D&I: Employee Resource Groups

December 19, 2019

D&I: Employee Resource Groups

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have become a vital component of Diversity & Inclusion programming for many companies. Yet, it is difficult to create effective ERGs. During this Virtual Session, Ester Neznanova discussed best practices and tools to make ERGs more efficient.

We explored how ERGs can be deeply integrated into your D&I strategy and aligned with the company’s mission and values, strategies to drive the highest value and best practices for starting, managing and integrating ERGs at different organizational levels. We also looked at ERGs from the neuroscience standpoint: how we can use them as a tool to drive inclusion and hire diverse candidates while mitigating in/out grouping.
Ester provided insights on the following:

• ERGs are part of a system intended to induce culture transformation and behavior change.
• Culture change is dependent on establishing priorities, driving habits inside the organization, and introducing the systems and reinforcing them within the organization.
• Diversity, Unconscious Bias, and Inclusion are not the same—diversity means having a seat at the table, inclusion means having a voice at the table, and bias explains why some are listened to more than others.
• Unconscious bias hinders the creation of diverse teams that make effective decisions and Inclusion enables the appropriate social decisions for diverse teams to function.
• Bias revolves around how we think, process, and filter information. To overcome bias’s effect on decisions, you need to accept that you are biased, label your bias, and mitigate it with the proper strategies.
• Inclusion programs tend to focus on differences vs. similarities and increase feelings of out grouping. Create inclusion by focusing on similarities to promote in grouping.

Some of the questions answered during the session included:

• What are the common examples of ERGs working out badly that you hear about?
• What is an example of ERG guidelines that create commonality rather than ‘in-out’ groups?

Some of Ester’s key takeaways:

• Identify your priorities and create a clear strategy around how ERGs can reinforce them
• Understand what habits your organization needs to reinforce your priorities and strategy
• Implement the right systems to support your habits

About this Summary

This briefing is for HR leaders outside of Executive Networks. The full recording, slides, and answers to the above questions are available to EN members and their teams. To request a member list, please contact Executive Networks.

D&I: Employee Resource Groups Blog

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