Encourage Employee Resource Groups to Leverage Social Media

Top companies are leveraging social networks to share best practices, increase productivity and promote their brand internally as well as externally. In addition, organizations are leveraging internal networks to unleash a new theology of solving problems, executing with agility and creating an innovative culture.   Employees view a newsfeed from their groups and connections, plus they can participate in secure private groups to discuss certain topics and share files etc.

Employee Resources Groups Drive Business Objectives

Over the last 10 years, Employee Resource Groups or ERGs have evolved from being social or affinity groups to goal-oriented drivers of innovative business solutions. ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that serve as a resource for members and organizations by fostering a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with organizational goals, objectives and business practices. Over 90% of Fortune 500 companies have one or more ERG. Many companies leverage ERG talent to create go-to market campaigns that capture cultural nuances of targeted demographics. ERG members help new employees to adjust to the workplace culture as well as in their new communities. Most importantly, ERGs are a vehicle for professional development and offer members stretch assignments to display their talents.

Social Media Creates Unique Engagement

In large geographically dispersed organizations, ERGs can leverage social to enable dispersed workers to connect and collaborate and become think-tank type groups that directly impact business. It allows the voice of the employee to surface and promotes ideation.  For example, ATT’s Asian Pacific Network deploys social to crowd source ideas, connect affiliate chapters across the globe and unleash the power of diverse thinking to influence the new ground-rules that will define the workplace of the future.  The Hartford’s LGBT ERG is using their enterprise social network to promote an “Ally Campaign” across the country. Many companies allow access to internal social networks via mobile devices so that employees can post real-time updates and photos. They’ve found that social is an effective lever in creating engagement because it creates a “sweet spot” at the apex of push and pull. Next month, Diversity Best Practices is hosting an event in NYC on June 17th to highlight how to use social media to connect ERG to employees, customers and businesses and generate new program ideas and tools. Check out the 2014 Network and Affinity Leadership Congress (NALC)  for more information.

Are your ERGs leveraging social to communicate and collaborate with their members?  What innovative ways are they using social to conduct campaigns or support your corporate brand? I look forward to your comments.

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Lisa Bonner

Lisa Bonner is an experienced change agent and Senior Vice President with Roberts Golden Consulting. She helps global Fortune 500 companies solve organizational issues and manage major changes to drive achievement of bold business objectives. Lisa is passionate about football, fitness, decorating and raising twin boys. Connect with Lisa.


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