As companies grow, so do their efforts towards Employee Resource Group Management. They transition from creating multiple ERGs to nurturing them to reach their maximum potential. With changing times, the strategy and initiatives surrounding employee networks are also changing.
Here are some trends observed in the management of Employee Networks.
Taking local global
Traditionally, ERGs have local Chapters based on geographic locations such as cities or regions. Hyperlocal events would be organized and different Chapters within the same ERG would operate in their own way. This is now changing with ERGs becoming global. A global ERG has members from all parts of the world who can connect and benefit from each other. A great example is a global Women’s ERG where women come together and share their experiences and challenges and take steps towards breaking the glass ceiling.
Encouraging external collaborations
Organizations are encouraging ERGs and ERG leaders to liaison with external organizations such as non-profits and community-centric associations. This forges a direct link between the company and the community. Employees get a chance to contribute to external programs they are passionate about. Apart from the brand visibility and recognition such associations offer, they provide opportunities where direct impact can be observed. ERGs can help fulfill Corporate Social Responsibility goals with meaningful external collaborations.
Forming alliances amongst ERGs
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion teams are strategizing to create mutually beneficial cross-ERG projects to drive their objectives. Combined events increase awareness of different ERGs and also drive membership numbers. Best practices and communication template ideas can be exchanged and implemented for growth. Organization can assign bigger business goals to collaborating ERGs to drive company-wide business plans more effectively.
Focusing on the leaders of tomorrow
ERG members and leaders are the future leaders of the organization. With companies having diverse workforces, leaders need to be culturally aware and sensitive to the needs and challenges of their employees. Members and leaders of ERGs that are centered around ethnicity, gender and other parameters have a broader understanding of the on-ground challenges faced by certain groups. Their exposure and involvement in events and activities which are closely associated with diversity and inclusion makes them promising candidates for managerial and leadership positions.
Assigning business goals
Companies are focusing on assigning business goals to ERGs and transforming them into BRGs. This added dimension is a win-win for ERGs as well as the organization. When ERGs have clear goals which align with business objectives, members of these ERGs develop a sense of pride about their contributions. It also encourages non-member employees to enroll in ERGs. ERGs are being tapped for insights that can support product development, product testing, corporate communication and policy making.
It’s important to note that ERG management is not a one-size-fits-all type of solution. Listening to the pulse of your organization and tailoring industry trends and practices to the culture and DNA of your organization is critical. The best way is to implement new practices that would suit your workplace is by conducting surveys and tracking metrics.
Has your organization leveraged these trends to get the most out of DEI programs? Let us know in the comments.