While being responsible, diligent and hardworking may contribute to an employee’s growth curve, how an employee is perceived by others is also an equally essential contributory factor.
This perception strengthens or weakens employees’ good or bad networking skills, and eventually decides their position at the workplace. Equally important are the relationships that employees form with their co-workers and seniors.
Employees are unlikely to get much support as leaders, if they have made no effort in communicating with people around them. On the other hand, if employees take no time in knowing and interacting with their co-workers, they will not know what talents they may have in addition to merit, that could help them get a better position.
To make connections in an organisation, employees have to work hard on creating relationships that sustain for a long time.
Anil Gaur, group chief people officer, Akums Pharmaceuticals, says, “relationships form the key lever in success and growth.”
Today, people may have a new jargon for such things, but Gaur points out that networking and relationship building existed even before the computer era. They were instrumental in the growth of employees within the organisation.
Those who are good at communicating their perspective to others, and also listening to their positive and negative feedback will definitely build strong relations with their co-workers and seniors in the company, feels Gaur. Everyone is likely to be drawn towards an employee who is seen as mature, skilful and open to positive and negative criticism.
The key here is not promotion, Gaur stresses, but success that comes with the efforts an individual takes to create and maintain relations in the office.
Gaur cites a delightful example of his personal ‘Coffee with HR’ policy at work. Employees can have tea and coffee with him and discuss things other than work. Naturally, such close interactions help Gaur keep his rapport with the team healthy and establish more meaningful relationships with his employees.
Pia Shome, chief people officer at U GRO Capital, believes, “to be able to connect, or more importantly, work effectively with colleagues is a key skill.”
“As one grows up the corporate ladder, connecting with people is not just related to getting things done in normal parlance, but often also means creating a circle of influence. This helps leverage information to benefit the larger agenda of the team,” explains Shome.
Connecting with a large number of people helps one gain more knowledge about the goings on within the workplace. Shome goes on to stress, “Connect can also loosely mean networking effectively, both within and outside the organisation. As the saying goes, one’s network equals net worth. Being networked helps one with critical information, which otherwise is not commonly available to everyone.”
Deepti Mehta, assistant vice president – HR, Schneider Electric-Luminous India, believes that “growth certainly depends on the individual.”
“It is important for employees to be keen to play a bigger role in the company, and be more passionate about their work,” she adds. This is because, growth in a corporation also depends on each employee’s behavior, which strengthens everyone’s belief in their capabilities.
Mehta recounts the five core values of her company — ‘customer first’, ‘dare to disrupt’, ‘embrace different’, ‘learn every day’ and ‘act like owners’. She uses, ‘dare to disrupt’ and ‘act like owners’ as examples of how one can achieve growth in the organisation. When individuals are willing to take risks, and make crucial decisions, they will be seen as responsible members of the corporation and attract everyone’s trust.
Trust is a major factor in maintaining connections in the corporation. Teams look up to their respective leaders because they have trust in their ability to keep them together, and work effectively.
It is crucial for people to gain the trust of those they interact with. After all, having n number of contacts in one’s mobile phone will not make a difference if none of them can give one anything worthwhile in one’s time of need. Only by understanding people, proving to them that one is capable of handling responsibilities, and connecting with them on a deeper level can result in true, worthwhile growth in an organisation.