TZL 1376 (web)



ERGs to get your people involved to make changes from the heart of your organization, rather than being imposed from the top down. Why have an employee resource group?

D oes your organization have a diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) initiative? Do you have an employee resource group? If you don’t, you are missing a golden opportunity to better your firm and incorporate the voices of your employees. Our DEI&B initiative began in the summer of 2018. We started our ERG about six months later. This has been a hugely beneficial experience for us as a firm, and we’ve learned so much throughout this process.

Wendy Culver

Here are some of the steps we’ve taken that have helped us successfully create a meaningful ERG. ❚ ❚ Create a team. One of the first things we had to do to make this work was create an employee group to help champion this huge, ongoing program. We knew that if we didn’t get our employees involved and excited about DEI&B, the initiative would not succeed. We also knew that these initiatives must be supported by leadership and championed by the employees themselves. The initial intent of the ERG was to have an all-employee, no-manager group consisting of representatives from each of our 30- some offices. ❚ ❚ Get employee buy-in. We learned from experience that the best path forward for any initiative is creating buy-in from the employees. We’ve done this several times with great results. For example, our

employee engagement survey results had follow- up action plans, all developed by the employees. We also conducted an exercise to formalize our values statements; this group was made up entirely of employees without any management involved. Using these experiences as a model, we put out a companywide call asking for volunteers to help us get the ERG off the ground. ❚ ❚ Establish a mission. Once we had our initial members, we needed to have a discussion about what this initiative should look like at our firm. We then followed up with two in-person sessions to discuss DEI&B in general, establish the group’s mission, and develop ideas for how to move the initiative forward.

See WENDY CULVER, page 4


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