Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) help achieve Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) goals of companies. They are bottom-up, employee-led, voluntary groups of like-minded individuals with a shared purpose. ERGs may include people with similar demographic structures or represent individuals with similar sexual orientation or other commonalities unique to a group.
ERGs are safe spaces for employees to voice their opinions, share ideas and get a seat at the table in leadership decisions. The goals of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) include:
- Improve common aspirations like better working conditions, better promotion opportunities, etc. for particular groups within the company.
- Provide a safe space for employees to voice their opinions freely without fear of retribution.
- Create a common forum to work together on specific, important issues and build a better work culture based on the business goals of the company.
- Build allyship with other groups, especially marginalized groups within the company.
- Represent marginalized groups and be a voice of reason for their aspirations within the company.
No one talked.
The boss did not call meetings. We worked in silos thinking that everything was going on well with the world. Until, one day work became an autonomous unchallenging tryst with life itself.
A very common situation. During the mid-1990s, I worked for a boss who sat just two feet away. A very nice man but he never believed in feedback. If asked, he would shrug his shoulders and say: “You are doing just fine.”
Managerial feedback is as important as workplace harmony. As human beings, our innate curiosity makes us ask: How and Why.
“You’ve got to look into the mirror before giving feedback to others,” says Suzanne Peterson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “Giving and receiving feedback enhances your credibility,” Dr. Peterson said at a recent coaching session I had the good fortune to attend.
How many of us have asked (or rather dared to ask) direct reports about our own performance? I’ve done it and it has helped me immensely. In one instance, a direct report said: “You need to tell us clearly what you want us to do and then let go.” Translated, it meant: “Shut up and trust me with my work.” I understood clearly that trust matters.
Here are some common sense tips to improve feedback:
- Make a list of what you do once every two weeks
- Share important achievements and challenges with your boss
- When good things happen, let your boss know. This adds up during your performance review.
- Jot down key accomplishments as they will help you in your career
- Always keep an eye on where you want to go (make better lists)
- Seek feedback from direct reports and peers
- Even if your boss doesn’t respond, keep sending lists. We all know that record keeping helps.
- Finally, believe in yourself. We can improve and help others be better.