March 18, 2024

Crafting ERG SOPs to maximize impact | Monique Jackson (Gusto)

Monique Jackson, currently serving as the Chief Diversity Officer at Gusto, is responsible for driving the organization's RISE strategy and incremental change by leveraging data and fostering cross-functional partnerships throughout the company. In this episode, we explore the structuring of ERGs, the importance of setting clear objectives, and the impact of sincere dialogue in fostering a genuinely inclusive environment. Monique emphasizes Gusto's approach to utilizing these groups as a vibrant aspect of their overarching DEI strategy, ensuring they serve as champions of change without solely bearing the burden of DEI objectives.

Monique Jackson Bio

Monique Jackson is currently the Chief Diversity Officer at a people platform tech startup that supports Small and Medium Businesses. She drives strategy and incremental change leveraging data and cross-functional partnership throughout the company. In this role, she marries the depth of data with the power of the employee experience to create programs, process improvement, and impactful partnerships that ensure DEI is embedded into the entire employee life cycle in a scalable way.

Before this, Monique has led operational excellence and rigor in retail, non-profit, and real estate while simultaneously staying committed to the professional and personal development of Black and Brown communities. Before Gusto, she led a global Employee Resource group at WeWork that reflected the entire diaspora of experience for people of color through directing strategy and belonging programs across the global organization. This in partnership with leading Workplace Experience in the Tri-State area provided the runway to drive change and inclusion through a strategic lens.Monique has leveraged her passion for numbers and people to drive inspiring conversation, which has contributed to creating honest, adaptable, and inviting company cultures.

Monique holds an MBA from the University of Florida, a B.S. in Accounting from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and has received a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace certificate from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business. She also is an IDI Qualified Administrator and an Elite Member of Black in HR. She moves with purpose and lives by the words of  Dr. Seuss “The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more you that you know, the more places you’ll go”

Key Takeaways

  • While it’s important for ERGs to be incorporated into the broader organizational DEI strategy, since they play a crucial role in fostering inclusion and equity, it is important to remember that they are not the sole components of the strategy. This ensures that ERGs are part of a larger, cohesive effort towards diversity and inclusion and does not place all responsibility on ERG leaders and members to do this work, particularly since these are voluntary positions.
  • Providing ERGs with structured guidance and clear goals significantly enhances their impact. By providing a framework and metrics for success, ERGs can align more closely with the company’s overarching DEI objectives, leading to more meaningful contributions.
  • Feedback and communication play a critical role in reinforcing the effectiveness of ERGs. Establishing open channels for discussion and feedback allows for continuous improvement of ERG initiatives, ensuring they remain relevant, impactful, and aligned with the company’s DEI strategy.

In this episode, we cover:

  • (00:30) Diving Deep into Gusto's ERGs with Monique Jackson
  • (02:18) The Role of ERGs in Gusto's DEI Strategy
  • (05:01) Strategic Alignment and Goal Setting for ERGs
  • (08:21) Measuring the Impact of ERGs on Inclusion and Equity
  • (12:06) Engaging ERGs in Company Policies and Benefits
  • (14:55) The Critical Role of Structure in ERG Success
  • (17:58) Celebrating Diversity Through Affinity Groups
  • (18:51) The Importance of Clear Programming and Communication
  • (19:27) Creating Inclusive Spaces with Intersectionality
  • (21:40) Strategic Planning for Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
  • (25:06) Operationalizing ERGs for Impact and Inclusion
  • (28:34) Communicating Changes and Expectations to ERG Leaders
  • (30:59) Advice for DEI Practitioners on Implementing SOPs

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