25 Nov Internal Marketing and Networking
If you are in a mid-sized or larger manufacturing or distribution firm, there are internal alliances that can and should be built, just as readily as external ones. Your current job could be gone in a short time, change radically in a short period, or you may need access to resources or contacts in another department or in a coworker’s repertoire.
Will those inside the firm be able to help with future employment? Can you add value for them? Do you have connections in different departments, levels, and even branches that could help you in a time of need? Or better yet, do you have something you can offer to them in return?
If you have a direct sales position, your outside contacts may be invaluable to others. Meet as many of your firm’s vendors, professionals, and competitors as you can. Industry groups and associations are ideal for these connections. To become an “agent of change,” coach others to stay alert to competitive and industry news, not just rumors.
Make time to meet with C-suite persons, both inside and outside of your company. Find out how they view their firm and industry. Determine how you can be a liaison to management, assuming that is where your career is headed. Look for ways in which you can mediate between other departments or offer value to others—because ultimately any growth in the company is good growth that will benefit everyone.
If you are already in the C-suite, organize internal groups of people to meet regularly, (e.g. biweekly, monthly). Rather than a department meeting or orientation, mix up the employees. Finance/accounting should meet with sales, engineering, distribution, and manufacturing personnel.
Each group should include a mixture of varying personnel, from administrative assistants to upper management. Keep the meeting short and set an agenda, primarily to have someone facilitate the discussion. Topics could range from inter-department coordination issues to suggestions to improve throughput and deliveries. As part of the meeting, you might allow for personal sharing of particular problems and solutions.
Creating cohesion within the company is invaluable to building brand and reputation outside it. See what you can do to advocate for your coworkers, build more systems for connection, and create opportunities for others who may someday do the same for you.
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