There is a correlation between an organization’s performance, marketplace competitiveness and the diversity of its workforce. As a result, many corporations have created affinity groups (AGs) to promote inclusion, support diversity and impact employee recruitment, retention, marketing and customer relations.
According to estimates, the service sector is witnessing an attrition rate of 40 per cent, pharmaceuticals about 30-35 per cent and manufacturing more than 20 per cent.
A study published in CMA Management indicates a strong correlation between the valuing of human capital and creating shareholder value, both short and long term. Over a five-year period, the study showed total return to shareholders was nearly twice as much for high-valuing companies (103%) as for low-valuing companies (53%).
For corporate leaders, these groups promote diversity and ensure that management and its employees have an experience that raises awareness, changes behaviors and does not reinforce stereotypes and biases.
For employees, these groups promote leadership, serve as a catalyst for mentoring and help them gain a better understanding of how their role affects the business as a whole. They also establish a forum in which members who share common interests or concerns can meet to address those issues.
While there is some debate about the efficacy or benefit AGs provide to an organization, they have emerged in the American workplace as a standard component of diversity initiatives.
Most companies invest a tremendous amount of time, effort and money on recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce. To ensure success of corporate diversity strategies, we provide support in the following manner:
- Leadership and Group Coaching
- Affinity Group Development
- Keynote Speaking
We conduct surveys to determine the needs or concerns of each group (corporate management and/or existing AG). Based upon the survey results, we either (i) help establish an affinity group for a segment of their workforce, or (ii) develop a strategy to improve or affirm effectiveness. Additionally we deploy Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to hold workshops and give presentations covering a range of topics that promote and support the goals of both parties.
For corporate leaders, the value is linkage of diversity to an organization’s strategic business objectives, its marketplace and promotion of long-term, sustained culture change. Lower turnover, higher productivity and results that show up on the bottom line occur as well.
For employees, the value is assurance that their voices are heard and that management is responsive to their issues and concerns. Employers are demonstrative in their investment and commitment to employee well-being.