Effective Employee Resource Groups


Affinity groups have emerged in the American workplace as a standard component of diversity initiatives. For many organizations, the benefits of affinity groups have evolved over time from the primary intent - to provide a forum in which members of an organization who share common interests, issues, or concerns meet to address those issues - to multifaceted benefits that impact recruitment, retention, marketing, and customer relations.

There is still considerable debate over the efficacy or benefit of affinity groups to an organization. Many believe that these groups divide rather than unite the workplace, and in some organizations, affinity groups and diversity councils are often in conflict. This workshop will examine:

  • Fundamentals of affinity groups
  • The best practices in group formation and operation
  • The top ten characteristics common among high-functioning affinity groups

Key Topics

  • Core competencies of effective affinity groups
  • A strategic approach to assessing effectiveness in the long and short term
  • Productive relationships with diversity councils: a step-by-step approach
  • Privileges and disadvantages of membership
  • Sustaining membership
  • Enlisting the support of the entire organization
  • Functioning as a productive member
  • Setting expectations for affinity groups
  • Conflict resolution
  • Advocacy skills
  • Charting the progress of dynamic affinity groups
  • The need for a strategic approach to affinity formation and governance

Special Features

  • An invaluable resource for managing affinity groups
  • Assessment instruments at the individual, interpersonal, group, and organizational levels
  • Best practices in affinity group development & operation

Who Will Benefit

EEO, AA, diversity and other HR specialists with diversity responsibility; members of diversity councils or affinity groups; diversity consultants; anyone who wants to know how to create affinity groups