As organizations strive to foster diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within their cultures, employee resource groups (ERGs) have emerged as valuable assets. These groups provide community and support for underrepresented employees while contributing to an organization's success.
The Rise Journey recently published a report that shares ERG benchmarks and successful strategies. Highlights are detailed below to help HR, people operations and other business leaders empower their ERG leaders and drive meaningful impact.
1. Align ERGs with your organizational vision.
Companies should treat ERGs as integral to their DEI efforts and overall culture. Additionally, ERG leaders should be encouraged to integrate their goals with broader organizational objectives, fostering a sense of purpose and unity.
- Ensure ERGs are aligned with your organization's mission, core values and strategic goals.
- Treat ERGs as integral to the company's DEI efforts and overall culture.
- Encourage ERG leaders to integrate their goals with broader organizational objectives, fostering a sense of purpose and unity.
2. Recognize + reward ERG leaders.
Recognizing the contributions of ERG leaders through rewards, professional development and growth opportunities fosters motivation and retention, helping ensure their continued dedication to driving meaningful impact.
- Acknowledge ERG leaders' hard work and dedication by providing recognition and rewards.
- Compensation is not mandatory for ERG leaders, but recognition is.
- Focus on developing ERG leaders as "high potentials" within the organization.
- Offer professional growth opportunities (like Electives Membership), mentorship programs and visibility within the company to motivate and retain ERG leaders.
3. Foster strong ERG sponsorship.
By encouraging the presence of sponsors who advocate for and empower ERG leaders, organizations can facilitate collaboration and amplify their impact within the company.
- Encourage ERG leaders to have sponsors who advocate for their groups and push boundaries.
- Sponsors can provide guidance, support and opportunities to help ERG leaders amplify their impact.
- Foster relationships between ERG leaders and influential leaders within the organization to promote collaboration and visibility.
4. Establish well-defined ERG metrics.
Metrics tailored to the maturity level of ERGs allow organizations to track their success through indicators such as membership, event participation and community service initiatives, providing tangible evidence to secure resources and support for future ERG endeavors.
- Implement metrics to track the success of ERG programming and initiatives.
- Metrics should align with the maturity level of the ERG, focusing on membership, event participation, community service initiatives and more.
- These metrics provide tangible evidence of ERG success, helping secure resources and support for future endeavors.
5. Leverage internal tools + resources to support ERGs and their leaders.
Organizations can leverage internal tools and existing technology to track ERG goals and impact while considering software solutions for streamlined data collection.
- Utilize existing internal tools such as human resource information systems, applicant tracking systems, Excel or Google Sheets and learning management systems to track ERG goals and impact.
- Explore software options to streamline data collection and measurement, particularly for larger organizations.
- Maximize resources such as API connections or Google Dashboards to consolidate ERG-related data and generate comprehensive reports.
Empowering ERG leaders fosters diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Empowering ERG leaders is crucial for fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. By aligning ERGs with organizational goals, recognizing and rewarding ERG leaders, and providing strong sponsorship, business leaders can enhance the success of ERGs and their impact on the organization. Establishing clear metrics and leveraging internal tools will enable HR leaders to track progress and support ERG initiatives. As HR, people operations and other business leaders prioritize DEI efforts, these strategies will contribute to a diverse and thriving workplace.
(Note: The information in this article is based on a recent survey report by The Rise Journey. Click here to download the report.)
Start conversations. Encourage transformation.
Electives can help your ERG leaders by streamlining the planning, curation, administration and measurement of DEI programs. We help ERG leaders create safe spaces for difficult DEI conversations. Our live learning experiences help teams understand unique experiences, perspectives and challenges faced by individuals from different backgrounds.