How AAA Revolutionized Their ERGs With Benevity Affinity Groups

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As a social impact leader at her company, Stephanie Moe has worked closely with employee resource groups (ERGs) for years. They’ve helped her identify which issues the people at AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah care about. And they’ve inspired these employees to take action through giving and volunteering. The company’s ERGs continue to grow and reach team members who are passionate about giving back, but they’ve faced some common challenges that Moe’s team was eager to help solve.

 

The Challenge

Like many leaders using multiple tools to run ERG programs, AAA’s ERG leads struggled to create a unified experience for their members. Before having dedicated software, AAA’s ERGs relied on multiple channels of communication — intranet, email, chat, etc. This common combination of tools we see being used by ERG leads today often results in both the leads and members feeling siloed and disconnected. Moe describes the experience as overwhelming, especially for employees who are members of multiple ERGs.

Not only did these tools fall short when it came to creating great ERG member experiences, but they didn’t allow for the robust reporting needed to measure impact and track engagement. Struggling with disjointed conversations and tools that didn’t quite fit the bill, Moe was searching for a product that fulfilled the needs of AAA’s ERG leads and group members.

 


 

The Solution

Introducing ERG Central — built with Benevity Affinity Groups! Moe saw the opportunity to use this software that’s purpose-built for employee resource groups, so she could provide the ERG leads with the tools they needed to develop a thriving online community for their members. Affinity Groups integrates seamlessly with Benevity’s giving and volunteering platform, Spark, making it a no-brainer for Moe and her team, who have been using the platform since 2017.

AAA has started to use the Affinity Groups platform alongside their current suite of tools. This central hub better unites their people and provides them with a dedicated space free from other workplace chatter. While they still use Google Chat to direct people into ERG Central, they’re now able to encourage better engagement within the space through rich media posts, quizzes, surveys and more, instead of relying on chat tools, where the important stuff gets lost.

“The chat is still great, but it’s not always the best place when you’re looking to share something. It’s tough to go back if you’re trying to find something and scroll up. And it gets really busy. So having that space, that dedicated space for all the ERGs to connect, is really, really wonderful.”

- Stephanie Moe, Director of DEI
AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah

 

With Benevity Affinity Groups, AAA has been able to create more robust experiences for their ERG members. But also, they’ve been able to provide leads with the tools they need to report on impact and facilitate meaningful connections across the company.



 

The Result


A more cohesive experience
After struggling to create a smooth and efficient ERG experience, AAA was able to transform their program into a thriving ERG community. With their new platform, they have an organized space where people can truly connect, easily find and share resources, instantly discover groups and have conversations that feel less scattered and more focused.

“ERG software really helps to create that space where you can build a strong community and people can share things like photos and resources, and it feels more like a traditional social space where people are used to engaging.”

- Stephanie Moe, Director of DEI
AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah



Better reporting

A big plus for AAA is being able to better report on engagement and impact while saving time. With Benevity Affinity Groups, employees can easily join groups and admins can access an up-to-date member count. This allowed AAA to ditch their Google Forms, folders and spreadsheets for one central place for reporting, a beautiful dashboard and easy-to-export reports.

Beyond knowing which — and how many — people are joining specific groups, being able to report on engagement has been a game changer for AAA. Instead of spending hours sifting through the chat to see who’s talking, posting and sharing, or scouring attendance lists to see who’s joining events, Affinity Groups provides the necessary reporting to turn this manual process into an almost effortless experience for ERG leads. So, now they can spend more time driving engagement and less time reporting on it.

“Reporting is huge. It’s something we’ve really struggled with when it comes to our ERGs. Again, everything was separate and manual, lots of spreadsheets and things like that before. So, the tool that we’re using, Affinity Groups, actually has a really robust reporting tool that lets us capture engagement”

- Stephanie Moe, Director of DEI
AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah



Greater connection

Given the nature of AAA’s workforce, a lot of their team members aren’t seated at a desk all day. Affinity Groups is mobile friendly and fits the needs of changing workforces that are already used to socializing online directly from their handheld devices. Giving employees more ways to join and connect, on a platform that mimics the social feeds they’re already spending time on, has created an exciting opportunity to drive engagement and connection among all of AAA’s people.


More Goodness
A big focus for AAA’s ERGs is giving back. When members start discussing a new giving or volunteering opportunity within ERG Central, these opportunities are only a click away through Affinity Groups’ integration with Spark. After seeing increased importance being placed on connecting inclusion and impact, AAA knew it was critical to create a space that talked to their giving and volunteering platform, seamlessly.

“It’s been pretty critical for us to make sure that the two systems talk to each other and it’s been really nice to have that there, because the last thing anybody wants is just another thing to go to and another place to log in. So just knowing that they interchange very nicely has been very helpful.”

With an easier way to connect, share and turn talk into action, AAA is able to drive more Goodness with their people.

A stronger sense of belonging
When asked about what the most positive impact has been since implementing ERG software, Moe called out the increased sense of community. With a dedicated space — a home base for all AAA’s employee resource groups to live — ERG leads are better able to manage both the content and the people. Members were able to better see what other groups existed and what they were doing and, in turn, felt more connected.

“That central place has been a game changer and making people feel more of a sense of belonging, which we know is so critical right now and is why people join ERGs in the first place”

- Stephanie Moe, Director of DEI
AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah



A strong sense of community is the outcome of many moving pieces working together. AAA had already set the foundation for a thriving ERG program. But when Moe brought in technology to streamline processes, unify experiences and support better impact and reporting, their ERG program started to feel more like an ERG community — one that creates a deeper sense of inclusion and belonging. That was important to Moe, and we weren’t at all surprised to learn she was recently named Director of DEI at AAA after serving as Impact Lead.

Hear more from Stephanie on getting started with and implementing ERG software by checking out these Social Impact Show episodes:

Part 1: Getting started with Employee Resource Group (ERG) Software for the workplace

Part 2: What is Employee Resource Group (ERG) Software and how it improves employee engagement 

 

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