HOW ERGS STRENGTHEN COMMUNICATIONS AND CONNECTIONS AS COMPANIES RESPOND TO CORONAVIRUS

Proactive organizations are leveraging the power of employee resource groups/business resource groups (ERGs/BRGs) to play pivotal roles in strategies to strengthen communications and connections with workforces dispersed by COVID-19. 

A new survey of Diversity & Inclusion leaders by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) found three critical functions ERGs/BRGs are taking on: 

  • In 37% of organizations, ERG/BRG leaders are helping monitor the emotional well-being of group members
  • Also in 37% of firms, leaders are surfacing needs and concerns of group members, who may represent older workers, those with disabilities, or other employee populations
  • In 34% of organizations, ERG/BRG leaders are being asked to help keep their employee community members connected and engaged

Leveraging ERGsBRGs during COVID-19

Some ERG/BRG leaders also are stepping up to help ensure that group members receive company communications related to their organizations’ COVID-19 responses, and others are coordinating connections with members of their communities who may be able to contribute helpful skills or resources—such as language translations, support with child- or eldercare, aid setting up virtual workers, and the like.

 Because diverse employees may face unique challenges beyond those encountered by the general population during times of economic and societal volatility, the survey explored several other relevant topics.

Surveyed D&I leaders responded to queries about their efforts to help employees who have school-aged children or others who rely on them for care. And amid potential concerns that female employees could find themselves bearing disproportional responsibility for that child or dependent care, the poll found indications that is, in fact, occurring. So far, only 10% of organizations are trying to help mitigate that pressure.

 In asking about generational friction in workforces arising from calls for social distancing, the research found tensions are emerging in about a quarter of represented organizations.

 Download the full survey results —due to the current global health and productivity crisis affecting everyone, i4cp is making all related ongoing research publicly available.

We also encourage you to visit i4cp.com/coronavirus for other employer resources including discussion forums, next practices, useful resources, and more.