Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): Ask Catalyst ExpressAug 08, 2022
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
- Catalyst: Your ERG Resource Center: Strengthen your organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives with effective ERG programs and resources to help align ERGs to business goals.
- The Catalyst Guide to Employee Resource Groups Supporter Exclusive
- Boston Scientific: Accelerating Progress for Women by Creating Equal Opportunities for Growth Supporter Exclusive
Employee Resource Groups play a critical role in the Boston Scientific initiative. All of them have been involved in impacting the strategy and implementing new programs and processes. ERG chapters exist in regions around the world and, with approximately 8,000 participants, these groups have an in-depth understanding of employees’ needs across many geographies and demographics. Every year, Boston Scientific makes a significant investment in supporting its ERGs with resources, sponsors, and even toolkits and guides on how to launch and lead a successful ERG. The presence of ERG Leads on the Global Council for Inclusion means that they have direct access to senior leaders and can provide members with insights into organizational strategy. These ERG Leads also receive critical visibility opportunities that advance their own careers and compensation for their additional responsibilities with the ERGs.
- Barilla: An Italian Family-Owned Company’s Journey to Global Inclusion Supporter Exclusive
ERGs are formed by employees for employees—and once they get involved, they become more engaged and benefit from increased visibility and access to leadership opportunities. Membership in ERGs is open to everyone, including those who work in plants; Barilla’s 15 ERGs have over 1,300 members worldwide. Each ERG has coleaders and one or more executive sponsors who work closely with the D&I Board to ensure that ERG plans are aligned with the company’s global priorities for increased inclusion, share the perspectives of the larger D&I community, and monitor progress. Employees described participation in the ERGs as a passion project; these groups are launched by dedicated individuals in each region and reflect the most pressing concerns of employees working in those areas. The ERGs have also played a critical role in generating professional development training.
- RBC: Speak Up for Inclusion Supporter Exclusive
Bottom-up input arrives through employee efforts, including the activities of 41 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that boast more than 27,000 members around the globe. ERGs are open to all employees and operate both as regional and platform-specific groups. They collaborate, share best practices with one another, and advise senior leaders, the Diversity Leadership Councils, and the Diversity & Inclusion Centre of Expertise. ERGs also provide development opportunities to employee leaders. All these factors have made them a primary source of grassroots D&I efforts, and RBC encourages ERGs to create new programs and initiatives to drive change at a local level.
- Building Impact Across Women’s ERGs Supporter Exclusive
- Driving LGBTQ+ Inclusion During the Disruption: The Strategic Advantage of ERGs Supporter Exclusive
- The Need for Employee Resource Groups Supporter Exclusive
- Supporting Hispanic & Latinx Leaders Through ERGs Supporter Exclusive
- 5 Ways Employee Resource Groups Are Helping During Covid-19
- Busting Myths About ERGs, One Resource at a Time
- What Happens When Men Join ERGs That Aren’t “for Them”
Other ERG Resources
- Employee Resource Group/Business Resource Group Resources Disability:IN
- The Key to ERG Impact? Moving from Council to Coalition Diversity Best Practices
- 2022 Employee Resource Group Trends Leadership Briefing: The Great Reformation ERG Leadership Alliance
- How to Form a Mental Health Resource Group Harvard Business Review
- A Study of the Structure and Operations of Employee Resource Groups Salesforce
- 4 Ways to Maximize ERG Engagement in a Hybrid Work Environment Seramount
- The Evolution of Employee Resource Groups, Forward Trends, and New Solutions Snowden & Associates
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