With the environment of the Great Resignation and labor shortage, companies are struggling with employee attraction, retention, and productivity. Not only do employees want opportunities to participate in social good at work, they want to know that their employer cares about the issues that matter to them. So, it is critical to ensure your social impact initiatives are influenced by voices from across your employee base. Now is the time to understand how leveraging employee resource groups (ERGs) can positively contribute to your company’s DEI work and shape your workplace giving and volunteer programs.
What is the connection between ERGs and DEI?
ERGs and DEI go hand in hand. Since employee resource groups are made up of largely underrepresented members in the workplace, they have a special interest in diversity, equality, and inclusion challenges at the workplace. Many of these members have experiences and insight they can share, both good and bad.
How ERGs help shape DEI policies
Because of the work that ERGs do to voice concerns and boost influence for underrepresented groups in the organization, ERGs present strategic means for developing DEI in organizations. Some of the improvements employee resource groups offer DEI are:
- Growing cultural awareness
- Developing positive relationships
- Enhancing communication effort
- Creating an environment of equal value
- Promoting psychological safety
And this comes from employers listening to what ERGs say and developing policies and initiatives that address the concerns brought to their attention. When companies take action to change company culture, real improvements can happen, including boosting giving and volunteering programs.
How can employers leverage ERGs to amplify their giving and volunteering programs?
Increasingly, people want to work for organizations that share the same values that they believe in. This stems in many ways from the social awareness brought on by events and movements of the last few years. ERGs can be a valuable asset in an organization’s journey to establish programs that matter to their employees and to engage those employees in those programs.
Since many ERGs can be broken down into specialized groups, including professional development groups, affinity groups, diversity resource groups, and volunteer groups, companies can reach out to these members to learn more about what is affecting them and how the company can offer support. Additionally, your organization can intentionally include your ERGs in your process for establishing employee programs, such as workplace giving and volunteering, to ensure diverse voices are heard and included.
Volunteer resource groups, in particular, are a vital resource for companies because they already have a shared passion and a hand in giving back. Businesses can partner with this group to learn about their volunteer work and get introductions to community organizations.
By learning what is important, employers can develop giving and volunteering programs that show shared values, increase employee morale and boost productivity.. Once you’re ready, ERGs can be engaged to motivate their members, colleagues, and employees across the company to participate in your organization’s social impact initiatives.
Bonus tip: Plan events to honor the diversity of your employees. Check out our blog about our Cultural Awareness Day.
How companies can improve their giving and volunteer programs
To build a foundation for success, your organization can provide an easy-to-use platform that enables employees to donate to their favorite charity and, to maximize engagement, includes employer matching. Add on opportunities for employees to volunteer with causes or nonprofits dear to them and motivate more volunteer hours with a Dollars for Doers program.
If you would like to learn more about how you too can utilize your ERGs and boost your giving and volunteer program, contact us today.