Ask Catalyst Express: Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)Apr 24, 2018
“How can Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) be business-focused?”
Many ERGs have evolved from purely social groups to entities that are closely aligned with business goals and career development. ERGs today typically work on recruitment, retention, career development, and skill-building. They address issues in the workplace, develop client and business opportunities, expand cross-cultural and global understanding and by reaching out to communities, build corporate responsibility. Unlike other types of groups, many ERGs align themselves with the business goals of the company.
To ensure their business focus, ERGs should do the following: create a strong, organization-specific business case; develop a mission statement, objectives, and guidelines; identify the group’s leadership and membership structure; determine specific areas for activity that are relevant to the group’s constituency; create metrics to track effectiveness; and report regularly to the executive sponsor, D&I Office, and/or HR.
Catalyst ERG Resources
Implement and Maintain ERGs
- The Catalyst Guide to Employee Resource Groups Supporter Exclusive
- CVS Caremark Corporation—Supporting The Diversity Mission Through Colleague Resource Groups Supporter Exclusive
Excerpt: Colleague Resource Groups (CRGs) were initially designed as networking groups, with an early focus on facilitating internal connections, annual engagement survey scores, and community service. Over time, the scope of the groups’ purpose and activities expanded and with that came a change in nomenclature from “networking groups” to “Colleague Resource Groups.” The intention of the re-naming was to reinforce the new value proposition of the CRGs: that employees, and therefore the employee groups, are a resource to the organization and its leaders in driving business results. CRGs are strongly connected to the four pillars of CVS Caremark’s diversity mission: workforce representation, colleague engagement, talent systems, and marketplace diversity. A group cannot become a recognized CRG unless it submits, and gets approved, a business plan that addresses all four pillars. To facilitate this process, all groups are provided with a business-planning template to demonstrate how their CRG is going to support the four diversity management mission pillars and help the company execute its strategy successfully.
- General Mills Inc.—Success Through Employee Networks Supporter Exclusive
Excerpt: The networks have been in place for up to 12 years, and their goals have evolved from informally creating a sense of connection and community to providing developmental opportunities for members and contributing to strategic organizational goals.
- ERLI: Employee Resource Leadership Initiative Supporter Exclusive
Engages and connects Employee Resource Group leaders—for any demographic—across companies, industries, functions, and regions to share ideas and practices while learning how to amplify inclusion.
Other ERG Resources
- 7 Ways to Enable Your Employee Resource Groups into a Powerful Advancement Platform Forbes
- The Business Benefits of Resource Groups DiversityInc
- Employee Resource Groups that Drive Business Jennifer Brown Consulting
- What’s Next for Employee Resource Groups? Association for Talent Development
See “ERG Evolution: Affinity Groups to BRGs.”
- Progressing Towards Success—Maximize Your ERG for Business Impact Jennifer Brown Consulting
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