Events are a major piece of employee resource group planning. They give employees an opportunity for professional development, boost employee satisfaction, create networking opportunities, and much more. As employees participate in events, it boosts the employee experience and develops a strong company culture.
Here are 6 ways to make your erg events more impactful.
Providing an agenda for your employee resource group events helps members get an idea of what to expect. It also helps your ERG leadership team better structure your events as they get a timeline to align with as the event progresses.
One additional benefit of sending an event agenda is that it helps minimize the doubts from skeptics. As Maceo Owens of OpenTable/Kayak puts it, there are always going to be people that are dubious of the impact of ERGs and diversity as a whole. These people will question why the company puts budget toward inclusive environments.
"If you have an event without an agenda, it could make people think that all of your events are simply for social purposes and disorganized."
Here's a sample agenda for a one-hour ERG event:
When scheduling events, you should have a rough idea of how many people will attend so you can figure out if additional communications are necessary.. For example, at a company with 500 people, a company-wide event for Women's History Month should garner about 75-100 attendees. Before your events start, be sure to check how many people have signed up, and, if available, who specifically has signed up. If you notice that the signup count is low, consider sending an email or Slack blast to remind people about the event.
If you have the information available, check to see what breakdown you have for in-group v. ally participation as well. So, if you're hosting an event for your black employees or employees of varying sexual orientation, knowing how many in-group members are joining helps you sway the event towards being more community-focused vs. education-focused.
Depending on your email client (Gmail v. Outlook), you probably already get some sort of reminder notification for any event on your calendar. However, it's still a good idea to send an event reminder to people 10-15 mins before the event starts. This serves two purposes:
The best way to boost engagement for your ERGs is to create a sense of FOMO. You need to market your ERGs the same way that your company markets its product. You can do this authentically by taking pictures of your events. If you're still transitioning back into in-person events, consider taking screenshots of the Zoom meeting and sharing those screenshots in your company's newsletter, in your next all-hands, and/or in the Slack channel for your Group. If people see that members are having fun at your events, they'll be more enticed to participate in the next one - remember, you want to create a sense of FOMO.
Gathering feedback on your ERG events is the best way to make sure that you improve with time. You can use a very simple NPS survey form to gather feedback. The best way to gather that feedback is to drop the survey link into your meeting with about 5 mins left (or, if you're in-person, provide people with a QR code that they can scan to access the survey).
As a case study, one company in the EdTech space hosted 2 events for its Parents ERG via Chezie. When they distributed their Chezie feedback survey, multiple people commented that they wanted to receive the agenda ahead of the meeting:
Seeing this feedback, the Parents group shared the agenda ahead of its next event, and got this feedback:
As you can see, the agenda gave members insight into what to expect, making it easier for them to prepare and ultimately get more out of the meeting.
Repetition in your events will likely lower burnout. We don't recommend Groups host regular monthly "check-in" events because it dilutes the ERG's brand and plays into doubts about the company's commitment to diversity. You want people to think that all of your ERG events are special, and if the agenda is the same every meeting, it's easier for members to say to themselves "ah, I'll just catch the next one."
Event frequency is totally up to you and the bandwidth of your ERG leads. Whatever frequency you choose, make sure that it's one that you can maintain with fresh ideas for each event. If you want some suggestions for ERG events, check out our database or suggestions for ERG events.
ERG events should build on each other; everyone should be slightly better than the last. Make sure to use these six suggestions to make your events more memorable for your ERG members!
If you're interested in learning about how Chezie can help you run better ERG events, book a demo!