Employee Experience Roundtable | June 2022 🌟

Employee Experience Roundtable | June 2022 🌟

👉 Structuring Sustainable ERGs

TLDR: With all the employee time required to upkeep and sustain different ERGs, setting up a formal process to promote the success and sustainability of ERGs is crucial. Consider formalizing a process surrounding ERG creation which includes a set number of initial members, executive backing, mandatory communications channels, funding/stipend options and a planned event schedule for the year. Additionally, consider allowing employee leads within ERGs to name their own ERG according to what resonated with the group and within the larger company values. Here’s some more tips to creating successful ERGs! 

Many larger companies have made the creation of a new ERG a formalized process. This process must include a set number of members and their different roles (e.g., a leading member, 5-10 active members, an executive sponsor etc.). There is also financial compensation/a stipend for all leading and active members of an ERG. 

Other mid-sized companies have found success when formalizing rules surrounding ERGs. A few of their rules include:

  • If you’re re-establishing a preexisting ERG, or creating a new ERG, you will receive $20k in funding for the year for events, promotion etc. 
  • To receive this funding your ERG must include 5-10 members, one specializing in finance/treasury, two ERG chairs, and the creation and upkeep of a Slack channel. 

Whether you’re re-establishing the presence of preexisting ERGs or creating a formal process to build new ERGs, consider the marketing and communication materials needed to highlight the presence of this employee group. 

  • Opt to create a customized logo and custom swag for each ERG they support. 

If you’re struggling with an inclusive and company specific name for your ERGs here’s a few recommendations:

  • Communities
  • Inclusion Groups
  • Encourage folks to name their own ERGs (i.e., AAPI ERG, Rainbow ERG etc.)
  • Keep it themed and centered around what employees are normally referred to (i.e., employee nicknames) 

👉 Sustaining DEI Initiatives All Year 

TLDR: DEI programming should be an important part of the fabric of any company. Ensuring this is the case requires consistent acknowledgement and programming from different ERGs throughout the year in addition to spotlights during particular months. Another way to sustain DEI initiatives throughout the year is to maintain executive involvement in these programs and fund employees that want to do the work. Remember, culture takes time to change!

Below the surface, it can be helpful to understand what the term allyship means to your company when it comes to showing up for and representing employees from different communities. 

  • Given AAPI and Pride are all year round, think through what your company is doing throughout the year to support different employee groups.
  • Consider partnering with DEI and internal communications teams to understand and formalize what the current understanding of DEI is and where the appetite to scale out education and events that highlight marginalized employee groups lies. 

One way to tackle highlighting different ERGs is to mandate events be held consistently throughout the year. This way each ERG is spotlighted during a particular month out of the year, but can also gain recognition throughout the year. 

Other companies found funding and support from leadership to be a great motivator for ERG groups to host more consistent events. 

  • Fund the people that want to do the work.
  • Getting leadership involved can help make sure DEI is embedded into the fabric of the company.

Most companies mandate each executive join an ERG. If you’re struggling with have executives engage with ERGs and take part in DEI initiatives consider:

  • Culture takes time to change. Sometimes it’s a fake till you make it. Executives may not be willing to give their time right away, but if DEI is an important part of your company culture habits will slowly have to change.
  • Try to match different executives up with different ERGs based on their interests. It’s tough to pitch an executive on an initiative for positive change that they’re not entirely passionate about or don’t understand. Aligning ERG and executive interests can create a more sustainable and engaged partnership for DEI programs. 

👉 Handling COVID Outbreaks After a Large Offsite

TLDR: Given the current state of the world, larger in-person events are once again possible, but these events come with the potential risk of spreading the virus among employees. To limit this possibility factor in extra COVID logistics into your event planning such as sending employees antigen tests and having them continuously test and report their results both pre and post event, mandate vaccines for employees that attend in-person events, aim to host events outside, and take care of employees that do wind up getting sick. Planning larger scale, in-person events comes with new risks, acknowledge these risks and understand some things are simply out of your control, no matter how many precautions you incorporate. 

While the world is slowly opening up, planning larger offsites requires a new layer of health and safety COVID precautions. A new aspect of planning larger in-person events is acknowledging the fear and pressure to put on an event where COVID outbreaks may happen.

 If you’re considering hosting any large or small in-person event here’s a plan to help layer in health and safety precautions for employees:

  • Send all employees who are to attend the event COVID tests before and keep track of results in a Google form or Envoy.
  • For larger events consider having employees test every day both one week before and one week after the event to maintain a high degree of precaution.
  • If employees are traveling for an in-person event consider mandating both negative COVID tests and proof of vaccinations both prior and post travel.
  • If possible, try and host your event outside.
  • Provide support for employees that do get COVID during an in-person event. Consider helping them arrange housing options to isolate if needed, or arranging food options.
  • Post event, when employees return back into the office, have COVID tests at the office and ensure employees are testing before coming in. Read more about this in our Return to Office Guide!

Lastly, understand the risks and that some things are out of your control. COVID is a public health issue and hosting company wide, in-person events is a risk that could result in some employees getting sick. By putting in place preventative measures you are doing the best you can to prevent the virus.

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