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Webinar Topic: The Business Value of ERGs

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Moderator: Maneet Sarai, Chief Product Officer, Teleskope

 

Panelists:

Samantha Renovato, Director Global DEI, Ingredion

Adewale Soluade, VP DEI, Centene

Jennifer Gamboa-Copeland, Director DEI, Mckesson

Angela Curley, Senior Manager DEI, Henkel

Key topics: Employee Resource Groups Program Overview, Overall Strategy of ERGs, Driving Business Value through ERGs, Leveraging Technology for Key Metrics, ERG Reporting & Stakeholder Management, ERGs and Mergers & Acquisitions, Long-term Strategy of ERG Programs, Remote Work & ERGs, ERG Budgets

00:00 Intro

 

Laurie Stanford [Affirmity]: Hello again! This is Laurie Stanford of Affirmities Marketing team and welcome to today's panel discussion on the Business Value of ERGs. Today's presentation is being recorded and is in listen only mode and will last approximately 55 to 60 minutes. If you have any questions during today's presentation, you can enter those in their questions section of your control panel and we will answer as many questions as possible immediately after the presentation. If we are unable to answer your question during the allotted time, we will follow up with you individually via email. Also, as you exit today's webinar, you will see a brief survey. Please take a few moments to complete our survey and let us know on how we did today. And finally, a copy of the presentation and recording will be sent over to all registrants within a few business days.

 

01:01 Moderator and Panelist Introductions with ERG overviews

 

And now it is my pleasure to introduce our moderator for today, Maneet Sarai. Maneet serves as the Chief Product Officer for Teleskop, a key business technology partner for Affirmity. Teleskope provides all in one SAS platform for managing DEI programs and Maneet has extensive experience working with Fortune 500 organizations to digitally transform their ERG and other DE&I programs. Now with logistics taken care of, I will turn over to Maneet to begin our discussion to Maneet.

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Perfect. Alright, thanks a lot, Laurie. Appreciate you doing the introduction there and thanks a lot everyone for joining today. So as Laurie said my name is Maneet and I'll be monitoring the panel for today. First thing we want to do is just go through introductions for our panelists so that you have an understanding of who they are the companies they represent, some overviews of their BRG or ERG programs, just to help set context and set the stage. So, foremost I'd like to call on Sam Renovato just to give a quick introduction and then we'll go sort of round robin across the panelists. Sam, go ahead.

Samantha Renovato [Ingredion]: Thank you, Maneet. As Maneet mentioned, my name is Sam Renovato. I use she/her pronouns and I'm so excited to be here. I am the Director of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion here at Ingredion. For those of you that don't know Ingredion, we are a global ingredient solutions company. We work with sweeteners, starches, texturizers across the food and beverage industry as well as pharmaceuticals as well. As far as what our BGRs look like, so first we have BRG, so Business Resource Groups, is what we call them internally, which is what some other companies might call ERGs. We have nine of them globally and the first ones launched officially I think in 2017. So, we've been around for about five years. Since we've been using Affinities by Teleskope, we've been able to track our membership. So, right now we have around 10 percent of our global population that's a member, which I think is pretty good since we just launched in March and we're already seeing some really good uptake in our membership as well. Our BRGs really make an impact for us internally. We do look at them as kind of like the conscience of our organization and they help us kind of see what's important for our employees and their members and they also really help support and execute our DE&I strategy

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Excellent. Thanks a lot, Sam. Alright, next I'd like to turn it over to Angela. Angela, please give a quick introduction.

Angela Curley [Henkel]: Hi! I'm Angela Curley and I'm a Senior Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Henkel North America. I've been with them for 24 years and I have had the honor and the privilege of launching ERGs here at Henkel and also had the privilege of being a president and also their liaison as well. We have some 18 Employee Resource Groups, that's what we call them here in North America, again the genesis of them started like 20-25 years ago but we had a refresh in 2017 to really take them and accelerate them to the next level. And we partnered with Affirmity really to launch the Affirmity platform this year to really help with the launch of those newer ERGs this year. And we also see them as the voice of employee, the voice of consumer and customer to really help us to really accelerate our business priorities for the company and we're really excited to partner with Affirmity with helping us to build that communication within our organization. So, thank you for having me.

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Yep, thanks a lot, Angela. Alright, we'll go to Jennifer next.

 

Jennifer Gamboa-Copeland [McKesson]: Thank you Maneet. Jennifer Gamboa- Copeland. She/her pronouns. Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at McKesson and my visual identifiers are Latina with black hair maybe growing a little bit. Turquoise top and a checkered black and white screen in the background. McKesson is a medical pharmaceutical distributor company that mostly is known these days for the distribution of the COVID vaccine. I’m so excited to be here to share a little bit about what our Employee Resource Groups do. We have 11 of them and the oldest originated about 12 years ago in 2010, which was our military ERG. We have around 14000 total members which equates to about 7400 unique members as you know everyone can be part of multiple ERGs. We are Global as well, US, Canada and some in Europe.

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Excellent, thanks a lot, Jennifer. Appreciate that. And alright our final panelist Wale.

 

Adewale Soluade [Centene]: Yeah, thanks Maneet. Good afternoon, everyone! My name is Wale Soluade, Vice president DEI at Centene corporation. We are a Fortune 50 Managed Care organization, focusing and delivering government sponsored healthcare programs. We are the largest Medicaid Managed Care Organization in the U.S and also do have a bit of an international footprint in which we operate. We're probably one of the largest companies you’ve actually never heard of but we've been working to change that. We operate Health Plans in every single state in the United States and so really excited to be here.

 

We operate Employee Inclusion Groups (EIGs) is what we call our groups and actually pretty excited because we launched our first one in November of 2017 and earlier this week just crossed the 14000-member mark in participation across the five EIGs that we have here at Centene. So, we're looking forward to that ongoing growth of participation and engagement with our workforce and the Affinity platform which we brought on board about two and a half three years ago now has been a vital part of our ability to accelerate the growth and maturity of our EIGs which was a huge priority for me when I designed and launched them in 2017-2018. So happy to be here and looking forward to this conversation.

 

07:50 Overall Strategy of ERGs

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Perfect, thanks a lot, Wale and thanks a lot to all the panelists for giving an introduction and giving some of that additional context of your organizations and various programs that you're running internally. So, now what we want to do now that we have introductions wrapped up, we actually want to go into the main questions of our panel today. So, foremost we're going to start with a high-level question just around overall strategy. Angela, I'd love to call on you first, if you want to give just some high-level anecdotes on how you look at ERG Strategy. How do you look at that from a technology point of view but then also how do you look at that for more of adoption as well as empowering your ERG leaders to be the best that they can be in those in those various groups? If you can shed some light on that what you're doing both in that strategy, technology as well as overall empowering side that'd be much appreciated and that would create a really good construct for us to go into some of the deeper questions for today's panel so Angela please go ahead.

 

Angela Curley [Henkel]: Yeah, thank you for that. First, I want to just provide a little background about who Henkel is. So, we're both a consumer goods company with some of the brands you may have heard Dial, Got2b, Purex and then also we're an organization that has an industrial adhesive side you may have heard of a product called Loctite and we provide adhesives for different industries including automotive, technology, electronics, and also general industries like furniture companies and appliances.

 

So, I wanted to be able to provide that context were 145 years old we're based in Dusseldorf, Germany and we have operations in many regions around the world including North America and they've done a number of Acquisitions here in North America and part of the strategy for Henkel was really wanting to do an employee engagement really getting them engaged in the success of our company and also providing a platform for employees to be heard. And ERGs is certainly one of those platforms. And our employees really take an active role in the ERGs in terms of professional development, community outreach as well as again voice of consumer, voice of employee and since 2020 there's been a real acceleration of our D&I programs with ERGs being the linchpin of the success of the programs.

 

And I'd like to emphasize that the people who run the ERGs are champions, who are doing this work on top of their daily work and who want to support the growth of our company's culture to create a sense of belonging by providing that voice. And the technology is great, Affirmity has been fantastic and we really appreciate the support of folks like Maneet and supplement that with training and tools is just a dynamic next step. We offered the Affirmity ERG Master Class, we had a summit as a step in the process of supporting our ERGs and it really provided a framework for the why, the what, and the how of ERGs taking them to that BRG level and they walked away with tools to create an 18-month plan of actions and activities to align with the business priorities and impact society fulfilling that right thing to do. And also you know we're developing leadership skills and leveraging the master class and additional trainings to really help them honestly feel like they're a part of the business by doing that. So, you know we believe that it's important to support and empower our ERGs you know not as an opportunity just to have a group but also the training tools and the platform and the resources really you know help them to be successful.

 

11:49 Driving Business Value through ERGs

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Definitely. Yeah, thanks a lot for that, Angela, and I know Angela you do have a hard stop on today's panel, you had a little bit of a business priority there so just wanted to make that acknowledgment so folks know understand that you might be dropping off soon. But really appreciate that context Angela it really helped set the stage for our panel today again around overall strategy, how do you sort

of tie technology in with some of the more supplementary things you can do to empower your ERG leaders as well as how Henkel really views BRGs from an overall business standpoint. I think that's a really good dovetail into my next question here which is really how organizations are driving more sort of concrete business value from BRGs. So BRG is a great from a community standpoint bringing together culture and things like that but it can also be really great enablers for business metrics and business value whether that's inclusive product development, targeting specific populations, recruitment and such. I'd like to call on Sam for this next question to really

talk about how you're leveraging your BRGs with Ingredion to drive some of those more concrete business values internally. Sam, would you like to shed some light on those specific programs that you're doing within Ingredion?

 

Samantha Renovato [Ingredion]: Yeah, absolutely! And just to kind of add on to Angela's Point earlier about technology helping, I think because in a lot of companies if not most of them the BRG leaders this is something that they do in addition to their job I think the technology takes away some of that administrative work that they shouldn't have to do to begin with. So, I think that's been some of the feedback that we've received it's a lot easier for people to join and find information as well. So, I think that's one of the benefits for the technology.

 

To answer your question, I have two examples that I think for me are very exciting. For one of them, we have one of our nine BRGs is called Empowered which is empower employees with disabilities and so we just expanded into North America this year and one of the things that they did that was really cool is kind of showcasing feature one of our solutions. So, one of the three things that the BRGs are supposed to be able to do throughout the year is kind of close the gap on several areas as one of them is the business and product knowledge because like many global companies a lot of people don't know everything that we do so when you're able to kind of showcase some of those entire two communities that it impacts or it helps I think it really brings to life the work that our employees do. So, our Empower BRG partnered with some of our business leaders and they talked about one of the starches that we use that is used in thick water and for those of you that don't know thick water is literally what it sounds like it's water that is thick. So, when we add the starch to it becomes a little bit more texturized and it helps people that have dysphasia and so dysphasia is kind of like the medical term that they use for people that have difficulty swallowing. That can come from different medical conditions or as we age is something that might happen. So, I think that's also something that you know it's good to learn and to know I think if you don't know anyone that's been impacted at least when you walk through you know Walgreens, there's like that back aisle where you have all of that those products that you'll notice thick water back there. So I think that's one of the ways in which the specific BRG was able to kind of tie in are the products that we do to communities that are impacted and providing some of that disability and transparency.

 

The other one that I like to talk about is our Pride BRG and also our WIN. So, for LGBTQ+ we have Pride in them for a Women's group we have Women in Ingredion. Both of those BRGs have been really good at establishing and deepening our relationships with our customers. So, because we're not directly because consumer facing we're more B2B business that does help us create better and deeper relationships with our customers as well so there's been a couple of cross-company BRG events that we've put together and also kind of like one-off conversations even in sharing our D&I practices as well. So, I think those are some good examples in which we are really help bring more value to the business and deepening our relationship with our customers.

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Yeah, that was really good insight there, Sam. And you know one sort of follow-on question to that is that particular example on the product development side. How did that sort of flow down the business? So, did it come from the actual product engineers that were working on that and they realized that there was a problem and they saw the BRGs as sort of a solution or at least a sounding board to help them further develop it? Can you talk about what that actual process looked like because I think the audience would really appreciate understanding what does that really look like in a day-to-day scenario.

 

Samantha Renovato [Ingredion]: Yeah, so I think for this particular one, dysphasia solution that we've had it's been around for over I think 100 years. So, it's not something that was more recently created. But one of the things that did come out of it is in looking up product Innovation, right. So, we had people that were working on this particular ingredient percent kind of like the history of it and looking at the Innovation side we did talk about what could it look like for people to have like a good everyday experience, right. So, right now there’s a couple of options for thick water so you can actually have a product that's already made or you can have the starch that you add to like your meal and then you kind of stir it and then you can have your dinner. So, we talked about like the experience, right. Now we have powder, what would it look like if we were to be able to package it a little bit differently, right? So, we had a couple of ideas that were brought up as a result of that session that were submitted to the business and hopefully we'll hear a little bit more about which ones they've kind of selected but I think that's important to kind of know how do you provide someone that has a condition a solution that is going to make their life better. So, that when they go to a restaurant, they don't have to bring out this huge can. Maybe it'll be just like a small cube or something different that they can bring. So, I think that's something that's really cool for everyone to also keep in mind and just making sure that everybody has a good experience.

 

18:10 Leveraging technology for key ERG metrics

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Yeah, that's really good insight there Sam. Really appreciate you sharing those multiple examples with the audience here. Alright, so now sort of going off that question again we're trying to really hone in on these particular conversations around ERGs providing business value and I think that was a really good example really of how the overall programs can provide sort of business value around products and things like that but then also internally how can they provide value around sort of key talent pillars and Wale, I'd love for you to sort of chime in here and when we're thinking about Talent pillars these can be things like performance, turnover, retention, promotion, grades and things like that. So, Wale, I know you have a ton of experience leveraging technology to really get to some of these key ROI metrics that you can exemplify the power that the BRGs have internally but you know sort of dovetailing off Sam's where you know that they're really focused on a product standpoint. I think it's also really important to really indicate how they're helping internally improve processes or just improve talent pillars. So, Wale, I do want you to chime in and give some examples on how you're leveraging technology, whether it's a Teleskope platform or even other tools like other HRIS or Analytics tools internally, how you couple them together to really get to some of these key ROI metrics for your organization.

 

Adewale Soluade [Centene]: Yeah, absolutely. So, one of our core priorities with our DEI office was officially established was to create sort of the most robust system of reporting that we possibly could and to that effect we got to work with our partners in our HR Information Systems groups to say we want to be able to look at sort of the full spectrum of humanity within our workforce by every dimension that technology would allow us to capture. And so we our workday company and we pulled in what they had from an attempted standpoint but very quickly realized that we needed to do some design work of our own. So, it was literally sat down and sketched out on a piece of paper here are all the things you want to see here is the functionality that we wanted to have within it. But then we started looking at well we also want to be able to look at trending and unique ways, we want to be able to forecast right everything, hey if we keep hiring a specific demographic at this rate where do we land 5,10, 15 years from now. We keep seeing this a little turnover, where do we land? So, we pulled in power BI into Tableau and started just doing some really cool stuff and you know even though they're not necessarily on this call I do want to shout out our partners there because it takes a tremendous amount of sort of business intelligence to be applied to what we're trying to accomplish in DEI and for us it very much speaks to the fact that DEI is seen as a business priority.

 

So, in the same way that we forecast you know sales or goals, we do the exact same thing as it ties to DEI. So, when we brought the Affinities platform on board as you can imagine it became important that we were able to plug the data that was come that comes out of the platform into our system and so we went ahead and did the workday integration that allows for a daily flow of insights from Affinities into Workday and Power BI platform which then allows us to basically create segmentation strategies within our EIGs. So, we can tell you know everything from the race, ethnicity, the gender, to you name the demographic we can do a cut of it based on our EIG membership and then we leverage that information and aggregate with our EIG that they go through their planning so that they're a lot more strategic in responding to theneeds of the members that join our group so for example a significant percentage of our employee network members are individual contributors which means that they have some very unique needs so that our groups can intentionally support and so having access to that data allows them to be a lot more tactical in responding but simultaneously we also want to see sort of the value that our groups are adding to ourorganization, in terms of reducing turnover, supporting advancement, right.

And so, we're able to also connect the dots in using that same data to say hey if someone has been of an Employee Inclusion Group for X amount of time, here is the difference in their internal rates for that level versus lower if someone actively participates meaning that they're attending programs which were able to track through the Affinities platform. This is what we see in terms of the difference in employee engagement scores, right. And so we're able to really leverage those insights to show the organization that hey we are helping to reduce turnover we are helping to support talent attraction and development because here's who's showing up, here's what they're doing, here's how they are contributing back to the organization. But being able to develop that really robust real time system of data leveraging what we see with our Affinities platform and plugging that into everything else that we have built on the back end through our talent management systems has been a real game changer for us as an organization.

23:04 ERG Reporting & Stakeholder Management

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Yeah, that's really insightful, Wale. And kind of a supplementary question on that is, what does this stakeholder engagement really look when you're trying to get to that level of reporting? So, obviously you have a DEI office that's responsible for getting the reporting, putting it back in but I'm sure it's not just your office that's doing this all alone, right? There might be counterparts from HRIS applications, from your CHRO Office, maybe from Brand guidelines and things like that. How that's going to impact what you're doing and recruiting, outward facing comms? So, can you give some insight into what is that real like full circle of stakeholder management look there? Because you know DEI can't just do everything on its own, right? You need other folks from other business students and things like that so can you shed some light on how that sort of worked and what that process looked like?

 

Adewale Soluade [Centene]: Yeah, so you raised a powerful point and I will tell you that the way we're supposed to be within our organization is by being very explicit that DEI does not own DEI. We are here to consult and partner with the business but everything that we do basically boils down to this we want a strategy and structure that is sustainable. Which means that it has to be embedded to and aligned with the business operations, which then means for us you know, for example, our dashboards all that created in partnership with HR Information Systems, HRIPR, Human Resource Business Partners, HR Compliance, Legal; like we literally do everything possible in tandem because it has to absolutely be owned by the business as it were, right? Like DEI is there to ensure local, there to provide subject matter expertise. But the way that it becomes an organic part of what happens within the organization is that it's all co-created, right? So, that ownership stake is there from day one, I remember you know I was at a conference that that's where I came across Affinities and I went back and the first person I called was our HR Information Systems Business Partner and said Hey I found this thing that I think we want to bring onboard. Tell me how hard it would be to implement you know I want to see what's going on, I want data this and that and they're like it would take a little bit of work but we could do it, right. We just got to plan the work right. And so, I think you know there for us there's an absolute consciousness that hey we are a co-owners, co-creators of everything and we would absolutely hate it if someone you know popped in on us and said hey I want you to do XYZ for me tomorrow versus hey can we sit down and talk collaboratively about this idea we have because we think it will deliver X amount of value in this space. Everything that we build is not just for our use, right? Most of what we build actually is for the use of others it doesn't matter if we're talking about human resources or dashboards. Yes, we leverage it as a DEI office to provide insight but the actual day-to-day utilization that is HR compliance, that's our Human Resource Business Partners, that's our executive leaders within our business units these are all platforms and resources that are created to support their ability to deliver the highest-level talent management and business operations outcomes.

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Yeah, that's interesting, when you talk about who's the actual consumers of that of that particular data. So, it's not just you looking at a dashboard and feeling great about it. There's actual real consumers in the organization that are using that for actual insights. And this is a really interesting question and I'd love to open this up just for other panelists, Jennifer or Sam, if you want to chime in on how you look at reporting? Who are the consumers in your organization around reporting? How do you liaison with them? What's the cadence of that I think that would also be incredibly helpful for the audience to hear what Ingredion is doing or what is McKesson doing? And who are the consumers of that reporting? So, Jennifer or Sam if you have anything to chime in there feel free to add. I think because I think the audience there would get a real kick out of hearing how that works in your organizations.

 

Jennifer Gamboa-Copeland [McKesson]: Yeah, I'll jump in here if you don't mind, Sam. So, reporting a component to how we measure the work that we're doing right and so when we think about the different pieces of the business that we work with, the feed into workday as Wale mentioned is critical. When you think about how you use Power BI to provide numbers and data, when we think about retention, right? When we think about promotion as well as you know we do analysis on new hires, right? How quickly do they engage, how quickly do they join an ERG, right? Where is our opportunity space there because that really does create community especially in the virtual environment that we're still in for the most part. And so I think that that are things that help us drive our business right and help create community for our employees.

 

The other piece I will share from an integration perspective is through our Employee Opinion Survey. So, we connect that as well to that data so we can understand a sentiment of employees inside of ERGs compared to the general population of employees. Areas of opportunities that we can you know take action that really are helping based off of what employees are telling us, right. And so, I think that is a really important piece as well. So, we're connected in every form or fashion from the data piece, right? I think all of us lead with data first because that's what our Leaders and Executives expect of us and so it is very important the way that our systems all work together and feed to create that kind of reporting.

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Yeah, and I can attest personally that the McKesson team is always honing in on the numbers they're always honing in on the numbers on a daily basis. Sam, anything to add on that part, on the reporting piece, analytics? How you're

Leveraging, I know you have a ton of experience even outside of Ingredion. So, even if you want to go beyond that to some of your previous experiences at Nielsen and things like that, feel free to chime in on those as well.

 

Samantha Renovato [Ingredion]: Yeah, I was going to mention for reporting specifically, too, that it's kind of what helps drive accountability as well. For our leaders I do think that that is it's very important especially when companies make public commitments. At Ingredion, we do have public commitments that we've made around gender and race and ethnicity as well. I think as far as like the different partners involved in providing visibility to the numbers, right, I think it depends on the organization's maturity. Within people analytics, as you mentioned, at one of my previous companies, I think they were very mature and they had their own people analytics department and that really helped accelerate the visibility of all of our managers having access to the data, all of the HRBPs and it was through visualization. So, it wasn't reports that they had to like filter through and navigate and I think that really helps kind of level up a company's game within D&I because then everybody can see exactly where they're at and they know exactly where they're going.

 

I think if you're earlier on in that journey, you still shouldn't be discouraged. Obviously partnering with your HRIS team and your HRBP is very important I think having those conversations about understanding not only what happened with the numbers but why it happened. I think having that partnership with HR to understand what happened within this organization, do we have an acquisition and are we having a retention issue? Did we put maybe like a new compensation planning place? I've had organizations before where you sort of an incentive was put together. They didn't see the positive impact right away but it's because it took some time for the first payout to happen. So I think it's a lot of really cool things that you can do with data and the fact that you're able to get that from Affinities and Teleskope and get it by employee it really does help kind of tie in the numbers and have more of those high level insights within People Analytics.

 

 

31:25 ERGs and Mergers & Acquisitions

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]:  Yeah, definitely and Sam, you made me think about sort of an off-topic question here. But I'd love to pose it back to Wale and sort of circle it around. So, Wale, your organization does a ton of acquisitions and things like that and all of your companies probably do. McKesson, Ingredion, things like that and so acquisitions are hard especially when you're doing post-merger integration. These things can take two years, three years but the people component of that can probably start a little bit earlier. So, Wale, if you want to chime in on, I know Centene, you're constantly probably in acquisition mode. How do you see sort of your BRGs being that sort of driver for saying hey we know the full PMI is going to take two to three years but maybe we can start integrating some folks together. Try to get at least the cultural mesh going so that way you know the rest of the PMI can be a little bit smoother. Wale, could you chime in on that I think the audience would love to hear about your experiences and how you handle that internally at Centene.

 

Adewale Soluade [Centene]: Yeah, no absolutely I would say that it gives us an opportunity to actually hit the ground running from a culture standpoint right because we've got the champions that are able to say this is who we are these are the things that you engage with one another and it's not necessarily seen as a corporate thing right because our groups are employee-driven, employee-led. So, you are getting to interact with your new colleagues right or we're getting to build new relationships and that's something that we tried and driven home sort of the point this is about deepening interpersonal relationships about how we work together better. And so, you know, if we had a recent acquisition where one of the first things we did was, hey there's no DEI framework that this organization that is joining us and we know it will take a while before you know if we get the full systems integration but guess what there is a strong appetite for what our team does, there's a strong appetite for employee networks. So, how do we get that ball rolling so that our new colleagues can

get insight into what already exists, right? They don't have to feel like they're starting from scratch or any of that. So, you know it was you know probably the second third fourth one since I've been with the organization. But it's just always cool to kind of see it start to kick in, right. And to start seeing that caption build with folks as they start to be able to tap into the personal, professional development tools that our groups have, the mentoring programs that are to that our groups want, right? And just even the networking stuff alone you know, I think it's just it's a really powerful way for organizations to show who they are as they flow through acquisitions and to build consistency across that employee experience.

 

34:20 Frontline employees and ERGs

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]:  Definitely. Really appreciate that, Wale. Alright, so now just kind of getting back on the overall agenda in terms of questions, I know one of the questions that probably a lot of the audience wants to talk about is really how do you start extending BRGs outside of sort of the core corporate population, right? Traditionally a lot of these groups were started internally with you know corporate exempt employees and things like that. Basically, folks who have email addresses, folks that are digitally connected, have digital identities but many of the companies I know all the panelists today have sort of frontline workforces, non-exempt populations. Whether that's you know Wale, with you at Centene, with your adjusters your support individuals; McKesson, Jennifer with you with a lot of your distribution fulfilment centers drivers; and you Sam in terms of manufacturing and things like that. This has been a really hot topic agenda item over the past couple years where it's like hey these groups should be more inclusive of the entire employee population. However, there are definitely there's technological challenges as well as overall legal implications and things like that that you have to address. You know on the basis of it a lot of those employees aren't digitally connected, right? They don't have laptops, they don't have corporate digital identities, single sign-on and things like that and then also there's a different legal apparatus for how they're actually employees, non-exempt populations and things like that.

 

So, Jennifer, I know you have a ton of experience doing this on the McKesson side. Rolling out ERGs to a much broader population. So, I'd love to sort of tee you up for this question if you want to give your experience with you know what did that really look like right you know there's definitely a technology component of it. Love for you to chime in on that. But then also, what did you really have to do how did you get the sign off to do that right? What were the legal parameters that you had to be with and to be able to extend out these programs to these different populations? So, Jennifer if you can chime in on that I know the audience probably represents similar companies that have those types of footprints and they really get a kick out of hearing sort of your experience rolling these programs out to those populations.

 

Jennifer Gamboa-Copeland [McKesson]: Sure thing, Maneet. And as you mentioned kind of the population that we were that we came to to realize that we needed to address more, right, was our distribution centers, our drivers, our call centers. And so, how do we engage when they don't have either access to or time to, you know, participate and engage in the ERG communities. I will share the first thing that we felt was really important was that connection piece. And so, through our ERG Mobile App, it connects directly to the Affirmity platform that what we were able to kind of gain that access, right. From a technical perspective, we do still have a single sign-on in front of it, right. So, it is a protected space but employees can download on their personal devices, right. And so, they can have access to the same information or similar information to what sits on the Affirmity platform. It allows them the opportunity to join to see announcements, events, attend events, RSVP for events and most importantly, the calendar, right. And so, as you all probably know calendaring numerous ERGs is always an issue and so the ability for our Frontline employees to have access to see when events are happening has been very important.

 

The second piece I will say is the mentoring platform. The ability to connect our corporate employees right those and wired employees who have access to computers on a regular basis were going through the pilot process of connecting with those who are not wired, right. So, distribution centers, call centers and how we can create some more of that connectivity between the two because as we found out obviously through our EOS scores, our Employee Opinion Surveys, that you know there is opportunity here, right and there is a desire from both perspectives to learn more about what the others are doing. And so, the mentoring platform also in in this application has really helped us.

 

The third component was internal and how we have made this and successful in regards to our partnership with our Corporate Communications team. And so, you know we did table tents at all distribution centers and multiple languages, set up a micro site on our internal website for distribution center leaders and Frontline leaders to be able to access the information, to download themselves and print and really share out. Also, the creation of videos, one-pagers, QR codes like all of those things that make it really simple and easy our Corporate Communications team has really jumped in to help us facilitate and share in a unified manner which is always important to all of our employees. And specifically, you know things like highlighting Heritage months, right. That's a great opportunity for frontlines to get engaged and in enjoy the community opportunities that are now becoming available since we are getting out a little more. I know you did have one question about the legal perspective, a technical perspective of kind of how we were able to do some of this and that obviously is through the protection of our single sign-on, right. That has helped us be able to get a lot of this work done but that continues to be a challenge we work on in regards to like people remembering what their passwords are and things like that that actually have to be reset by the Distribution Center manager right. And so how do we continue to educate right that's on us as a ERG Operations Team to help facilitate that.

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Definitely. I really appreciate that insight there, Jennifer and I think that really helped our audience understand where it's like hey everyone wants to sort of roll these things out but you can't like that as well I was saying you can't just kind of do it yourself, right? There needs to be marketing teams involved, comms teams involved, there needs to be just basic assets and materials that can be distributed to individuals so that they understand how they can participate in the groups, how they can actually access it and things like that. Because just rolling out a platform on its own is not going to do much good, right? but one email to out to a distribution center leader is not going to make it to where it needs to be, but if you really have that tight coordination between your teams as well as your other stakeholders. your marketing, brand, comms, legal folks, it really does sort of take that village to be able to start extending these programs out.

 

And I know our other panelists here, Wale as well as Sam, you have similar sort of makeup in terms of your organization with the corporate employees as well as sort of your frontline populations. So, if you either of you want to chime as well on how you're looking at that from your organization? What are the real drivers behind that? When did you sort of start on that particular side of the journey? I think the audience would love to hear that as well. So, either Wale or Sam, if either one of you want to go first, feel free to go ahead.

 

Samantha Renovato [Ingredion]: Yeah, I think outside of the technology, although this is in the technology as well, we have what we call our Inclusion Leads for some of our sites. So, this is a journey that we just started this year so it's still in progress. But we we are looking for our plans to have Inclusion Leads for each of our BRGs and even for those where we don't have an Inclusion Lead like Jennifer was mentioning for like the Affinity month, we do make sure to ship some swag for those to at least start the conversation, right. Because we're looking to have a lot of times these employees don't have this ability to BRGs. So, by bringing some swag they start to ask questions like oh what is this about and how can we get more information and how can we get one started here.

 

So, I think trying to be a little bit proactive and just bringing more visibility to what we have and then having the inclusion leads and they are also ones that we look to for feedback because I know from our side for example you know it makes total sense to have like a lunch and learn but for some people that are you know in our plants or manufacturing facilities you know it doesn't make sense because they it might be a better time like at 2PM when they're doing like a shift change. So, there's a lot of those

things to consider that you can learn when you talk to the people and get their feedback on what would work best for their site as well. So, still on that journey Maneet, but I'm excited to have some mental notes from what Jennifer shared as well.

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Yeah, definitely. Wale, anything to add on that on how you look at sort of your frontline populations? I know you have adjusters call center folks and things like that that need to manage plants. Wale, anything to add there from your end?

 

Adewale Soluade [Centene]: Yeah, it would actually be building on what Sam mentioned around sort of the workforce management component of it, right? Because, for example, at our Claim Centers a lot of that work is very time specific. So, we actually bring in and we've engaged our workforce management people, the folks that actually take their schedule and say hey here's what's coming, here's where we might be looking for us to create space for people to participate in things. You recognize that not everyone is going to be able to you know take an hour away from the phone or a computer or what have you but is there a way that we can schedule right, and create either a first come first serve or some sort of approach that allows people to sign up and they are scheduled accordingly. So, we've been exploring that we've been having conversations with people leaders, right, around their role as well and again facilitating the opportunity, the ability for employees to engage in what's happening so that we are able to minimize where possible the idea of I don't have time, I'm not able to, I don't have the resources. So, kind of taking everything that Sam and Jennifer mentioned right, the micro-learning, the more sort of intentional communications pieces and then actually creating the space for people to consume what’s also being built and making sure that their people leaders understand that this is as much a priority for the organization as them doing X, right, within our company.

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Yeah, and I think one of the powerful things about extending ERGs and BRG out to those populations is it does give those individual employees just a deeper purpose of connection to the overall organization. You know when I was younger, I used to work in retail for a bunch of different large retailers and things like that and when you're in those when you're in those sort of roles, you're very just focused on the day-to-day task, right? Whatever your sort of core role is you're just trying to do that and you don't really have this tie back to the overall brand, the overall corporation and things like that. But BRGs is a really good way to be able to mend that, allow them to bring their whole selves to work, and then also build more meaningful connections, right? Meaningful connections with colleagues from different office locations, different business units, on the corporate side of things and that can allow them just to have that deeper sense of purpose with the overall organization.

 

44:50 Long-term Strategy of ERG Programs | Remote Work & ERGs

 

So, we're doing incredibly good on time here. I do want to tee up one last question for the panelists, which is just about like how are you looking at long-term strategies? So, in terms of sustainability of your programs, the long-term adoption of the programs, do you plan on growing overall ERGs or sort of just growing the ones you have? How are you looking at more sponsorship of the overall program? I would love for the panelists just to shed some light on yeah what is the next 12 months all the way out to 36 months really looks like. So, both near term as well as long-term strategies of how you're seeing your programs evolve how you're looking to keep them sustainable in the organization and things like that. So, you know, Sam, I'd love to go to you first and then we can just sort of go round Jennifer and Wale accordingly. So, Sam, if you want to give some insights to the audience just about long-term strategy of your program that'd be much appreciated.

 

Samantha Renovato [Ingredion]: Yeah, so one of the things that you mentioned in your question, it was sponsorship. So, just want to call out that you know for our overall structure and I think for a lot of companies in their structure having sponsorship is very important for us. We have members that are direct reports to our CEO. We call them our ELT. So, each one of them is a sponsor to one of our BRGs that's kind of part of what is expected from our leadership. It's also part of what keeps them connected to all to our employees. You know, making sure that they know what like the day-to-day employee experiences and what some of their concerns are we also have within we call them impact teams. They also help sponsor some of the local activities that, when I mean sponsor, I mean like money, right? Because ultimately a lot of this BRGs do need some sort of budgets to help put together some of these events and engagements but they also help champion initiatives and remove barriers from them.

 

So, I think as far as what I'm thinking for long term next year or so for BRGs, there's a couple of things. So, definitely looking to expand the current BRGs that we have I thinkactivated on the intersectionalities that our BRGs have with each other is something that the BRGs doing a really great job since I've been here. In other companies that's something that needs a little bit of coaching but I think they've been doing really good here. I think also looking at the BRG leaders themselves, positioning our BRG leaders as a like a Leadership Development Program, right. So, for the business to see that these are people that are willing to go the extra mile to create a more inclusive culture and are also really great leaders. They're building on all of these other skill sets that are required to run a successful team. So, kind of going through that journey right now on what are some of the different coaching opportunities we can give them. Sort of training, networking, leadership visibility. So, we did have our second BRG Forum a couple weeks ago where we brought in similar to how you would have it with like your team, right. When you're trying to plan your strategy for next year, you don't want to be distracted. So, this is kind of like the purpose of our BRG Forum we bring all of our BRG leaders together and we have like two days where it's uninterrupted time you're here to learn to develop you as a leader and to plan your 2023 strategy so I think that's something that we're going to continue to do and hopefully once we have more of that historical information in Teleskope.

 

I know at other organizations I have compared kind of like the promotion rates for BRG leaders compared to the everyday population and we did see a difference at my other organization and the same thing with engagement. I know, Jennifer, you were talking about your engagement survey and kind of looking at the difference in those as well. So, it's kind of where we're going.

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Perfect, thanks a lot Sam, really appreciate that. Jennifer, do you want to chime in on just sort of your long-term strategy, where you're looking for McKesson to go with your BRG program? Again either near-term or long-term.

 

Jennifer Gamboa-Copeland [McKesson]: Yeah, I think we have a few kind of near-term and long-term activation that we're working through.  So, you know obviously engaging more members not only getting more members but engaging them and how do we do the measurement of that so through RSVPs and attendance and things like that. Also, you know as we pivot to more members and we are trying to come back to the office a little more frequently, right, how do we make that work right. And so, I think that's something that all ERGs are trying to work through and we'll continue to see that happen especially as the current workforce stays as is, right. So, most people are wanting to stay and work from home. If their jobs permit that and so, how do we keep people engaged in this virtual space where everyone's a square box. And so, how do we continue to do that I think is really important.

 

As well as what Sam mentioned about you know amplifying the career and leadership skills that are developed inside of an ERG and how you can capitalize on that as a business unit leader and how that can help not only in the secession planning of a business unit right but also in the succession planning of an ERG, right, which is really important. And one of the areas we'll continue to focus on is the succession planning for our Employee Resource Groups, as you know, they evolve, right, because what we are finding is that most people have been in their positions for a long time and that piece is causing burnout and less engagement and that kind of filters down. And so, how do we help with some of that as well from a DEI organization.

 

And then when we think about, you know, driving business value right that's an area that we are continuously focused on as well as what can we as ERG leaders or ERG operations team bring to our supplier diversity chain, right. So, how do we get involved in different places that really can be impactful for the business and so that's another area that we are looking to you know amplify over the next couple of years.

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]: Definitely. Alright, Wale, over to you. So long-term strategy, either 12 months out 36 months What are you all at Centene really looking at and what's sort of on your roadmap there?

Adewale Soluade [Centene]: Yeah, so, I think for us it's this evolution to a fit for purpose approach that captures some of what Sam and Jennifer talked about, right. So, what we're looking at this idea of increasingly distributed work environments. We're looking at sort of shrinking relational ecosystems, right. We're looking at this idea of greater responsibility for the employee experience within the organization. And so, how can we leverage our groups to support that as we kind of transition and move through this new environment.

 

So, we've gone from an organization where, you know, it was sort of you work from work and the pandemic hit and you know we flipped to hybrid and then we had the conversation while we'll bring everybody back but the reality was that was not something that would continue to keep on workers engaged. So, we are now a majority hybrid remote environment which means that you know our ERG members are working in these distributed work models. You know we're asking them to do more but they've also gone through kind of this sort of exhausting period of change. So, what we are now looking at on how do they deliver value, right. How do they continue to meet the needs of their members and we recognize of course that it can be either or right. It can't just be but we're doing Zoom or we're doing in person so what does a synchronous option look like to capture broader population.

 

And then you know where else can we leverage technology, right, in driving sort of impact. We think a lot about the mentoring programs that our groups run. A certain extent still kept kind of that whole matching process manual not losing the human touch but I also know that there are absolutely ways to streamline the way that works. And so, we're looking at, you know, what technology can do for us but then really doubling down on this idea of focusing our programming, right. So, how can we listen better, how can we analyze better, and how can we really commit better to given what our members are looking for in terms of why they've joined the groups. And so, we're going through a process where we want to better equip our ERG leaders. Again, similar to I think the broader conversation here where we create a system of priorities. So, we determine what our consistent priorities, we determine what are some predictable priorities, and then which things are cyclical priorities, right. Like what are the things History Heritage Month programming, that's like a cyclical priority, you're always always going to do that on a set of cadence. So, how do we plan in advance and kind of align it with business priorities because our organization you know, again, unfortunately in the society in which we exist, we provide services to the underserved and unserved in our society, which unfortunately tend to be women, people of color, children, people with disabilities. So, we have very clear opportunities to align what our groups do with our business priorities as an organization.

 

And so, for us it's really about how do we ultimately leverage our groups in making better decisions. We're not necessarily planning on creating a bunch of new groups. We are always taking feedback in and giving some thought to what might we actually need in you know the environment that we are in now. But it's truly a sort of it has to be an overwhelming need slash desire from the workforce based on the input that they provided us. We want to take the groups that we have, what we're doing and just crush it do it even better. Continue to deliver value in a way that's so undeniable from our employee standpoint that you know we can be even more intentional and authentic about what we are putting forward. And so, getting, for example, the point where we recognize the folks who are doing, not just recognize them, but reward them right and that's one of the things that I would say is on our roadmap for the future. We want to, we know that this will always be something that people do in addition to their day job, but that doesn't mean that they cannot compensate them for doing that. So, that's something that we’re really digging, trying to figure out how to make that work? So, you know, it's really for us I think that the thread to all of this is just going to be tightening the alignment of not just our employee networks but DEI as a whole to the business, into the priorities, right. Creating that sort of inseparable bond where if for some reason the DEI doesn't apply to a business or talent management process, anyone within the organization will raise their hand and go hey we are missing something here.

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]:  Yeah, definitely. Appreciate that, Wale. Alright so, I think we had a great conversation here, covered all sort of the main topics that we wanted to. Laurie, I'd love to turn it back to you just for any closing remarks, polling questions or any questions from the audience.

 

57:25 ERG Budgets

 

Laurie Stanford [Affirmity]: Okay, great! Thank you! It has been a really packed hour of great information and we have one last polling question we just want to pop up on the screen to kind of get some feedback if you're interested in learning more about our ERG software platform or if you're interested in learning more about our training. I know we are like at the very top of our hour but one of the questions I've seen kind of keep popping up from some of our attendees is around budget. If we could just quickly maybe go into you know, how do you determine you know an ERG budget and like what

mechanisms do you use for formulating the budget? Do you provide a blanket budget per ERG or are you dedicating dollars per employee or dollars per group, kind of how does that work? Do you think maybe we could cover that in the last couple minutes we have here?

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]:  Yeah, definitely. Any of our panelists want to address that particular question?

 

Adewale Soluade [Centene]: Yeah, I can share some quick thoughts. So, for us, we do fund our EIGs directly out of our Enterprise DEI budget, fund our groups at the Enterprise level and their budget is allocated based on their size. Then our local chapters, the business unit in which they sit, so our local health plans are actually responsible for funding their local chapters as well and we set what those minimum thresholds are based on size. So, we've got sort of a grid that says got this many members here's what the minimum expectation is and the leadership at that business has to agree to that before we actually place the chapter there.

 

Maneet Sarai [Teleskope]:  Gotcha. Yeah, that's great insight there, Wale. Alright Laurie, I know we're at the top of the hour here.  So, just want to thank all of our panelists for joining and Laurie if there's any closing remarks from your end feel free to go ahead.

 

Laurie Stanford [Affirmity]: Okay, great. So, thank you to all of our panel members and thank you Maneet for moderating today's discussion. So, just a quick reminder that we did record today's session so we'll be sending that out to all of our attendees within a couple of business days. Also, the session today was HRCI interim credit approved. so that information will be included in your follow-up email that you will receive. And if you think of any other questions, you can always send those into info@affirmity.com and we'll be happy to follow up with you. I know there were some questions that came in that we didn't have a chance to address. So, we'll be collecting those questions and kind of addressing those individually with some of those people. So, again, thanks everybody for your time and we look forward to seeing you on a future Affirmity webinar and thank you to all of our panelists and our moderator. Thanks everyone, have a great day.

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