A new offering – Effective Communication for Employee Resource Group (ERG) Leaders

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), often called Business Resource Groups, are employee led groups supported by company leadership around groups with common identities. The most popular groups are women, race and culture-based groups, LGBTQA, Veterans and People with Disabilities. Over the past few years ERG efforts have expanded into groups like Mental Health and Wellness, Parents / Caregivers, Environment Awareness and more.

ERGs ideally serve both the needs of employees and the organization around DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging) initiatives. And as such they organize activities around leadership development, recruiting, community outreach, workplace culture and more.

Over the past few years, ERG support services has become one of the core areas of my DEI consulting practice, and the demand continues to grow. It’s one thing to launch an ERG, but it’s another to launch and run it successfully. I find it so fulfilling to help several of my clients launch their ERGs with an effective strategy and process, recruit and train ERG leaders, and establish best practices for their support. I also assist existing ERGs in growing and becoming more impactful.

I’m excited to share that in 2024, I am collaborating with Nina Irani Surya of UniqueSpeak Consulting, a communications expert, to design and offer communications skills training specifically for ERG leaders.

Effective communications is critical for ERG leaders working within their groups and with HR and senior leaders

Why is this so critical? Communication is one of the most pivotal make-or-break tools for ERG leaders. Successful ERG leaders need well-honed communication skills within their group as well as out to their organization’s senior and human resources leaders. First, ERG leaders need to inspire their members, who all join as volunteers, to be engaged and assist in the work. They need to lead collaborative teams and build consensus. Second, they need to communicate the needs of their constituents up and out to senior and HR leaders in a way that builds trust and gains results.

Topics in this exciting and interactive four-hour workshop will include:
· A review of effective ERG inclusive leadership
· Building skills of persuasion and building trust in relationships
· Communicating with your ERG members and leading people to action
· Communicating to executives and HR Leadership
· Additional key communication leadership skills such as active listening and addressing micro-aggressions
· Scenarios discussions and/or role plays – situations with ERG members, senior leaders and HR.

This workshop can be offered in person or virtually, and is a great follow up to the National Diversity Council’s ERG Academy.

You can download a brochure with a detailed curriculum and facilitator bios from my speaking package page, or you email me at [email protected] or call me at 919-787-7315 to request the brochure.

Navigating the Challenges of Remote Work

A nicely organized dedicated work space can really increase work-at-home productivity.

The rapid growth of remote work has transformed the way people work and do business. While the flexibility and convenience of remote work are appealing, it also brings unique challenges that individuals and organizations need to navigate successfully. This article explores the common challenges of remote work and offers strategies to ensure success in this evolving work landscape.

Understanding the Challenges

1. Isolation and Loneliness.  Remote workers often grapple with feelings of isolation and loneliness as they miss the camaraderie and social interaction of an office environment.

2. Communication and Collaboration. Effective communication and collaboration can be more challenging in remote work settings. Misunderstandings can occur, and maintaining a sense of teamwork can be a struggle.

3. Distractions and Time Management.  Remote workers must deal with a plethora of potential distractions, from household chores to personal tasks. Managing time efficiently can be a constant challenge.

4. Work-Life Balance.  Striking a balance between work and personal life can be difficult, as the boundaries between the two often blur in remote work environments.

5. Tech and Connectivity Issues.  Technical difficulties, such as internet connectivity problems and software glitches, can impede productivity.

Strategies for Success

1. Establish a Dedicated Workspace. Create a dedicated and organized workspace where you can focus on your tasks. This physical separation can help improve your work mindset and minimize distractions.

2. Set a Routine. Establish a daily routine that includes set working hours and breaks. This routine can provide structure and make it easier to maintain a work-life balance.

3. Stay Connected. Regular communication is key. Make use of video calls, team messaging apps, and virtual meetings to stay connected with colleagues and managers. Engage in both work-related and informal conversations to foster a sense of community.

Yes – managing distractions while working at home can be a challenge.

4. Manage Distractions.  Identify your most common distractions and work on strategies to minimize them. Techniques such as time blocking and the Pomodoro technique can help you stay focused and productive.

5. Set Clear Boundaries. Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. When your workday is over, log off and avoid checking emails or messages to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

6. Embrace Technology.  Invest in reliable technology and tools to facilitate your work. Ensure you have a robust and high-speed internet connection, and use project management and collaboration software to streamline work processes.

7. Self-Care and Well-Being.  Prioritize self-care and well-being. Make time for physical exercise, relaxation, and hobbies to help alleviate feelings of isolation and stress.

8. Training and Development.  Invest in training and development programs. Enhancing your skills and knowledge can boost your confidence and make you more valuable to your organization.

9. Set Goals and Track Progress.  Establish clear goals and regularly track your progress. This provides a sense of accomplishment and motivation, even when working remotely.

10. Seek Support and Feedback. Reach out to your colleagues and supervisors for support and feedback. They can offer insights, guidance, and assistance in overcoming challenges.

In the evolving landscape of remote work, successfully navigating its challenges requires adaptability and a proactive approach. By implementing these strategies, you can not only overcome the common hurdles but also thrive in a remote work environment. Embrace the opportunities and flexibility remote work offers while ensuring that you address its challenges with confidence and resilience.