Thursday, April 14, 2016

Networking to improve employee collaboration

Employees in Marshall, Minnesota, participate at the
"Speed Networking" event hosted by the Schwan's
Young Professionals Network and Schwan's Women's Network.
April 14, 2016 — At The Schwan Food Company, one of our main commitments is to build a culture of meaningful participation where each of our 12,000 employees across the country can thrive in a collaborative environment working as one Schwan team.

To keep the collaborative environment fully charged it is important that our employees take time to build strong working relationships with their peers and take the time to get to know one another.

So, our teams decided to test an idea to help build those relationships.

Putting a twist on “speed dating,” our Schwan’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) and Schwan’s Women’s Network (SWN) recently hosted a “Speed Networking” event for those working in our Minnesota offices. All employees in each location were invited to attend an event where they had the opportunity to engage with company leaders and their peers in casual, small-group discussions.

More than 10 of our company leaders participated in the event, where they each led the dialogue of the small groups. Every 10 minutes individuals shuffled into new groups so they could meet new people and learn about each other’s roles at the company.

Following the networking event, people were encouraged to provide feedback on their experiences. The consensus was clear that most people enjoyed the opportunity to interact with each other and have the honest and casual dialogue with company leaders.

Nick Strautz, who recently started with the company as a compensation analyst, participated in the event and said it was great to have the opportunity to participate.

"It gave me a chance to connect with leaders and peers that I typically do not have direct contact with. Coming to the company from a smaller organization, I was impressed with the company’s awareness on the importance of networking," he said.

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