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.
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.