Blog Post

Fostering Inclusive Workplaces with the ERG Guidebook

By Katie Oertli Mooney and Stefani Murray
June 17, 2024

In today’s rapidly evolving DEI landscape, creating inclusive workplaces has become a top priority for organizations. Employee resource groups (ERGs) are one of the strongest tools an organization can implement to foster an inclusive workplace for all.

To support this mission, Capri Holdings utilized their partnership with Seramount to adapt our ERG Leadership Handbook (2017). The result was the launch of the first ERG Guidebook on behalf of the Mitigating Bias in Retail Charter, hosted by Open to All.

This new resource offers a comprehensive and practical resource to help companies establish and expand their ERGs. The Guidebook is full of case studies about supporting organizations with hourly, frontline, and warehouse employees dispersed across a variety of global regions.

This blog will highlight five reasons why the Guidebook will help any organization, especially those with frontline workers, foster DEI initiatives and demonstrate the importance of valuing every ERG within an organization.

The Guidebook offers best practices and tools for:

1. Addressing Unique Challenges:

The Guidebook recognizes that ERGs play a crucial role in addressing unique challenges faced by individual employee groups. Whether it’s hourly workers, distribution center employees, or other types of frontline workers, the Guidebook provides insights on adapting ERG activities to address their specific needs.

2. Building Strong Organizational Structures:

A key aspect emphasized in the Guidebook is building strong organizational structures to support ERGs. By establishing executive leadership teams and defining clear roles and responsibilities, companies can ensure that ERGs have the necessary support to thrive and to mitigate ERG leader burnout, which is crucial, as these leaders often volunteer time for these roles.

3. Developing Accountability Metrics:

Measuring success is essential when it comes to DEI initiatives, especially ERGs. The Guidebook outlines key performance indicators and metrics that organizations can use to effectively track progress toward their diversity goals. By aligning ERG outcomes with business objectives, companies can demonstrate tangible results to stakeholders and other leaders.

4. Engaging Executive Sponsors:

An engaged Executive Sponsor is critical for successful ERG implementation. The Guidebook offers strategies on incorporating business objectives into ERG activities, thus encouraging participation at ERG meetings and events while gaining support to identify how ERGs align with the overall mission of the organization and its broader DEI strategy. This resource also highlights how sponsors can significantly contribute to fostering an inclusive culture.

5. Planning Successful Events and Programming:

Events are at the heart of active ERGs as they provide opportunities for connection, raising awareness, and engagement among employees from diverse backgrounds. The Guidebook includes event formats, guideline templates, budgeting tips, promotion strategies, and case studies showcasing successful events organized by a wide range of ERGs.

The ERG Guidebook serves as an invaluable blueprint for organizations striving to create inclusive workplaces through effective ERG programs. By providing actionable, step-by-step approaches along with tools such as templates, case studies, and best practices from industry leaders like Capri Holdings, the Guidebook empowers companies across various industries to more deeply integrate ERGs into the business case, support their ERG leaders and Executive Sponsors, and offer opportunities to every employee to get involved.

This resource is designed not only to benefit individual employees but also to contribute toward creating cultures of belonging where everyone can thrive. If you would like to learn more about the first iteration of the ERG Guidebook, how Seramount can help support your organization’s ERG efforts, or becoming an Open to All member, you can watch the on-demand webinar ERGs: A Retailer’s Strategic Advantage or contact us.

About the Authors

Katie Oertli Mooney
Managing Director
Headshot Stefani Murray
Stefani Murray
Marketing Specialist