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?

Related page: How to Build an Affinity Group  | Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace | tag:diversity

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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:

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

group of employees

See the comprehensive list or example facility/employee resource groups provided later in this article

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!

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 spaces.  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.


Consider making an Employee Resoursce Group or Affinity Group Charter  - See below for details. 

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. 

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. 

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.

6. 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. 

7. 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. 

employees sharing ideas

8. 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. 

9. 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 advocates, it will all be worth it in the end.

Affinity Groups in Steegle.One

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

Some examples of real-world affinity groups/employee resource groups include:

These employee resource groups play an important role in promoting diversity and inclusion within organizations, and in supporting the unique needs of different groups of employees.

Example Charter for "Working Parents Group" ERG Affinity Group


The purpose of the working parents employee resource group is to support and advocate for the needs of working parents within the organization. The group's aim is to create a more family-friendly workplace and to elp working parents balance their professional and personal responsibilities.



Structure and decision-making:


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