Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)—also known as Employee Resource Committees or Affinity Groups—are internal, employee-led entities that pursue a shared mission. Their goals tend to revolve around members’ needs, business objectives, or organizational policies. ERGs benefit all levels of their host organization, particularly as advocation and resource-allocating instruments towards constructive change. Nevertheless, establishing a successful ERG requires careful planning. Givhero can help your organization enhance its ERGs, then track and measure its participants’ progress toward its mission and vision.
Below, we outline the steps to creating a successful ERG:
The first and often naturally-occurring step involves employees congregating around a shared interest, motive, idea, or value. Popular examples include office health and wellness, community service, exercise classes, and reading. The most successful ERGs grow out of employees’ inherent pursuits.
No matter what the shared interest involves, your group should outline a vision and mission statement. The vision will encapsulate what success looks like when your group achieves its goal. Your mission statement then defines how the group will achieve its purpose.
Next, divide your overarching mission statement into small, actionable goals. For instance, if you want the organization to be more socially responsible, investigate Givhero’s social wellness platform. ERG members can align their health and wellness programs with strategic charitable partners. Moreover, your company can donate to the charity if members complete wellness challenges. You can measure progress on both the health and wellness engagement and charitable giving through Givhero as well!
Additionally, coordinate your goals with not only members’ needs but also organizational policies and strategic initiatives like community engagement, leadership development, and DEI efforts. Doing so will encourage management buy-in and can help your ERG win executive sponsorship.
Then, guided by your mission statement and underlying goals, define guidelines from which your ERG will derive structure and organization. Outline the process of new chapter establishment, finance and funding management, meeting procedures, day-to-day operations, and election of leaders. Use your new policies to choose a leader and other facilitators.
You can attract competent leaders by designing the position as an opportunity to practice leadership skills, meet sponsors and corporate leaders, and influence the ERG's overarching mission. Leaders will find that Givhero allows them to organize health challenges and communicate with participants en masse.
In addition to leadership, ERGs must obtain an executive sponsor and establish the role's expectations. An executive sponsor’s responsibilities often include representing the group to company management, persuading other executives to support the group's objectives, and mentoring ERG members. Effective executive sponsors deliver consistent funding—if necessary—and membership growth.
Engaging executive sponsors and managerial support also extends the ERG’s reach across, and even outside, the organization. Your organization has more opportunities to promote membership, allyship with other departments and ERGs, and chances to communicate with entities outside your organization. The most effective and successful ERGs include all people, encourage the transfer of knowledge, and build upon synergies with complementary groups.
Much like any other organizational endeavor, tracking, measuring, and assessing your ERG’s progress is critical to its success. Develop key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure and report on, such as group membership, event attendance, member participation, engagement, and budget performance.
Similarly, your organization will want to monitor your ERG’s efficacy concerning corporate objectives. As mentioned above, we suggest you track progress on wellness challenge goals through the Givhero app. Doing so allows you to determine the path of future wellness challenges and the overall well-being of ERG members.
Givhero provides a straightforward, effective means to organize and track employee resource groups’ activities and challenges. Our app increases employee engagement by 50% by leveraging intrinsic motivation, such as causes, challenges, competition, recognition, and more. It also provides easy onboarding, leaderboards, push notifications, in-app rewards, integration with fitness trackers and health devices, reporting, and more. Making an effective ERG has never been easier. For more information, contact us at (240) 801-5927 or sign up for a call today.