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How to Establish Good Networking Habits

071214z Unless you recruited avid networkers, getting employees to socialize in the business community can be a daunting challenge. Making them do it one particular way, such as joining professional associations, or entertaining clients, or using Facebook (see below), will probably lead to gaming and faking. Every business is part of a larger social system that employees should understand, so people should be informed when recruited that you expect them to make and sustain connections. Then you should give them the opportunity to do it their own way, but you should also make them accountable for sharing their knowledge about the community with the rest of the company. Finally, you have to be the role model.

Marketing Profs Daily Fix: Frivolous Facebook Fridays?. 2007-Nov-9, by Paul Barsch

Recently, Business Week had a brief article titled, “Now Social Networking Fridays” that described one company’s attempt at using social networking tools to improve recruiting, networking and even employee morale. The company in question, Serena Software, has launched “Facebook Fridays” where employees are asked to spend one hour each Friday to “update their profiles, collaborate with colleagues and clients, and recruit for Serena.” The goal of Facebook Fridays, according to SVP Rene Bonvanie, is to “get people to communicate and collaborate more.” On the whole, this doesn’t seem like a bad idea, especially if your community and customers are mostly online.

If you need some help in getting "shy" employees to join the community, I highly recommend Susan RoAne.