Networking involves establishing a set of networks which are made up of different group who share and exchange ideas and information based on mutual interests. Such networks help to develop interpersonal skills while building contacts (Forret, 2018). Managers must establish good networks within the workplace and also within the industry to forge alliances, generate information, and improve business relationships.
For internal networking:
Treat others well regardless of their pay grade and expertise - Treating others with fairness and kindness helps to establish strong relationships.
Collaborate and share - In addition to this, managers should try to be proactive to collaborate with others and share ideas (Baumeler et al., 2018). This shows that you respect their opinion and want to work with them in order to achieve organizational goals.
For external networking:
Attend meet-ups – Regular meet-ups with other professionals of the same industry presents an excellent opportunity to establish networks. Such meet-ups provide an opportunity for self-promotion and to build new professional relationships.
Join online organization –While attending regular meet-ups is not always feasible, joining online organization is a good alternative to become active in the industry.
Importance of internal and external networking:
a. Improve professional competence – Networking activities whether it is internal or external, facilitate the assessment of new information and latest trends, latest technology and new techniques which improves professional competence.
b. Improve work relationships– Through networking, one can build strong relationships within the workplace and within the wider industry (Baumeler et al., 2018).
c. Maintain industry currency– Members of the network provide up to date information regarding new developments within the workplace and the industry. This helps to become more informed regarding the same.
d. Improve career options – It is a risk for companies to hire someone new. So, they prefer recommendations by existing employees. Networking can help to gather information and get referrals from contacts.
Work-life balance refers to the idea that employees need time for both personal and professional life. Maslow's hierarchy of needs describes that people have a diverse set of needs including physiological needs, cognitive needs and others (Lussier, 2019). This means that once an individual has met his basic physiological needs, he works towards the fulfillment of more personal needs.
Importance of work-life balance
Work-life balance helps an individual to get a sense of fulfillment in his life which reduces stress and helps to prevent workplace burnouts. Such a balance not only enhances the mental wellbeing of employees but also provides more efficient and effective employees to the organization (Sirgy & Lee, 2018).
Holton, Barry and Chaney (2016) regarded stress as the harmful emotional, psychological, and physical response that occurs when an individual is exposed to perceived threats and pressures in the environment. Stressors, the harmful response to pressures occurs when the perceived capabilities of the individual do not match the requirements of the situation.
The American Institute of Stress lists, among others, the following as common symptoms of stress (AIS, n.d.):
Difficulty making decision
Reduced productivity and efficiency
In addition to this, repeated or prolonged stress can also lead to psychological injury.
Stress not only affects the individual employees but also has an adverse impact on the business as a whole. As mentioned by Anthony-McMann et al., (2017), workplace stress often results in more missed days, higher staff turnover, medical insurance and other expenses and lower overall productivity. This illustrates the importance of stress management in the workplace.
Common indicators of workplace stress are:
Lastly, in order to effectively manage and control workplace stress, an HR/OHS policy is should be implemented in the workplace.
Anthony‐McMann, P. E., Ellinger, A. D., Astakhova, M., & Halbesleben, J. R. (2017). Exploring different operationalizations of employee engagement and their relationships with workplace stress and burnout. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 28(2), 163-195.
Baumeler, F., Johnston, C. S., Hirschi, A., & Spurk, D. (2018). Networking as a predictor of work-nonwork enrichment: Mechanisms on the within-and between-person level. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 109, 166-177.
Forret, M. L. (2018). Networking as a job-search behaviour and career management strategy. The Oxford Handbook of Job Loss and Job Search, 275, 233-242.
Holton, M. K., Barry, A. E., & Chaney, J. D. (2016). Employee stress management: An examination of adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies on employee health. Work, 53(2), 299-305.
Lussier, K. (2019). Of Maslow, motives, and managers: The hierarchy of needs in American business, 1960–1985. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 55(4), 319-341.
Sirgy, M. J., & Lee, D. J. (2018). Work-life balance: An integrative review. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 13(1), 229-254.
The American Institute of Stress (AIS). (n.d.). Stress Effects - The American Institute of Stress. Retrieved 16 February 2020, from https://www.stress.org/stress-effects/
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