National Day for Staff Networks #AddingValue

By Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE

What started as an idea in 2016 has evolved into an annual celebration for the fourth year running. What are we talking about? The National Day for Staff Networks of course.

Also known as Networks Day, the national day for staff networks is all about celebration, inspiration and transformation. Many staff networks (employee/business resource groups, Diversity Groups etc.) provide employees from under-represented groups with valuable guidance and timely advice as they navigate their organisation’s culture and endeavour to offer their authentic best in the workplace. The national day for staff networks is a celebration of the expanding and diverse range of work across the public, private and voluntary sectors which continues to foster inclusive workplaces; thus making work better.

The theme for 2020 is #addingvalue. We have created a fantastic tool to help networks to assess their value by using the ‘Value Continuum’[1]. The Value Continuum toolkit is specifically designed for Staff Networks to think through things such as their Network Value Proposition[2]. As the UK steps into a new post economic climate, it will be even more important for staff networks to be organised, clear about their purpose and ready to employ tools fully capable of measuring impact and their added value.

Impact of COVID-19 - No one expected the arrival or impact that COVID-19 would have on our lives. The pandemic has meant that we have to think differently about what celebration looks like and what inclusion feels like when you are not sharing the same physical space with colleagues.

The crisis has knocked many off their equilibrium; people feel out of kilter and that’s when many will turn to a network to get reassurance, solace and encouragement. However, it’s crucial that those leading the network take time to look after themselves and maintain their health and energy. To support this, we have started the Networks Virtual Coffeeshop where we encourage leaders to take a break and participate in activities that will boost their wellbeing and self care.

The coffeeshop publicises webinars, podcasts, interviews as well as offer practical tools like our COVID-19 infographic, tips and guides to equip networks so that they can adapt and navigate the new ways of working.

In addition, we have our senior networks champions campaign on social media sharing their thoughts on why networks are important and we have created a social media toolkit.

On Networks Day itself, on 13th May, we are planning a number of online activities throughout the day including the hosting the biggest networks virtual lunch and learn!

We are delighted to have sponsors like Bank of America, Peabody, Reed Business Information and The Power of Staff Networks. We are also working in partnership with Voice At The Table who are offering spaces for network leaders and senior sponsors on their various webinars and podcasts. The support of our sponsors and partners means that we can continue empowering networks to be influential and effective. More now than ever, networks need to encourage collaboration, support aligned activity and further inspire the voice of network members. This is how they add value and that is worth celebrating. We hope you will show your support.

 

www.networksday.co.uk

@day4networks

#makingworkbetter #addingvalue

[1] © National Day for Staff Networks Campaign CIC

[2] The rewards and benefits received by the organisation as a result of the Network activities