Tips for organisations thinking of setting up employee networks (based on Stonewall’s Guide to Network Groups):

  • Research other employee networks to find out what has worked for them.
  • Establish the business case for a network in your organisation. This should include benefits to the business and not just employees.
  • Find a senior management sponsor who can argue your case across the organisation. Get the HR team on board as well.
  • Set out the aims of the network. These could include advising on diversity policy and practice or helping with career development for the group the network is aimed at.
  • Draw up a business plan that sets out the purpose of the group, its proposed activities and funding requirements.
  • Ensure that network coordinators have the time to make it work. Many employers give coordinators time off each month for network business.
  • Establish criteria for network membership, setting out whether the network is only open to certain employees or available to all.
  • Publicise the group internally, through email and the company intranet, and externally.
  • Consult all network stakeholders regularly — members and managers — to ensure it stays relevant to the business and to employees.