Each month, Epoch brings together employee experience leaders to share learnings, compare notes, and lean on each other! This month’s roundtable was focused on Employee Resource Group Leads and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging practitioners. Scroll down to see key takeaways from the conversation!
TLDR: To encourage members to promote events, consider involving them in the event planning process to create a sense of ownership. Building a robust online community using platforms like Slack or social media can facilitate easy event promotion and discussions. For example, creating a shared playlist with songs that everyone likes can foster engagement. Try a collaborative playlist on Spotify! Interactive activities like games and quizzes (virtual or in-person) such as guess the song or bingo can also draw participation from members.
TLDR: Measuring engagement within ERGs is especially important within remote work environments. One way to do this is to pull engagement metrics from Slack which provide insights into which posts resonate with employees. It’s important to focus on transformational metrics rather than transactional. This means that instead of looking at the amount of clicks a post has gotten, try to discover what about that post that caused it to receive more traction. For example, employees are more likely to engage with photos. Epoch’s content feature can also help with this!
TLDR: One creative approach is the use of Figma templates that create "team trading cards" featuring pictures and descriptions of team members. These cards can be invaluable for helping colleagues get to know each other, especially in a remote organization where face-to-face interactions are limited. Additionally, organizing gift giveaways or baskets can add an element of fun to remote work and strengthen team bonds.
When it comes to special occasions like holiday events, ensuring that the virtual experience matches the enjoyment of in-person gatherings is key. Planning and attention to detail can make all the difference in creating memorable virtual events.
Furthermore, asynchronous events have proven to be highly effective at one company, offering a wide range of ways for people to engage with ERG programming at their convenience. These include virtual scavenger hunts, virtual cookbooks, and even virtual volunteering opportunities.
Lastly, having an executive sponsor can significantly boost event attendance. Their presence and support can attract more participants and lend credibility to ERG initiatives, ultimately helping to create a more connected and engaged remote workforce.
TLDR: The shift from telling to listening has become vital, with organizations actively seeking and valuing employee feedback. Some companies have introduced 'Photo Friday' on platforms like Slack to foster a sense of connection as employees share snapshots of their lives. Encouraging open and inclusive community discussions has created a space for employees to chat about anything, while also involving them in event planning.
The cultivation of a welcoming environment and the adoption of company-wide initiatives like 'Culture Hours,' where each Employee Resource Group takes responsibility for an hour, have significantly boosted engagement. Addressing any potential pushback from disinterested employees is done by making participation easy, avoiding scheduling conflicts, and securing executive buy-in. Effective communication through well-crafted emails further boosts these strategies.
TLDR: One approach, adopted by a company, allows employees to allocate 10-15% of their objectives or time to personal well-being and work-life balance. With a global company, some meetings might happen for employees at inconvenient hours. In response, another company has shifted ERGs to be led by regional coordinators instead of role-based leaders.
It’s also crucial to document employee hours and achievements, ensuring that they receive the recognition they deserve for their contributions. To manage workload and prevent burnout, a company can encourage bringing in additional support when necessary.
In line with the 'less is more' idea, the focus is on delivering 1-2 high-quality events per ERG, resulting in a streamlined and manageable calendar. Investing in leadership training courses for ERG leaders who may not hold managerial roles can also help nurture leadership potential within the ERGs themselves.
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This meeting focused on engaging event ideas, measuring ROI, and budget justification.
This meeting focused on balancing virtual, in-person, and hybrid events and exciting culture initiatives.