So, What is an ERG?
An ERG is an Employee Resource Group whose function is to develop pools of diverse, talented employees who can function productively in the global workplace. ERG consultants assist major companies with domestic and global presence with business models that exemplify related industries, competition and a comparative position of companies' sizes.
How to Sell an ERG to C-Suite
Upper management is comprised of a body of decision makers who fashion company policies and procedures related to hiring and Human Resources (HR.) The challenge for Human Resources is to implement policies and procedures in a balanced employer/employee relations design. In its most basic form an ERG formulates a picture of the existing employee base and can show deficits in terms of the diversity required in hiring to meet today's global market demands and companies' major areas of business operation. To sell an ERG to top management, the ERG professional should understand each business's general operatives in context with ERG structure. Funding is always a hard sell to top management. Thus, to sell an ERG, top management must have visible proof of the worth of ERG to their customers, product development, government policies, marketing and overall diversity in terms of race, gender and culture.
The ERG Template
Historically, large retailers globally may have been the first to understand the impact of employee diversity. The earliest traders in history gave impetus to the need for diverse regions of trade. As the Industrial Age dawned, the prominence and support for diversity continued to evolve.
The ERG template consists of creating diverse groups within business and then, extending diversity outward to include customers and suppliers. ERG can become an internal business network that produces greater effort and results in issues that matter to customers and trade in general.
The ERG Patchwork Quilt
Within every business, there should be a modicum of diversity among employees in order to create a patchwork quilt of many colors, cultures and ethnicity. ERGs present an opportunity for companies to view this diversity on a broader level. For example, by focusing a business's ERG group on the needs of a Hispanic or African American community, a deeper link to products, jobs and by association, the global trade communities is formed. The impact is an extended international market into countries on the cutting edge of new developments in education, technology and science.
Top Management and ERG Groups
While many in top management may be reticent to adopt an ERG, once the value of a well designed ERG program is seen in financially lucrative terms, selling an ERG is less difficult. It's important to match the business's financial investments in employees and customers to the Employee Resource Group formulated. The benefit of an ERG lies with more diversity of ideas and thoughts on various aspects of business operatives, policies and procedures. Another lesser known benefit is creating an ERG that blends internal business diversity with associated businesses. Linking employee diversity and products borne of that diversity captures more interest among business associates.
Which Employee Resource Groups is a Good Business Fit?
Each company must decide which ERG is a good fit for their business due to the encompassing nature of diversity based on the current employee pool. HR should implement and evaluate the effectiveness and potential of an ERG for business growth. The strategies used that are likely to fail are those that are least inclusive. These fail do to lack of diversity. The best ERG strategies incorporate the elements of diversity in staffing, consumers and suppliers. HR can play a greater role by focusing more attention on hiring practices and policies.