabbing lunch together or having a coffee break. Spending half an hour together will help you get to know people a little bit better.
Be a connector
Make introductions. If someone has an issue and you know someone in the company that could solve this problem, suggest making an introduction. It won’t cost you much time and it will help your colleague and the company.
Find a mentor
Finding the right mentor is a great way to build your network within your workplace. I have built great relationships with my mentors over the years. One of them even introduce me to my current line manager who is her direct report.
Your mentor will be operating at a different level from you and will have brilliant insights into the company that you will benefit from. She can also introduce you to people you would not necessarily have had access to otherwise and this will help build your profile and your network.
Get involved in projects outside of your core role
If you can, get involved with projects that will get you to collaborate with colleagues in other departments. This will broaden your network and your knowledge of the company. You will need to ensure your have the support of your line manager for this, but these projects are great for professional development, so hopefully your manager will be onboard.
Join a social committee
Getting involved in a social committee is a great way to meet colleagues you would never have come across otherwise. In the past I have been part of a group promoting diversity and another one promoting mental health awareness. There is always something to get involved with if you have the inclination and the time.
7 Unbeatable ways to build your network within your workplace – key take-aways
- Be friendly with everybody
- Take an interest in the work of others
- Invite your colleagues to lunch or coffee
- Be a connector
- Find a mentor
- Get involved in projects outside of our your core role
- Join a social committee
Try these simple hacks and let me know how you get on
Do you have other tips on how to build your network at work? What works well for you? I’d love to hear your stories. Let me know in the comments.