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Chezie ERG Summit Recap: Unleashing the Power Within - Leveraging ERGs for People Outcomes

October 17, 2023
4 min. read

The future is always a hot topic. Everyone wants to guess about what’s next. Whether for a competitive edge, for adaptation, or for the sake of knowledge - planning for the future is something that everyone equally wants in on.

Greenhouse, a software for people who love people. Hosted by an outstanding panel, this session touched on how to leverage ERGs for positive people outcomes and the future of work. Retention, engagement, and development can all be linked to effective ERGs. So how do you build an ERG to a level that benefits people's outcomes?

Listen to the experts: Donald Knight (Chief People Officer), Ariana Moon (VP of Talent Planning and Acquisition), Jamie Adasi (Head of IDEA - Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Allyship), and Will Leahy (VP of People Development and Business Partners).

Highlights of the Session

This session was hosted by 4 key members of Greenhouse's People Team. Greenhouse is a hiring software company that helps businesses make better, fairer, and more confident hiring decisions. As a company focused on people, Greenhouse understands how Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) relate to people's outcomes.

Donald Knight, Chief People Officer of Greenhouse Software, led his team in a discussion on the importance of ERGs in the future of work. Despite the challenges faced by DEI leaders, Knight emphasized that ERGs play a vital role in fostering inclusion. He encouraged DEI practitioners to stay committed to their goals, as the future of work will undoubtedly include their efforts.

The panelists shared their thoughts on how to effectively start ERGs and integrate them into a company's culture. They emphasized the importance of leadership commitment, planning, and data-driven approaches to ERG development. Ariana Moon, Head of Talent Planning & Acquisition, pointed out that ERGs should be more than just social groups, and should be tied to an organization's overall strategy.

Here are some of the ways Greenhouse’s team suggests leveraging your ERGs:

  • ERGs as Catalysts for Inclusion - ERGs are instrumental in creating a sense of inclusion within the workplace. When employees can bring their complete selves to work, it fuels creativity, innovation, and a collaborative atmosphere.
  • ERGs as Drivers of Employer Brand - In the modern job market, employees seek organizations that reflect their values and offer an inclusive environment. Companies that embrace diversity and support ERGs are more likely to attract top talent.
  • ERGs as Feedback Loops - When companies fail to meet their inclusion and diversity goals, ERGs serve as a vital feedback loop. They provide insights into areas requiring improvement, ensuring the organization remains committed to fostering an inclusive environment.
  • Selecting ERG Leadership: A Thoughtful Process - Selecting the right leaders for ERGs is crucial. Greenhouse implements a structured process for identifying and appointing ERG leaders. This process ensures that the leaders are dedicated, passionate, and genuinely committed to furthering the group's objectives. These leaders also represent diverse voices and backgrounds, creating an inclusive leadership team.
  • Measuring Impact and Accountability - Tracking the impact of ERGs is essential. Greenhouse employs data-driven methods to assess engagement, belonging, and effectiveness. By gathering feedback from various communities, the organization can monitor psychological safety, identify areas that need improvement, and measure success.
  • Leadership Buy-In - Leadership buy-in is crucial for the success of ERGs. To gain support, it's vital to showcase the Return on Investment (ROI) of diversity and inclusion initiatives. ERGs directly contribute to enhanced innovation, creativity, and profitability. McKinsey's research indicates that diverse companies outperform their counterparts by 36%.
  • Challenges Faced by ERGs - ERGs often encounter challenges such as verbal commitments from leadership that fail to translate into tangible actions. To address these challenges, it's essential to establish accountability mechanisms and provide regular reviews to ensure alignment with company values and mission.

Key Points

The Power of ERGs in Fostering Inclusion

ERGs are the heart of our organization, creating spaces for employees to bring their whole selves to work." - Ariana Moon, VP of Talent Planning and Acquisition at Greenhouse

Ariana Moon emphasized how ERGs serve as the foundation for fostering inclusion in the workplace. They provide employees with a supportive community where they can be their authentic selves, driving creativity, innovation, and a sense of belonging.

The Crucial Role of Data-Driven Accountability

We use data to measure the impact of ERGs and gather feedback from our communities to ensure we're making progress." - Jamie Adasi, Head of IDEA at Greenhouse

Jamie Adasi highlighted the importance of data-driven accountability in the success of ERGs. By collecting feedback and monitoring key metrics, organizations can effectively assess the impact of these groups, ensuring that they are fulfilling their objectives.

The Business Case for Embracing ERGs

Diverse companies outperform their counterparts by 36% - it's not just about doing the right thing, it's about profitability." - Will Leahy, VP of People Development and Business Partners at Greenhouse

Will Leahy stressed the business case for embracing ERGs. Beyond the moral imperative, diverse and inclusive organizations are more profitable. Research shows that diverse companies outperform their peers, making ERGs not only about fostering a welcoming environment but also a strategic move to drive success and innovation.

ERGs play an important role in shaping the future of work. Gen Z and future generations will be the most diverse population yet, and they deserve to feel safe and included in their workplaces. The future of work is diverse, and ERGs will be more important than ever.

As businesses embrace diversity and inclusion, they not only foster a more inclusive work environment but also drive innovation and profitability. This session encourages DEI practitioners to measure the impact of their ERGs, plan strategically, and use data for continuous improvement. This session is an inspiration to begin thinking about the future of ERGs, for employees, for business, and for all.

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