In the corporate world, most organizations have defined their vision, mission, purpose, and proposition. But only an organization which is a Great Place to Work FOR ALL, would have been able to translate that desktop background into a lived experience. Employee Resource Groups have been a critical angle of a inclusive workplace structure that has helped numerous organizations effectively drive actions to further their D&I agenda.
What are Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)?
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups whose aim is to facilitate a diverse and inclusive workplace. ERGs have evolved from being small employee support networks to a group of Champions who implement and provide bottom-up feedback about actions taken in the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy.
We had a chance to host People Leaders from 3 large organizations in the country; Priyanka Anand,VP HR, APAC, Ericsson India Ltd., R Rajnarayan, VP and CHRO, Titan and Harshvendra Soin, Global Chief People Officer, Tech Mahindra. These leaders spoke about 3 foundational elements of any
- There is a need for affiliation among employees,
- Employees feel the need to contribute at a large scale or community; and
- People intrinsically want to make a difference.
In their experience the key tenets to maing ERGs successful are:
- Senior leaders understand how the groups efforts align to business needs
- ERGs are given absolute accountability and responsibility with minimal intervention and maximum endorsement from the management;
- They are equipped with necessary resources and financial support, and governance structures to report progress/ lack-of the same.
Few other D&I Best Practices outlined by the three organizations include
- Ericsson India Ltd: Ericsson has unique programs that serve different talent levels – FUEL, ASPIRE, and ALTITUDE, for enabling and developing women in the workforce. FUEL provides a platform for fostering technical talent at the entry-level. ASPIRE is a career enhancement program for the middle level, and ALTITUDE helps identify competent women for Leadership positions. Ericsson has a platform for anywhere and anytime learning to help employees stay relevant with new skills and required competencies.
- Titan Company Ltd: Over the few decades, Titan has penetrated a diverse customer base and simultaneously identified the need for diverse employee groups. This assimilation with their business model has helped their leaders and managers consciously facilitate inclusive behavior within the organization to cater to the needs of their team members.
- Tech Mahindra Ltd. – Tech Mahindra has a presence in over 100 countries with an intentionally diverse and globally inclusive workforce. Tech M has formed multiple employee resource groups globally, which carry out cross-cultural engagement activities. Along with gender identity, Tech M has diverse initiatives and progressive policies to include people with different sexual orientations. Tech M also has programs for different generations, such as reverse mentoring and Young CEO that provides a platform for staying relevant and acquiring new skills.
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