While undergoing a corporate values refresh, a need for employee-led involvement in the reshaping of our corporate culture was identified. The desire was for an ongoing program that provided a platform for staff from historically underrepresented groups within the organization to model inclusive behaviors, elevate marginalized perspectives, and promote opportunities that increase belonging through the formation of internal communities. The result was the development of Employee Networking Groups (ENGs).
ENGs at Abt are organizationally supported volunteer groups formed by employees around a particular interest, life experience, or demographic factor. Groups provide opportunities for networking, career and professional development, knowledge sharing, mentoring, and support. While each ENG has a specific focus, all employees are eligible to be members.
An important component of ENGs at Abt is the grassroots nature of their creation. Employees drive the groups they would like by submitting a proposal to form a new group. Each proposal includes the identification of chairs (Overall, Membership, Communication, and Activity), selection of a leadership sponsor, development of a charter, and drafting of a work plan. With guidance, support, and funding from HR, ENGs are given resources to be successful in carrying out their work. As groups evolve in their maturity and execute their action plans, they become eligible for additional funds to maximize their impact.
Six ENGs have formed: