• Employee Resource Groups: A Strategic Business Resource for Today’s Workplace

      Casey, Judith C. (Boston College Center for Work & Family, 2021-11)
      Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have existed in organizations for more than 40 years. In the past 5 years, however, ERGs have evolved from network- ing groups that promote diversity and inclusion to become key contributors to business strategy and operations. In our current global economy, multicultural competency and understanding is critical for business success. ERGs can utilize employee knowledge and expertise for talent management (recruitment/retention of diverse employees); to create culturally sensitive product development, marketing, and customer service as well as supplier diversity; and for building an inclusive and engaged workforce. ERGs are known by various names including affinity groups, employee networks and diversity councils. DiversityInc found that organizations often use the word “resource” to reflect the benefits of ERGs to the business mission, approach and outcomes. Welbourne, Rolf & Schlachter (2015) suggest that the term “business resource group” will be used more in the future to emphasize the benefits of ERGs to both employees and organizations. In this Executive Briefing Series, we will use the term Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). A 2011 Mercer report of 64 employers found that the average membership rate for ERGs was approximately 8% of the total global employee population ranging from less than 1% to over 20%, depending on the organization. The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) indicates that 90% of Fortune 500 companies have ERGs.
    • Taking a Stand: One EAP’s Journey to Anti-Racism, Cultural Relevance & Bridge Building

      Board, Nancy (EAPA, 2021-04-01)
      In November 2018, I joined the Washington State EAP as its Clinical Services Manager, with responsibilities for developing and managing the quality of our contracted EAP provider network. The network was comprised of licensed mental health professionals, most of whom worked in private practice. Early on I recognized the lack of racial diversity of this network and considered that our network demographics likely did not fully represent the demographics of our workforce, as just 12% of our contracted providers identified as non-white. I wanted our services to be inclusive, representative and accessible to everyone and looked to target at least 25% representation with Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) / multi-cultural, multi-faceted providers within a year. I believed this goal was achievable since I had successfully built an EAP provider network in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region encompassing 18 countries. I also vowed to learn more about our current providers as individuals, review their practice specialties and build a strong working relationship with them.