Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have been around in organizations for decades. However, ERG management is still rudimentary in its approach. Most organizations expect ERG managers to do all ERG-related work manually. In an effort to support the ERG managers, some organizations provide separate single-purpose applications which add to the tool fatigue and overwhelm instead of easing it.
ERG management platforms have come a long way. They now offer many innovative features which can help ERG program managers immensely. Here are the latest advanced features available in comprehensive ERG management platforms like Teleskope Affinities.
Anonymous Joining and Posting
The anonymous join feature shields the identity of the ERG member from other members and the admin. This feature respects the privacy and confidentiality of employees. Consider the case where some employees belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community are not comfortable sharing their sexual orientation with their colleagues. However, they want to be part of the Pride ERG at the workplace and participate anonymously. Having this feature reiterates the fact that it is always the individual’s prerogative to share personal information. With anonymous joining and posting, individuals can feel safe while also having access to information they need and value. This feature can also be used by the leadership team to witness the impact of ERGs firsthand without intimidating members with their presence.
Conducting surveys is a great way to collect information and feedback to improve the overall ERG program. Surveys can also be used to gauge the level of engagement and sentiment of the audience after events and activities. Instead of using third-party standalone software to conduct surveys, ERG managers need to migrate to ERG management platforms that have sophisticated survey mechanisms in-built. A high level of customization is possible as ERG data can be integrated into surveys and they can be triggered as per the actions of the member. For example, on-join, on-leave and post-event surveys are more effective because they are timely and targeted. Logic-based surveys that have inter-connected questions are more effective in collecting information and save time.
Global and Local Budget Management
Budget allocation, usage and tracking is an extremely challenging task when done manually. Double checking leftover balance and planning the expenses for year round activities can be difficult if there is no single source of truth. Budget management gets trickier as ERGs grow across states, countries and continents. Software solutions like Teleskope Affinities simplify this task by allowing ERG program managers to assign budgets at a global level as well as a local/chapter level. With this feature, the overall budget allocated to an ERG can be distributed among different regions and chapters based on the number of members and level of engagement thus, optimizing the utilization of resources. It minimizes the problem of unused amounts which occurs when there is standard allocation of budget across all chapters. This feature also encourages chapters to be more active in their ERG activities in order to get more budgets allocated to them.
The power of data in decision-making should not be underestimated. There has been a gradual yet intentional shift in the expectation from ERGs to create business impact. ERGs need to demonstrate how they are supporting employee well-being and business objectives to garner support from senior management. The accompanying data becomes all the more critical when there is cost-cutting in an organization. Advanced reporting and analytics capabilities in ERG management software solutions like Teleskope Affinities that integrate HRIS data with ERG data can study the correlation between ERG membership and employee tenure, performance and career progression and build a positive case for continued ERG support.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leaders should opt for the best technology with advanced features to get the best return on investment in the long run.