Affinity groups are a great tool, but many companies may not have the resources to actually support a group underrepresented within the company. Affinity groups can be highly beneficial to employees and lead to great employee satisfaction. Instead of shelving the idea and leaving it to die, here are some ideas on how on to develop affinity groups using a bit of innovation and outside-the-box thinking.
Redefine the group
Instead of focusing on a narrow subset of people where there may not be enough of that certain group working at the company to form a busy and functional group, it would be wise to create a less specific definition of the group in order to include more people. Now, instead of a small group without much activity there will be an effort to find topics that are more in common with a wide variety of groups and people. Instead of focusing on a narrow demographic and limiting the number of people that can participate, everyone has to work together to find a common denominator. This can apply to many different attributes.
Find a friend
Instead of looking inwards, how about looking outwards? By finding similar organizations, there is not only networking in play but a greater share of power now that more people are involved. Finding organizations within your city is a great way to help underrepresented groups of employees find others to connect with and possibly bring more employees to your company to create more diversity.
Focus on finding new leaders
Every cause needs an advocate, and focusing on looking for leaders who will advocate underrepresented groups in your business is an important part of any endeavor. By finding someone important that can speak up on behalf of others, people’s voices will be heard. Not only that, but there is now a direct leader that helps streamline any ideas the group has so the objectives are clearly defined and organized to try and achieve. There is someone available for feedback and for advice to help out all employees of the business.
Focus on the good things
Through these types of affinity groups, alternate solutions may be found to problems that have not yet been solved. It is important to work on finding these solutions so your employees see the value in creating and cultivating affinity groups. After all, not much matters if a certain endeavor does not show its value. A combination of these tactics can help bring people into the fold and create results that would benefit everyone, not just a certain group.