Throughout my career, I have needed to build various professional networks, and these networks have been vital in ensuring the growth of any company that I have worked for. Such networks bind together the people that we deal regularly, from suppliers right through to the customer and help us achieve our goals.
Professional networks can help managers and their organisations realise new opportunities with an existing part of a network, or perhaps forge new relationships through recommendations and professional references. As these opportunities develop, so can the roles of employees as new contracts are won or sales increase.
Networking can assist organisations and their employees in discovering groups and opportunities within their own sector, for example, new suppliers, customers, and distributors. At the same time, networking gives individuals and organisations to become discovered by others who may not previously be aware of their existence.
For these reasons, professional networks are extremely valuable as a tool in personal development and should not be overlooked.
Professional bodies offer a number of opportunities to organisations. According to construction analyst Brian Green, professional bodies get status, improve chances of promotion and tie into a network of fellow professionals, as well as sharing regular information to ensure that the understanding of key issues in a profession are kept fresh.9
In my own organisation, we are expected to be members of a number of professional bodies. In fact, many principal contractors will not even consider us to tender for new contracts unless we are members of certain professional bodies which may provide confirmation that we conform to a minimum standard in health and safety, or perhaps a standard in customer service. Such an organisation also provides elements of professionalism to customers and business partners.