Employee Resource Groups Vital to Corporate Diversity & Inclusion Efforts
Employee Reosurce Groups or Business Resource Groups (ERGs/BRGs) are more important than ever to help drive diversity and inclusion in corporate environments.
Over the coruse of the last eight years companies have continued to cut back on corporate diversity efforts by reducing headcount and funding to departments. Many companies have taken the diversity efforts out of a direct reporting line from the CEO and Chief Human Resources Officer and placed it under the talent management organization or another area like social responsibility. With these shifts and reductions of funds the role of ERGs/BRGs, which tend to be volunteers, has grown expotentially.
ERGs/BRGs not only serve as advocates for change but can help to drive employee engagement by giving employees a voice to help surface policy and and practices that may not be aligned with corporate values.
ERGs/BRGs also can help shine a light on natural leaders who might get overlooked by traditional corporate programs designed to identify high potential employees. ERGs/BRGs play a critical role in serving as company ambassadors at recruiting events, community activities, mentoring and reinforcing the company's initiatives around diversity.
Some groups have helped to onboard employees who are new to the company while others have helped to improve the company's ability to hire diverse talent. A few companies who have long standing ERGs/BRGs which have successfully helped to create an inclusive work place include:
* Shell Oil
* National Grid
If you are looking to start an ERG/BRG check out D&I Creative Solutions' resource page (www.dicreativesolutions.com) for a copy of a free four page document on ERGs/BRGs to help guide you through the process.
Some nonprofit associations that have launched low cost to no cost training programs for ERGs/BRGs include Ellevate Conferences, Catalyst, and Ascend.