1. Research other LGB employee networks to find out what has worked for them.
2. Establish the business case for a network in your organisation. This should include benefits to the business and not just to LGB employees.
3. Find a senior management sponsor who can argue your case across the organisation. Get the HR team on board as well.
4. Set out the aims of the network. These could include advising on diversity policy and practice, or helping LGB staff develop their careers.
5. Draw up a business plan that sets out the purpose of the group, its proposed activities and funding requirements.
6. Ensure that network co-ordinators have the time to make it work. Many employers give co-ordinators time off each month for network business.
7. Establish criteria for network membership, setting out whether the network is exclusive to LGB staff or open to all staff with an interest in LGB issues.
8. Publicise the group internally, through e-mail and the company intranet, and externally, through pink and mainstream press.
9. Respect the privacy of network members and non-members who are not out at work. Consider using internet e-mail accounts or an external website.
10. Consult regularly all network stakeholders – members and managers – to ensure it stays relevant to the business and to LGB staff.
Supported by Nationwide