Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have bloomed into safe spaces that promote, support and improve diversity, inclusion and equity (DEI) at the workplace. The introduction of mentoring within and among ERGs can prove to be advantageous in the advancement of employee programs.
What is ERG Mentoring?
Employee Resource Group mentoring or ERG mentoring is the practice of introducing mentoring programs under the purview of employee resource groups. The mentoring program structures can be traditional, peer to peer or group-based. What differentiates ERG mentoring from regular mentoring is that the goals of ERG mentoring programs align with the purpose of the ERGs that are involved. ERG mentoring programs are also guided by the DEI objectives of the organization. Learn all about ERG mentoring here.
Advantages of ERG Mentoring
By initiating ERG mentoring, organizations can improve their employee programs. Discussed below are ways in which ERG mentoring can elevate employee experience and enrich existing processes.
Employee engagement during a merger or acquisition
A merger or acquisition of a company is a stressful and uncertain time for employees. There are drastic changes in organizational structures and company policies. The morale of employees belonging to the company that is being acquired is adversely affected. At such times, if the acquiring company has a robust Employee Resource Group program in place, a seamless transition can be achieved. By initiating ERG mentoring programs, the employees of the acquired company can be introduced and inducted into ERGs through group mentoring programs. Employees of both organizations can find common ground through ERGs. Existing ERG leads can also mentor new ERG leads from the acquired company so that there is equal representation. Such initiatives can create a sense of community and belonging among all employees and improve the overall morale.
Personalized onboarding process
Up to 20% of all new hires resign within the first 45 days of their joining. Introducing ERG peer to peer mentoring during the onboarding process is a great way to make the newly hired employee feel welcomed at the workplace. If the new employee expresses interest in a particular ERG, they can be paired with a member of the ERG who can walk them through the company processes as well as policies and also introduce them to ERG activities. This ERG mentoring program provides the new hire with someone who understands their personal and professional challenges. They settle in faster as they have someone to guide them. They also get an opportunity to participate in ERGs events and activities and connect with the workplace beyond day to day work. Engaged employees who feel cherished and understood at work are more likely to be committed to their employer.
Increasing representation in leadership positions
There is a lack of representation in corporate leadership; gender diversity and ethnic diversity in the C-suite is still heavily skewed. With ERG mentoring programs, high-potential ERG members can be identified and paired with senior leaders belonging to the same background. The common denominator of shared experiences plays an important role in creating a pipeline of diverse talent within the organization to increase representation in senior roles. Employees who participate in mentoring programs will witness and learn about the journeys of underrepresented individuals and the challenges they faced while climbing the corporate ladder. ERG mentoring software platforms like Teleskope enable the usage of ERG-related data as attributes for mentor-mentee matching algorithms and enhance the effectiveness of mentoring programs.
Building inclusive policies
Company policies should be revisited at regular intervals to ensure they are inclusive and up-to-date with industry standards. Processes should also be revisited to check for unconscious bias and generalized assumptions that discriminate against underrepresented groups. ERG mentoring programs serve as perfect solutions to improve policies and processes. Members of ERGs serve as advisors (mentors) to their peers in other teams that design and implement policies and processes. For example, a member of the disability ERG can mentor and guide the office administration team members on the challenges faced in accessibility at the workplace. Members of minority ERGs can provide useful insights to shape the diversity policies of the company when paired with change makers.