Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have played an important role in improving diversity and inclusion at workplaces. However, ERG program strategy needs a fresh perspective from time to time to ensure they are efficient as well as effective.
Here are five ways to elevate ERGs in 2024.
Revisit ERG Structure
When an ERG is set up, there are certain roles and responsibilities defined and assigned to employees who volunteer to be part of the process. For example, traditionally, every ERG has one or more ERG Leads as well as location-based Chapter Leads. In addition, there is an Executive Sponsor assigned to every ERG and an ERG Program Manager who oversees all ERGs. If ERG Leads have been experiencing burnout and if your ERGs are growing, the new year is a great time to rejig the ERG structure. For example, Amtrak’s ERG management structure includes specialized roles such as Communications Coordinators, Treasurers, Membership Coordinators and Event Coordinators that share the load of managing all ERG activities (read more here).
Align ERGs with business goals
If your ERG goals do not align with business objectives, now might be a good time to add projects and initiatives that create business impact. Though the primary role of ERGs is to provide safe spaces for underrepresented groups, they can also contribute to organizational success with their diverse perspectives and talents. ERGs can enhance product and service experiences by helping organizations better understand diverse customer needs and change unconscious bias present in various processes such as recruitment. It also fosters a sense of purpose among employees as they are engaged in activities that directly impact company success. Embrace the next step of Employee Resource Groups evolving into Business Resource Groups (BRGs).
Invest in the right ERG management software
Technology solutions have simplified the ERG management process drastically with the power of automation. If your ERGs are growing and you have not yet invested in an ERG software this might be the right time to consider it. With advanced features such as one-click join, approval workflows, custom surveys, event management, budget management as well as reporting and analytics, ERG platforms like Teleskope make it possible for ERG managers to scale and grow their programs easily. They also provide a superior user experience to employees and encourage ERG membership. ERG data available in ERG softwares can help enhance other employee programs and provide rich data.
Explore new styles of ERG communication and prioritize employee feedback
Evaluate existing communication that goes out to ERG members and ERG non-members as well as the input you receive from them. Often ERG related communication gets repetitive and is no longer interesting or exciting. ERG managers should explore new avenues of ERG storytelling such as podcasts, playlists, virtual events, watch parties, videos and more. Gathering employee feedback is a crucial activity and can have tremendous impact when done right. Anonymous surveys can be floated to ERG members as well as non-members using ERG platforms like Teleskope. They can yield insights about why non-members are not keen on joining ERGs as well as shine a light on ERG activities that are a hit with members and those that can be improved.
Provide Mentoring opportunities within ERGs
Elevate ERG programs by introducing ERG mentoring. ERG mentoring includes ERG members being assigned mentors from within their ERG. When mentors and mentees have similar experiences and can empathize with the visible and invisible challenges faced being part of underrepresented groups, it can lead to a successful mentoring association. Some other advantages of ERG mentoring include adding a unique dimension to ERGs and helps boost membership numbers especially among new associates who are keen to have mentors.
By being vigilant of practices that are working best for your ERGs as well as by introducing ways to improve their functioning, ERGs can be made future-ready by ERG managers.