As companies prioritize Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in their long-term business plans, they understand and appreciate the role technology plays in implementing DEI programs. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), also known as Employee Networks (ENs) or Business Resource Groups (BRGs), are the cornerstone of all DEI efforts.
With many software solutions available in the market, it is difficult to identify an ERG management platform that would suit the needs of organizations of varying sizes. Here are some points to consider when finalizing a tool to manage ERGs effectively.
Cascaded group hierarchies
A good ERG management platform will let you create groups and sub-groups within an ERG with ease. A global ERG will allow an ERG to have regional sub-groups which, in-turn, have local chapters. The global administrator will have visibility of these hierarchies to manage their memberships, events, and budgets, effortlessly.
Custom roles and permissions
Another must-have feature that an ERG management tool should possess is the ability to create customized roles, as well as assign hierarchical permissions. For example, a super-admin can have access to all information including sensitive data, such as budgets and expenses, while ERG leads should only have visibility of their own ERG, and Chapter leads should have access to only their specific chapter. The capability to control and tweak who can view or edit which slice of data is a powerful feature.
Robust event management
Creating and managing ERG events in the platform itself is a feature that will save time and effort for all ERG managers. Ensure that your tool lets you set-up and plan any event including invites, RSVPs, reminders, and virtual meeting details. The budget approvals for guest speakers and for hosting in-person events should be automated and reflect real-time in the overall ERG budgets and expenses.
A feature such as a global calendar which lets ERG Leads see all events planned across calendar dates, helps the scheduling of an event without it clashing with another event. This feature ensures maximum participation from employees who are part of multiple ERGs and contributes to the overall engagement rates of all ERGs. Additionally, it also provides a bird’s eye view to global ERG admins about ongoing events and the most active ERGs.
Integrations with HRIS systems
Integrating an ERG software with existing data systems is critical. A seamless integration with existing HRIS systems such as Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, and BambooHR allows ERG-specific data flow from the ERG platform to the HRIS systems, provides more attributes for data analysis. When a real-time sync is enabled between these data systems, it ensures that only updated information is used for data analysis. Such technology integrations with HRIS as well as other existing applications provides an integrated experience to the platform users.
Automated roster management
Another feature that would come in handy, and should be on your checklist, is that of having an automated roster for membership data and event attendance. ERG leads should be able to access and download membership data as per their preferred filters. After a scheduled event, event organizers should have complete access to download the roster of members who attended and choose the HRIS data points they wish to analyze.
Communication and tracking
A good ERG management software will provide the flexibility to customize email templates and choose recipients based on a combination of ERG data and HRIS attributes. This lets the platform user have complete control over email campaigns and lets them track efficiency and engagement with features such as email open rate and click rate.
Employees join ERGs and engage with them based on how easy and accessible it is to do so. ERG management tools that have functions such as single-click joins help ERGs boost their membership numbers through simple outreach and awareness campaigns.
At the end of the day, what organizations need to acknowledge is that often ERG management is a task taken up by employees voluntarily and in addition to their regular roles and responsibilities. These employees need to be empowered with an all-in-one solution so that they do not experience tool fatigue trying to access multiple applications and waste time in manual data extraction.
A comprehensive ERG management tool is going to give a good return on investment as it boosts employee productivity and helps achieve DEI goals and in turn business goals.