Create an Impact

ERGs are believed crucial in creating more inclusive, inviting, and nurturing opportunities for its members. As an outcome, active members provide and gain support from one another, allowing them the sense of belonging that can elude an organization without the keen focus that ERGs bring to the table.

Built on the concept of “strength in numbers,” ERGs are better equipped to highlight areas of need in shoring up an organization’s policymaking, bringing challenging issues to light, creating growth opportunities, and heightening employee engagement.

Companies can leverage the power of ERGs in their DEI strategy by paying close attention to what employees are seeking. Aligning DEI with ERGs can foster inclusion, improve diversity, and promote an external impact. Potential employees may include these factors in deciding where to work. Current employees looking for a purpose in their vocation might look to ERGs to feel included before jumping ship.

It’s not enough to form an ERG; they must be effective in their goal. Evaluate ERGs based on these criteria:

  • Does management support the ERGs?
  • Does leadership recognize concerns brought up by the ERG and take steps to address agreed upon critical issues raised?
  • Do the ERGs build community among employees or create division?
  • Does leadership support the advancement of members of each ERG?
  • Are employees who lead ERGs unequivocally recognized for their roles?
  • To what extent, in the event, any financial support is provided by the organization?

Based on these answers, look at how ERGs and management interact and how they can work together for a common goal.

ERGs can contribute to a company in many ways.

  • A diversity of perspectives helps in crafting more inclusive and effective policies and practices.
  • Employees who join ERGs feel heard and valued, resulting in increased motivation and dedication to the organization.
  • Executives can draw on the ERGs’ insights to inform strategic decision-making.
  • Top management can look to ERGs to identify opportunities for improvement when facing organizational challenges.
  • ERGs can foster leadership development in the organization.  Mentorship opportunities can be nurtured with active leadership involvement, paving the way toward more diversity in leadership positions.
  • ERGs can enhance an organization’s cultural competence.
  • Embracing ERGs and promoting inclusivity positively impacts brand reputation.  This can affect the bottom line in dealings with consumers and suppliers and attracting new talent.

Yet just because ERGs can contribute to a company, to what extent do they succeed, and what might be getting in the way?