Employees Resource Groups (ERG) or Employee Networks (EN) are an integral part of any organization’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy. A common structure of ERGs in most organizations consists of a central diversity team and several ERG Leads based out of different locations.
ERG Leads tend to take up ERG related tasks out of empathy or passion for the cause and perform these tasks in addition to their regular work. They stretch themselves, and, at times, work overtime to complete these tasks: this could lead to burnout or resentment towards ERG work. Here’s what organizations can do to safeguard ERG Leads from this unfavorable outcome.
Compensate ERG Leads fairly
Most employees volunteer to become ERG Leads. There is usually no compensation associated with this position. While there are few organizations that are considering providing monetary compensation, it is not feasible for all organizations within budgetary constraints. However, to maintain the morale of ERG Leads, companies must explore alternatives to make them feel valued. Teleskope Affinities’ ERG Points feature is a great solution to this problem. It allows ERG Leads to earn points based on the activities or tasks they undertake and then redeem these points against gift vouchers or a custom reward system.
Tie ERG goals to business goals
ERG program management should be treated as a core function and be assigned goals that dovetail into the overall business goals. In this way, ERG Leads have tangible goals to achieve and can justify their time and effort contribution to company growth. This will also help them get C-Suite buy-ins and budget approvals, therefore, reducing resistance and easing their work.
Enable ERG Leads with the right technology
ERG Leads tend to complete a lot of manual and repetitive work which can lead to burnout. ERG activities such as scheduling events, sending invites, tracking RSVPs, reporting attendance, creating and dispatching newsletters, and managing expenses can be cumbersome. ERG management software solutions can automate these tasks and free up time for ERG Leads while providing add-ons such as custom dashboards and reports, decreasing the frustration and exhaustion of ERG leads.
Recognize their contribution
Some might consider ERG management to be a thankless job. The hard work put in by ERG Leads often goes unnoticed. Small and simple recognition by managers and peers can go a long way. By ensuring ERG related work is also discussed in the performance review, their work can get the visibility it deserves. Teleskope’s Recognition Module provides a platform for peer and self-recognition and improves morale. Acknowledgement of ERG-related tasks relays a message that the work is valued and can attract new talent to take up the role of an ERG Lead.
Shape leaders of tomorrow
ERG Leads should be considered for leadership positions within the organization. By shouldering additional leadership responsibilities and following through to make their ERGs a success, ERG Leads demonstrate tremendous potential of becoming good leaders in the organization as a whole. Linking career advancement opportunities with ERG management will serve to motivate existing ERG leads and inspire others to take on this role with confidence.
Clarity about what is expected of ERG Leads, how they would be compensated, how much time they should allot for ERG work, how much budget they had at their disposable and how their work would open up new opportunities at the workplace, would help ERG Leads rest easier. With all this information, they would be able to manage their time and work better.
By following these steps, organizations can prevent burnout among ERG Leads. By providing a sense of worth, fair compensation, opportunity for growth and alignment with business goals, organizations can give ERG Leads the recognition they deserve.