Clarify Your ‘Why:’ Plus 4 More Steps to Starting an ERG

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This post is the third in a four-part series that honors Mineral’s month-long celebration of Pride and simultaneously educates and informs organizations to be stronger allies, advocates, and supporters of LGBTQ+ employees year-round. The series features several Mineralists as they discuss what Pride means to them through the lens of the Mineral mission to “elevate teams every day.”

Employee resource groups (ERGs) have emerged as powerful platforms for fostering diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) within workplaces. As organizations strive to create inclusive environments where employees can thrive, ERGs can play a meaningful role in promoting employee engagement and supporting underrepresented groups.

However, starting an ERG requires careful planning and execution to be successful for both the groups they represent and the business as a whole. Here are five key lessons we learned while launching a LGBTQ+ ERG at Mineral:

5 steps to successfully launching a workplace ERG

1. Find your “why.” The first lesson we learned is the importance of defining a clear purpose and goals for your ERG. Without a well-defined mission, an ERG can easily lose focus and fail to generate meaningful impact. Start by identifying the specific group your ERG aims to support and understand their unique needs and challenges—within the workplace and in society at large. Establish goals that align with overall business objectives to create a roadmap for achieving them. By articulating a clear purpose and goals, you can ensure that your ERG remains focused and delivers tangible results.

2. Identify your leaders. Successful employee resource groups require dedicated leaders who are passionate about driving positive change. Identify individuals who are passionate, enthusiastic, and authentic messengers for the ERG’s mission and are willing to take on leadership roles. These leaders should possess strong communication and organizational skills to rally members, facilitate discussions that bring forward difficult questions and issues, and drive initiatives forward.

3. Align your allies. In addition, it is crucial to cultivate allies throughout the organization. These are people who may not identify personally as members of the community your ERG supports, but are passionate supporters of its mission all the same. Strategic allies to seek out are supportive senior leaders who can get involved—and encourage others to get involved as well—in your ERG’s activities. Supportive allies can provide valuable guidance, resources, and perspective to make your ERG as well-rounded and inclusive as possible—which in turn helps break down barriers, enhance credibility, and increase the impact of your employee resource group.

4. Cultivate collaboration. Employee resource groups are most effective when they foster collaboration and create opportunities for employee engagement. Encourage members to actively participate in ERG-related activities, such as workshops, panel discussions, and networking events.

Provide platforms for open dialogue, where employees can share their experiences, concerns, and ideas. Collaborate with other ERGs or departments to host joint initiatives, promoting cross-functional engagement and diversity of thought. By creating a collaborative and inclusive environment, your ERG can build a strong sense of community, empower its members, and drive positive change across the organization.

5. Maximize your resources. Launching and sustaining an employee resource group requires access to resources and support from the organization. Seek sponsorship and endorsement from senior leaders who can advocate for the ERG’s initiatives and allocate necessary resources. Ensure that your ERG has the tools to support its activities. Leverage existing training courses (whether internal or external) to further enhance the impact of your ERG. By actively engaging with the organization and leaders, you can maximize your employee resource group’s potential and overcome any potential barriers.

Starting an ERG is an exciting journey that requires careful planning, strong leadership, collaboration, and ongoing evaluation. By establishing a clear purpose, cultivating leaders, fostering collaboration, leveraging resources, and measuring impact, your ERG can become a driving force within your organization and beyond to your broader community.

The post Clarify Your ‘Why:’ Plus 4 More Steps to Starting an ERG appeared first on Trust Mineral.


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