How to

Build Affinity Groups

Do you want to build an affinity group in your workplace but don't have an idea where to start?

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What are affinity groups?

Affinity groups or employee resource groups (ERGs) are made of employees with similar interests, backgrounds, or goals. Affinity groups have a powerful impact in the workplace and help promote the company’s inclusion and diversity. In a workplace, affinity groups are managed by the employee members. Here are some examples of affinity groups:

  • Gender

  • Race

  • Religion

  • Nationality

  • Sexual Orientation

  • Mental or physical ability

  • Family structure

group of employees

Want to know the benefits of affinity groups in the workplace? Read our article about it here.

Guide in Building an Affinity Group

There are lots of reasons why you should promote affinity groups in your company, but it doesn’t mean that all companies have them or consider having them. If you’re planning to build affinity groups, here’s a guide to help you start one!

  1. Set a specific goal


What does your company need? What are its benefits for the employees? This could be creating a friendly and safe environment for employees with a particular background or community. Affinity groups help employees share their experiences and enjoy their safe space. If your goal is to promote unity and diversity, you may want to hire more women and people from the LGBTQ community.


Setting a goal helps you in the first step of building an affinity group by knowing who to include and what to expect. No matter what your goal is, define clear parameters to follow. Without a concrete plan or goal, you can’t expect your employees to support your idea.

goal


2. Identify potential members


You don’t have to be alone when starting an affinity group. Finding potential members will help you in building the group. Consider having senior or executive members sponsor you or join the group. Having a few people on your side will boost your credibility. If you know employees with similar backgrounds or interests, encourage them to join.

diverse workplace

3. Share your ideas


Once you already have potential members for your affinity group, share your ideas with the upper management. Set a meeting and present your ideas, the benefits of affinity groups, and how they can positively affect your company. You can share statistics of companies that initiate diversity through affinity groups.


Having a meeting with the upper management is important because they will be the ones to provide funding, and help you promote and grow the group.

employees sharing ideas

4. Make use of your resources


When building an affinity group, you need to work with the resources that you have. This may mean chipping in on a meal, having employees bring food, and getting help to launch your first event from volunteers and donors. When you're working at a startup company, it helps to be financially savvy and start small. With your effort and perseverance, you will impress the company with your initiative and help you build your case to deserve more resources and funding.

discussing  resources

5. Structure your meetings


Create an outline of your meetings. What will it look like? How to ensure that you’re on track with your goals? If there are small winds that the group can achieve, talk about it. This will keep your members enthusiastic and motivated. Discuss the takeaways and “mini-goals” as a group.

7. Open your group to remote members


Nowadays, remote team members are becoming the norm. If you want to expand your group, you may want to consider accepting remote colleagues.


With the use of modern technology, you can bring them into the conversation, and schedule meetings or events.

8. Establish Limitations


While affinity groups create change and diversity in the workplace, they can’t be fixed overnight. It’s important to remember that your workplace has rules. For instance, there’s a huge difference between college activism and professional activism. It may be difficult to advocate certain things for people who come from organizations with freedom of expression knowing the constraints of a larger corporation. The key is to communicate professionally.


Your workplace is not the only place you can make a difference. Your group can join local organisations, volunteer, donate, or get involved in conversations.


9. Provide updates


To keep your affinity group functioning is to provide updates on your progress and plans, and discuss things that will be beneficial to the group.

10. Give it time


Building an affinity group takes time. Success doesn’t happen in a snap of a finger. It may take time to reach your goals and make a difference within the workplace. It takes a lot of energy, trial, and error. As long as you believe in your goals and what your group advcates, it will all be worth it in the end.




Affinity Groups in Springboard

The Springboard intranet from Steegle allows affinity groups to be created automatically, allowing end-users to add and subscribe themselves.

Article by Maria Gabrielle

Looking for a customized intranet solution for your organization?

Since 2008, we here at Steegle.com have been delivering intranet development solutions and ongoing support and maintenance for organizations including hospitals and medical institutions. As a certified Google Cloud Partner, we specialize in Google Workspace- based solutions. Give us a call at US ✆ +1 (302) 672 3007 UK ✆ +44 (207) 871 502 or contact us today to view a demo of our intranet solutions, and see how it can help increase employee productivity and save time and money. Click below to learn more about the Springboard Intranet solution.

Sales Hotlines

US ✆ +1 (302) 672 3007
UK ✆ +44 (207) 871 5021

Google Cloud Partner