Workplace Guides: Network Groups

Home | Introduction | The business case 
What LGB networks do | Setting up an LGB network
Maintaining and developing the network |Top ten steps


Communicating the Network


This section covers:

It is essential to communicate across the organisation a network’s inception, purpose, activities and achievements.

Effective communication enables the network to:

  • Announce its launch
  • Gain and retain the support of senior managers
  • Encourage LGB colleagues to participate
  • Distribute diversity information to the wider workforce
  • Mitigate cynicism towards LGB initiatives
  • Demonstrate to the wider world the
  • Organisation’s commitment to diversity.

There are a variety of tools that LGB networks can exploit.


Make use of existing communication systems

These could include:

COMPANY INTRANET Create an LGB network page or use a section within existing diversity pages. Network information could include aims, events, news, fact sheets, useful internal and external links and FAQs.

ELECTRONIC BULLETINS Use them to publicise the group’s activities and achievements. They are a good way of ensuring all staff, not just LGB colleagues, are aware of the group and its value to the organisation.

IN-HOUSE MAGAZINE Consider submitting articles about the group, and on discrimination, good practice and LGB employment issues more generally.

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Ensure all staff are aware of the network

Mass communication tools in the workplace might include:

PAYSLIPS Include a message with payslips to announce the network’s launch and events.

INDUCTION TRAINING Produce a leaflet about the group to be included in packs for new staff. Ensure the group is mentioned in any induction presentation on equality and diversity or employee network groups more generally.

POSTERS Make use of notice boards in all offices and sites. Think especially about where staff with limited access to e-mail and less corporate involvement – for example, cleaners and security staff – might see them.

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Keep in touch with members

To ensure members feel safe when participating in the LGB network, it is worth considering:

GENERIC E-MAIL ADDRESS (such as LGB@organisation.co.uk) This would provide an easy point of contact, separate from coordinators’ existing work in-boxes.

INTERNET E-MAIL ACCOUNT This could be set up for people who do not want to use the office system.

EXTERNAL WEBSITE This is a useful way of sharing information on the group and sends out a positive message to other audiences about the organisation’s commitment to diversity.

GLOBE (Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Employees) is the Ford Motor Company’s UK LGB employee resource. GLOBE uses a range of tools to impart its message:

www.fordglobe.org: this independent website is hosted by the US GLOBE chapter, and features a UK section. UK GLOBE’s objectives are set out, along with pages on news, the regions, support and officers’ contact details. The site is a valuable resource for new employees as well as group members and LGB employees who would rather access information at home.

Intranet: GLOBE has pages on Ford’s intranet system where all colleagues can access information about the group, and find out more about LGB employment issues.

Internal communications: GLOBE communicates with each member every quarter via e-mail. The group has set up two distribution lists: one using the company’s internal system, and one using an internet group e-mail, for members who prefer not to use the office system.

Corporate communications: GLOBE news is featured on the company’s internal television network, which runs in the offices and plants. The group has also had coverage in the company magazine.

Posters: GLOBE awareness-raising posters are displayed on all the diversity notice-boards in the UK, in both offices and plants. Some also have details of local LGB community groups.

Diversity Week: GLOBE runs workshops and information stands during the company’s annual Diversity Week.

External communications: GLOBE has produced flags and banners and has attended Pride events, sending out a positive message to LGB communities about Ford as a manufacturer and an employer.

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Publicise the group externally

This will send a positive message to customers, potential recruits, competitors and the existing workforce.

Try:

MEDIA COVERAGE Pink and mainstream press can highlight the group’s activities and the organisation’s achievements on LGB equality.

JOB FAIRS If the organisation participates in job fairs, display information about the LGB network. It will reassure potential recruits that the organisation values and respects diversity.

Manchester City Council LGBT Employee Group used a significant proportion of its original budget developing its publicity, which included a logo that it now uses on postcards, posters and banners. This helps the group to promote its existence and achievements to LGBT staff and the wider organisation. It also provides tools to market the council externally as a service provider and an employer that recognises the rights and needs of LGBT people.

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