Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in organizations having mature Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs have more depth and breadth in terms of scale. In multinational corporations, numerous ERGs span across continents and at times, their local chapters exist in multiple offices in the same city. In addition, ERG leads and Chapter leads have to coordinate with one another to successfully plan and execute events and activities.
The level of complexity created by this wide network is difficult to manage manually especially for ERG events. An approval workflow becomes essential to manage ERG events because of the reasons listed below.
Adherence to Corporate Policy
Corporate Policy is the set of official guidelines that influence organization-wide decision-making. For Employee Resource Group (ERG) events, adherence to corporate policy is imperative and is an important step in the ERG event approval workflow. The intent of the event should align with business values and objectives. Introduction of this check can help weed out redundant events and ensure ERG managers plan events that pass the corporate policy litmus test. It also ensures the company code of conduct is adhered to by the attendees and is part of all event communication thus lowering misconduct risk.
Vetting of Guest Speakers
A common and impactful ERG event is inviting guest speakers to share their expertise with ERG members. Vetting a guest speaker is an important step and should be part of the ERG events workflow. The past and present views of the guest speaker should be in accordance with company values. For example, if the guest speaker has in the past shared homophobic or transphobic views on the internet, it is a red flag and they should not be considered for the speaking opportunity in a company that champions diversity and inclusion. A workflow approval which factors in the background verification of guest speakers can serve to safeguard the organization against reputational damage through the act of association.
Compliance and Governance
Workflow approvals systems ensure there is compliance and governance buy-in for ERG events. The compliance team keeps a tab on the latest industry regulations and standards. As new rules are introduced regularly, the ERG event planner might not be aware of all the latest do’s and don’ts. This step is extremely critical for highly regulated industries such as banking, finance, insurance etc. For example, an ERG event in collaboration with a non-profit organization might need additional scrutiny of industry regulations before it gets a go ahead. The compliance and governance check also ensures all communication and marketing materials are as per brand guidelines.
Workflow approvals help in risk management of ERG events. Having a key stakeholder who assesses risk is essential in the workflow. Risk management entails ensuring that there is no harm to people, property or company reputation in the undertaking of any ERG event. An event at an unfamiliar offsite location would need to be looked at closely before approval. Risk management also safeguards the company against financial losses. For example, in large organizations, the number of event attendees are in thousands. However, if the ERG event date clashes with an already planned leadership event, an internal check during the approval process can save the cost of canceling the booking of a grand venue. A risk management checklist that helps avoid any oversight and mitigate risk should be created and be part of the process.
Implementing multi-level workflow approvals for ERG events can be tricky if done manually by relying on emails and follow-ups. ERG management software solutions, like Teleskope Affinities, simplify and streamline the ERG event approval process considerably. Technology enables the automation of approval hierarchies and establishes a sequential system with no loose ends. The workflows are visible on the platform and display which stage of the approval process has been reached. It leads to better accountability and transparency while reducing human error. It also saves the time that would be spent on repeated follow-ups.
Investing in ERG software solutions like Teleskope Affinities that provide custom workflow approval solutions that cater to the needs of your organization can safeguard the company from monetary and reputational losses.