Resources2022-08-25T15:56:41+02:00

Resources

Resources

Browse our resources to find advice and tools that help you be more effective,
proactively solve challenges, and set yourself up for success.

Browse our resources to find advice and tools that help you be more effective, proactively solve challenges, and set yourself up for success.

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ERG Playbook

Guide written by ERG leaders on how to set up an employee network.

Tools

Set of tools that provides you with templates and actionable advice.

Educational materials

Additional resources helping you on your journey.

FREE GUIDE

ERG Playbook

Are you a new ERG leader at the beginning of your journey? Or are you planning to set up an employee network?

This playbook will guide you through everything you need to know to set up your group for success.

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ERGS TOOLBOX

Discover the best tools for your ERG

#01 | ERG TOOLS

THE WHY – MAKING THE CASE FOR AN ERG

Why Employee Resource Group (ERG)? Why this specific network? What benefit will it bring? In short – why should we do it? Use this tool to explore many ways in which you can answer this question and create a compelling case that will work for your ERG.

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#02 | ERG TOOLS

EQUITABLE ERGs CHECKLIST

One thing to remember is that the core characteristic of ERGs is that they are created to support employees who face systemic barriers in the workplace and do not have fair and equal access to opportunities. You can use this tool to help you assess where you are and plan for the future.

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#03 | ERG TOOLS

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
(KPIs) FOR AN ERG

Your ERG has a mission and high-level objectives. If you find it challenging to define the success criteria for your ERG, you are not alone. Many ERG leaders struggle with establishing the right metrics. This tool will help you with that.

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#04 | ERG TOOLS

TERMS OF REFERENCE (TOR)
TEMPLATE

Terms of Reference (ToR) will set out the working arrangements for your network and list vital information.

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#05 | ERG TOOLS

CHECKLIST FOR STARTING AN ERG
FOR AN ERG LEADER

Use the checklist below to stay on top of your tasks and effectively collaborate
with many people you will work with. It will be helpful whenever you ask yourself what the next step is.

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#06 | ERG TOOLS

CHECKLIST FOR
AN EXECUTIVE SPONSOR

You have been appointed to support and champion an ERG. Congratulations! The work of an executive sponsor is key to the success of the group. What exactly is your role about?

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#07 | ERG TOOLS

ERG DAILY WORKPLACE SETUP

The daily activity of the ERG requires you to have a suitable workplace to cover various aspects the work of your
group. Depending on the organization, your ERGs may use different tools already available for free.

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#08 | ERG TOOLS

EVENT COMMUNICATION
TEMPLATE FOR ERGS

What can you do to make sure that your colleagues hear about the wonderful events your group organizes? This template will help you design event communication tailored to the three main groups you should consider.

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#09 | ERG TOOLS

FIRST TWO MEETINGS “IN A BOX”

ERG meetings will be critical for maintaining the engagement of your membership. Use this tool to help you prepare for the first meeting of your ERG and set yourself for success.

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#10 | ERG TOOLS

ERG ACTIVITIES TRACKER

An ERG leader must not only be passionate about what they do but also professional and well-organized. Use this tracker to support the planning and execution of your activities and initiatives.

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Educational materials

Webinars, conferences and articles for your ERG

Webinars and conferences:

Articles:

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English:

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more about ERG in a nutshell

What is an ERG?2021-12-08T22:09:24+01:00

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups that bring together employees who share an interest in a specific dimension of diversity. The most popular networks support women, LGBTQ+ employees, racialized employees, or specific ethnic communities. Other examples include networks based on age, ability status, parental status, religion, or thinking style.

ERGs are also known as affinity groups, employee networks, business resource groups, or people networks. These different names highlight their evolution and how ERGs serve both their members and organization.

Not all groups that bring employees together are considered ERGs. The key issue is whether the group has been historically disadvantaged and faces additional barriers in the workplace and life.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

Why do we need ERGs?2021-12-08T22:04:50+01:00

ERGs serve as a resource for their members, foster diversity and inclusion, and drive business results for the organization. Each network can have different objectives, play various roles, and bring different benefits depending on the organizational and societal context, and what the members and the organization itself need.

The key benefits for the members include shared community, an opportunity to make the workplace more inclusive, leadership development and skill-building, career advancement, and visibility. The key benefits for the organization include increased employee engagement, support in advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) goals, talent pipeline, client intelligence, business innovation, and connections to the community.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

How does an ERG fit into organizational DEI work?2021-12-08T22:06:17+01:00

If set up correctly, ERGs are an important part of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work in the organization. That includes internal work related to the people employed but also external work related to the clients and communities in which the company operates.

ERGs can help improve representation at different levels of the organization, organize mentoring and leadership development programs, or initiate policy change that benefits all employees. With regards to external work, employee networks can be leveraged in service and product development and building corporate social responsibility.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

How big are ERGs?2021-12-08T22:07:30+01:00

ERGs can be large global entities with several thousand members and a sizable budget or a local initiative with only several members. They can have a complex governance structure including a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Coordinators, different committees, Advisory Board, and Executive sponsors or they can have a leadership team, members, and an executive sponsor. It all depends on the size of the organization, how it operates, the societal context, and what the members and the organization itself need.

How are ERGs created?2021-12-08T22:08:43+01:00

Many employee resource groups are formed because people from marginalized groups ask their employers for setting up a network that would support their needs on a local level (bottom-up). The “think globally, act locally” approach works best when there are employees who care about diversity and inclusion and are supported by their leaders and senior managers.

In many organizations there is diversity and inclusion strategy and an overal strategy for ERGs which includes the business case and guidelines (top-down). The organization can either start ERGs or invites groups of employees to apply for ERG status.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

What motivates leaders to start ERGs?2021-12-08T22:09:44+01:00

ERGs are started because they can serve as a resource for its members, foster diversity and inclusion in the company, and drive business results for the organization. Each network (e.g. Generations, Pride, Veterans) can have different objectives, play various roles, and bring different benefits depending on the organizational and societal context, and what the members and the organization itself need.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

What data and information is needed to start ERG?2021-12-08T22:10:40+01:00

You need to know which diverse groups are represented and underrepresented in your organization. Also, with the help of the human resources department you can identify if a company has trouble recruiting and promoting women, LGBT+ individuals, People of Colour, working parents.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

What budget do you need to start?2021-12-08T22:11:35+01:00

Financial support is essential for keeping the ERG running. Your executive sponsor will champion your efforts to gain funding, but you and your group need to be fundraising sometimes as well. You will likely be allocated a budget by your organization, but you will need to make the officers responsible for allocating funds aware of why the funds are necessary and what projects and activities they will support.

It is also possible to operate without a formal budget but you will need to rely on the time, experience, creativity, and competencies of your members and employees in your company.

For more information see ERG Playbook >>

Who is an executive sponsor?2021-12-08T22:12:57+01:00

An executive sponsor is a senior-level executive appointed to support and champion ERG. They provide strategic advice so an ERG can align their goals with the organizational goals, and they build support for the activities of the network.

An executive sponsor is a key channel for communicating ERG’s mission, goals, and progress to other senior leaders. They can be a catalyst for the growth of your network and a connection to sustained funding, business relevance, and impact.

An executive sponsor can be assigned by management or chosen by the ERG members. Their main responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring alignment of goals and direction with an overall business strategy
  • Serving as a public advocate and the enabler for the ERG
  • Influencing other company leaders to support the goals of the group
  • Building connections between ERG and key organizational stakeholders
  • Helping ERG obtain the budget and other resources
What are the main challenges related to leading ERG?2021-12-08T22:14:12+01:00

The role of ERG leader brings challenges like any other role in the business or personal life. The main challenges include:

  • The low number of people who want to join an ERG to actively participate and make things happen
  • Members engagement and an ability to successfully motivate members
  • The workload of ERG members in their business role if a percentage of their job is not allocated to their work in the ERG
  • ERG leader’s burnout if their role is not properly supported, compensated, and recognized

Some of those challenges are in the area of the influence of an ERG Leader. Others, for example, the workload of ERG members or the lack of support and recognition from the organization, are mostly not and need to be addressed on the organizational level.

What kind of relationship do you have to build and maintain as an ERG leader?2021-12-08T22:16:45+01:00

Effective ERG, as part of the organization in which it operates, needs goals, plans, structures, communication channels, and KPIs that are monitored. Above all, it needs relationships with key organizational stakeholders. The ability to build and maintain good relationships is one of the most important competence of an effective ERG leader. They need to build and manage relationships with:

  • ERG members
  • Senior management
  • Middle management
  • HR department
  • D&I team
  • Executive sponsor(s)
  • other ERGs in your organization

These relationships are of different kinds and can be formal or informal. For more information see ERG Playbook >>

How can an ERG support your career development?2021-12-08T22:16:21+01:00

Being an ERG leader allows you to interact with senior executives, build connections with different stakeholders, increase your visibility in the organization, and develop many leadership skills. Here are examples of competencies that you will get to develop and/or practice as a part of your role:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Relationship management
  • Managing others
  • Project management including budget management
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Negotiations skills
  • Other business skills e.g. vendor management, external communication

These competencies are a part of requirements in most of the job descriptions for more experienced roles.

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Inclusivity means not ‘just we’re allowed to be there,’ but we are valued. I’ve always said: smart teams will do amazing things, but truly diverse teams will do impossible things.

Inclusivity means not ‘just we’re allowed to be there,’ but we are valued. I’ve always said: smart teams will do amazing things, but truly diverse teams will do impossible things.

Claudia Brind-Woody
IBM

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