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What is the role and concept of affinity groups? Learn it!

 Today’s companies continue to seek a more diverse and inclusive work environment , aligned with current social reality. Finding opportunities to advance minority groups requires a collaborative effort that includes HR and leaders. However, to implement effective actions, it is necessary to promote strategies consistent with what employees need. To achieve this, many companies rely on affinity groups .

What is the role and concept of affinity groups? Learn it!

Through this process, minorities have the opportunity to share their difficulties and seek solutions that will, in fact, create a culture of inclusion. The idea is to strengthen these people’s sense of belonging, reduce turnover and ensure that they have an experience that is on par with other groups, with the same opportunities.

According to a global survey by PWC, while 54% of companies consider diversity and inclusion a priority area in the organization, only 39% of employees see the company this way. As a result, there is a misalignment, whether in actions or in communication, which means that people do not clearly see how the organization prioritizes this type of action, or which indicates that the organization still does not do enough for these groups.

What is the concept of affinity groups?

The affinity group is made up of a team, generally organized on a voluntary basis, to address interests and difficulties faced, in search of common demands in their work environment.

Thus, these people have the opportunity to share their experiences and, together, propose effective solutions and take collective demands to leaders. In general, it is a space focused on empathy, where everyone can share their pain and be welcomed by colleagues.

Employees with the same social markers, for example black people, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with physical disabilities and other minorities, find in these groups the opportunity to report their reality in the company. People who are not part of these groups, but consider themselves allies and want to contribute to promoting changes in favor of diversity, can also participate.

The group can also be the gateway to initiatives in this field. Companies that want to invest in diversity, but still don’t know how to start, begin this process by creating this type of group, which meets regularly to talk and debate ideas.

What is the role of affinity groups?

Groups allow people to become agents of change and enable a real and constructive change in an organization’s culture, which will increase its visibility in the market as an institution dedicated to inclusion.

Its main objective is to exchange experiences between these people, but there are many objectives that can be achieved by bringing together affinity collaborators:

Promote concrete actions

Through exchanges carried out by people who go through similar situations at work, it is possible to create a real scenario and propose concrete solutions that promote diversity and inclusion in companies. The idea of ​​this group is precisely to encourage new actions and create an efficient strategy for the organization to work on these aspects, not only internally, but also with customers and suppliers.

Attract new talent

These meetings also have the potential to increase diversity, carrying out recruitment that takes these groups into account. A company that invests in diversity has higher productivity and profit rates, and it all starts with the job search.

Strengthen work culture

Organizations have rules and ways of organizing themselves, values ​​and purposes. Thus, the sum of these concepts becomes the company’s culture , which will guide its decisions and strategic planning. These groups make it possible to strengthen this culture, creating a more united environment that seeks innovative solutions.

Benefits and how to implement

Affinity groups promote several benefits for companies. They allow people to integrate and communicate better and make them more active in seeking results. Check out some benefits of creating these groups:

Improves reputation

An affinity group, aligned with other diversity and inclusion strategies, will have an impact on the company’s reputation, which will become more desired by the best talents, in addition to being recognized by the market for its positioning.

Promotes faster innovation

One of the positive characteristics of having a diverse team is promoting faster innovation. For companies, this puts them ahead of their competitors and ensures greater competitiveness in their area of ​​activity.

Increases sense of belonging

It’s difficult to “wear the shirt” when the company doesn’t care about people’s well-being. By promoting these groups, the organization also shows that it wants to listen to them and is willing to make changes that make their lives easier and promote their development. This will have an effect on your relationship with the company, and will make you more active and willing to achieve objectives and goals.

To implement this, the first step is to be open to ideas and suggestions from these groups. They will not work if leaders do not listen and seek changes that will contribute to a fairer environment.

From this, it is necessary to collect data and understand which groups can and want to hold these meetings and debates. Finally, invest in the professional development of teams, and encourage them to specialize, indicating the possibilities for growth.

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