Employee Resource Groups that Drive Business


Published on

Published in: Business, Technology

Employee Resource Groups that Drive Business

  2. 2. CONTENTS Company Directory 3 From The President 4 Introduction 5 About The Analysis 7 Part 1: What Are ERGs? 9 Part 2: Case Studies 13 Product Development 15 Marketing To External Customers 17 Marketing To Employees As Customers 19 Government Relations And Policy 20 Human Resources 22 Recruitment and Retention 23 Professional Development 25 Global Development 27 Community Outreach 29 Cultural Assimilation 31 Supplier Diversity 32 Part 3: Best Practices to ’Next’ Practices 33 Conclusion 37 Acknowledgements and Contributors 37 Contact Us 382 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. COMPANYDIRECTORY Best Buy 29, 30 Cisco 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 25, 27, 37 Colgate-Palmolive 23 Cummins 16, 24 Deloitte 24 Duke Energy 29, 30 Ford 16 General Electric 20 Intuit 10, 21, 31 Johnson & Johnson 31, 34 Macy’s 17, 18, 29, 32 Nationwide 19 Prudential 18, 23, 24, 25 Wellpoint 22 Wells Fargo 5, 25 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 3 Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. gain critical skills, contribute unique insights on business objectives, and become part of a sustainable community that inspires loyalty to the company. FROM THE ERGs will help counter the increasingly missing connection and sense of significance experienced by employees in today’s workplace. My friend and PRESIDENT colleague Andres Tapia, chief diversity officer at Hewitt Associates, says the world today is not in fact ‘‘flat”, but rather ‘‘upside-down.” Employee isolation in an increasingly virtual, global, chaotic work environment can have real economic consequences. As companies strive to cut costs, economize office space, and take advantage of global efficiencies, additional investment must be W made to help ensure that a diversifying employee ith one question, the power population feels connected and valued. ERGs allow employees to contribute to business goals of ERGs hit me. It was and find rewarding career paths. the height of the recent Of all the factors influencing this conversation, recession, at a well-attended ERG ‘‘Generation Y” and its values are demanding conference. During a large debriefing the most self-examination by organizations. session, the conversation turned to As companies struggle to adapt outmoded structures and programs to an incoming ERG budget cuts. I asked the group, workforce that is not only younger but also ‘‘How many of you would do the work exponentially multicultural, ERGs are of critical you do for your ERG, even without a importance. Representing the promise of budget?” Almost everyone’s hands diversity in the new economy, ERGs are best positioned to channel this incoming momentum went up in the air. toward core business alignment. If people are This was the moment when the potential of ERGs a company’s most critical asset, in the coming really crystallized for me, but I had sensed this years, the value proposition of ERGs will become vast, relatively underutilized, and underappreciated unmistakable. commitment before. A ‘‘Generation Y” friend at The companies included in this study are leaders in a Fortune 50 company recently shared with me this shifting dynamic. Cisco’s sponsorship of this that his primary loyalty at work is to his ERG, project demonstrates its commitment to leading rather than to the company. He is not alone. Many this real-time transformation, and supporting employees are getting, through ERGs, leadership the larger community of employers of choice. We development and networking opportunities that are honored to collaborate with such a leader in would not be possible in their jobs. Despite this, helping to shape the workplace of the future. today’s managers tend to be more concerned with face-to-face time and keeping employees at Regards, their desks than they are with encouraging and rewarding participation in ERGs for the business value it brings. This is not only unfortunate, but shortsighted from a business perspective: Jennifer Brown, ERGs present an opportunity for employees to CEO, Jennifer Brown Consulting4 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. “Moving the needle on diversity should begin and endwith [Employee Resource Groups]. They create businessvalue, employee engagement, talent development andcustomer insights.” — Steve Larson, Team Member Resource Groups Program Manager, Wells Fargo ERGs are asking to take part in meaningful business conversations. Cisco, for example, evaluates managers based on their ability to strategically use ERGs. Leaders are charged with CTION rallying a diverse workforce toward common RODU business goals and creating a comfortable INT environment in which new ideas can flourish. Companies such as Cisco that understand the value of ERGs can potentially reap benefits on multiple levels. In distilling the scores of ways in which ERGs are critical to supporting successful businesses, two overarching areas emerge: talent and innovation. Today, corporations are having difficulty findingT talent. At the same time, they are not taking here has never been a better advantage of available ‘‘Generation X” workers, time for companies to get nor are they addressing the fact that minorities to know their Employee are fast becoming the majority. Minority workers, a group that will be mainly comprisedResource Groups, or ERGs. of ‘‘Generation X” and ‘‘Millennial” employees,Previously thought of as social will shift to the majority, accounting for most of the net growth in the workforce over the next 20outlets for race- and gender-based years.workplace communities, ERGs — To be successful in the global marketplace,just one of many names given companies must develop genuine talent poolsto these networks, and the one that mirror the business environment of todayused throughout this paper — are and the future. Potential employees trust and can relate to ERGs members with whom they sharenow indispensable to companies affinities. Company recruiters should be activelyoperating in an increasingly global, looking to their ERGs to help tap into niche talent markets and identify future leaders. Once diversebudget-conscious marketplace. talent is on board, ERGs can assist in keepingMore and more, we are seeing innovative employees engaged. With globalization comes aorganizations engage their ERGs. Simultaneously, geographically dispersed, more virtual workplace EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 5 Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. from which employees can easily become the primary examples of how Cisco is becoming disconnected. ERGs, which by design are focused a DNO is their Boards and Councils. These cross- on loyalty and affinity, can help build ties and functional groups are brought together to push inspire commitment. Companies must involve decision-making down within the organization, these groups in order to hold onto their most supporting efficient, multiperspective thinking precious assets, and position themselves to take from parties that traditionally have not been quick advantage of the next market turn. involved on this level. Multidisciplinary, global, diverse yet inclusive, Chambers told Fast Company, ‘‘The Boards ERGs are models for organizations of the future. and Councils have been able to innovate with They are cross-functional by nature, and they tremendous speed. Fifteen minutes and one have intuitive knowledge about emerging week to get a [business] plan that used to take markets, due to their cultural awareness, as six months.” well as contacts and credibility with these populations. Cisco is one company that is looking ERGs already resemble these Boards and to the future, and has acknowledged the outdated Councils, as they are cross-functional and nature of top-down decision-making, as senior organized around affinity and functional management does not have all the answers. diversity, rather than traditional hierarchy. As Cisco Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Chambers a result, they are further influencing Cisco’s has recently been speaking about a new concept evolution to a DNO. Innovation in a global called the Dynamic Networked Organization marketplace requires businesses to make (DNO). DNOs are collaborative organizations built decisions and adapt to change faster than ever on a culture of shared goals that deliver both before. By empowering ERGs, companies can act innovation and operational excellence to capture quickly and nimbly, and shorten their important maximum value from market transitions. One of business cycles. ERGs must demonstrate their value proposition so that they can be taken out of silos and embedded throughout the organization. Companies must look at their old ways of doing business and take advantage of missed opportunities. It is only through honest self-reflection and commitment to change that organizations will be able to access the untapped innovation that already lies within.6 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  7. 7. IndustryComposition Industry Composition ABOUT Utilities: Gas and Advertising, Electric Marketing Semiconductors and Other Engineering, Electronic Construction THE Components Financial Data Services ANALYSIS Retail Food Consumer Products Professional Health Care: Services Insurance and Managed CareJ Motor Vehicles Health Care: and Parts Pharmacy and Insurance: Property Other Services ennifer Brown Consulting (JBC), and Casualty a strategic workplace consulting firm, has partnered with Cisco to Company Sizehelp move its ERGs toward greater Company Sizebusiness alignment. (Number of Employees) (Number of Employees) 1,000-JBC and Cisco co-developed a Progression Model > 250,000 4,999 5,000-to allow individual ERGs to assess their activities 9,999along a unique continuum developed specificallyfor their organization. To help inform this work, 10,000-Cisco asked JBC to conduct a first-in-kind 24,999benchmarking analysis, compiling best practices 100,000-for positioning and maximizing ERGs. 249,999The focus of ERGs can vary greatly amongorganizations, and often, even within a singleorganization. To capture some best practices,JBC conducted one-on-one interviews withindividuals who had oversight of or connection to 50,000- 99,999their company’s ERGs (see page 3 for a complete 25,000-49,999list of participating companies).ERGs profiled in the case studies include the following:• Hispanic/Latino • Veterans and Military • Middle East and North Africa• Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Personnel • Asia and Asia Pacific Transgender (LGBT) • African American • Indian• Disabilities • Women • Generational EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 7 Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  8. 8. Participants shared details about their ERGs, ERGsE of mployee R esource G roups of including structure and specific activities, as Participant Companies P articipant C ompanies %0 %02 %04 %06 %001 %08 well as examples of how ERGs have successfully affected the business. The analysis specifically addresses how Black/African-American companies successfully integrate business- aligned practices into the growth of their ERGs. Latino/Hispanic It explores targeted initiatives, processes, partnerships, competencies, growth metrics, and future plans that companies have established for Women their ERGs. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender JBC interviewed 22 companies of various sizes, across industries, whose markets include Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to- Asian/Pacific-Island Consumer (B2C), or a combination of both. In addition to one-on-one interviews, the Veterans/Military companies completed a survey to provide basic information about their ERGs. Interviews were Cross-Disability performed with chief diversity officers, human resources leaders, diversity managers, ERG leads, and business partners. Participant organizations Generation-Specific ranged from those with well-established metrics procedures for ERGs to those that are just Other beginning to discuss the topic of measurement. Companies were guaranteed anonymity when Regionally-Based requested. The goal of this analysis was to highlight the Family of People w/Disabilities ways in which various ERGs worldwide and across industries are supporting business. They are examples that other ERGs and companies Working Parents could potentially replicate. The final section contains a comprehensive list of best practices Religious gathered during our interviews and research. Disability Specific Cus tomer Pro le — B2B vs . B2C Customer B2B Cross-Generational Profile (B2B vs. B2C) Employee Alumni B2B and B2C New Employees B2C Virtual/Remote 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% sein apm o C tn a pi cit r a P f o spu or G e cr uo s e R ee y ol p m E8 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  9. 9. 1 What are ERGs? EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 9Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  10. 10. “As our company is becoming more global, we are realizing that [Employee Resource Groups] can help the business grow globally and expand our customer base.” — Terilyn Monroe, Director, Global Employee Engagement & HR Communications, Intuit E mployee Resource Groups ERG References ERG References are comprised of several Associate Resource subsets: Groups Affinity Networks • Employees from traditionally Other underrepresented groups, Affinity Groups • Allies who support these groups, • People who share a common purpose, Employee Network interest, or background. Groups In the last few decades, as diversity has become more prevalent in the work force, ERGs have multiplied, along with the names associated with Employee Resource Groups Business Resource these groups. Other common labels for ERGs Groups include Affinity Groups (AGs), Employee Network Groups (ENGs), and Business Resource Groups (BRGs). At the 22 participating companies, 20 The ERG value proposition has shifted slowly but percent of networks are referred to as ERGs, steadily over the last decade. ERGs have evolved 20 percent as BRGs, 13 percent as ENGs, and 7 from being event-driven, internally-focused percent as AGs.* groups to serving as critical strategic partners The names of a company’s ERGs are often for various business units throughout an deliberate, tied to the purpose and motivations organization. To that end, many companies that of the groups. Even a decade ago, the label participated in this analysis have moved or intend Employee Resource Group, or ERG, was rare. to move away from the AG title and toward Only recently has ERG emerged as a common ERG and BRG. At certain companies, separate term. The Affinity Group (AG) label was the networks that focus solely on business objectives previous norm, when many of the groups were have been created in addition to the legacy AGs. organized around traditional minority workplace Some ERGs receive financial support once they groups such as women, African Americans, and demonstrate they are achieving business-related Hispanics. AGs were primarily used for social goals. In some cases, company sponsorship and funding is tied to transitioning from an AG to an and networking opportunities, and served as ERG or BRG. a support system and social outlet for their members. One participant, a consumer packaged goods company that chose to remain anonymous, * For consistency, the term ERG is used throughout this acknowledged that its ERG metrics have always analysis. been qualitative in nature. However, the company10 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  11. 11. is doing what it can to enforce structured by becoming a strategic resource: Members, formeasurement tools. ERGs are required to follow example, can help ensure that the language, tone,a strict business-plan framework that includes and visuals used in company marketing materialsobjective, goals, strategies, initiatives, and metrics is valid for target audiences. They bring invaluable(OGSIM). Each ERG is tracked and monitored cultural competency to any organization that isagainst its own self-determined objectives. marketing to an increasingly diverse customerFunding of ERGs is tied to complying with the base.reporting requirements. However, many ERGs are still thought of primarilyNow, more than ever, ERGs are being asked as networking groups for specific races, genders,to make the case for how their efforts affect or affinities, rather than potential contributorscompany profitability. Some have tried to do this to revenue generation. Innovative companies are taking the initiative to use their ERGs, while strategic ERGs are asserting themselves more Annual ERGFunding Annual ERG Funding and more. These companies and their ERGs will play a critical role in establishing a new, groundbreaking business model that will not > $50,000 $1 -$5,000 only help enable the rapid identification and development of emerging talent, but also offer a valuable channel for new market opportunities and adjacencies. The untapped potential of these groups is the real story behind how diversity management has become a crucial asset to corporations. ERGs are $10,001 - $25,000 contributing to diversity recruitment, retention, $5,001- $10,000 leadership, and professional development, as well as to reaching diverse customers, clients, Sources of of ERG Funding Sources ERG Funding suppliers, and communities. Commitment to 100% Diversity diversity is not just the right thing to do. It has 90% become a business imperative. ERGs will lead the 80% Business Units way in next-generation business. 70% HR What Does Business Impact 60% 50% 40% Mean? 30% 20% Over time, ERGs have evolved from grassroots 10% networking efforts into formalized business 0% assets that affect workplace, workforce, and Type of Business AreaThe untapped potential of these groupsis the real story behind how diversity managementhas become a crucial asset to corporations. EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 11 Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  12. 12. Business Impact Areas 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% Marketing to Employees Marketing to Customers 50% Government Relations Product Development Community Outreach Cultural Assimilation Global Development 40% Recruitment and 30% Retention Development Professional HR Policy 20% 10% 0% marketplace results. The specific focus of ERGs • Government Relations and Policies may vary from company to company, but there • Human Resources Policies and Benefits are some common areas where ERGs tend to • Recruitment and Retention direct their efforts. This analysis examines the • Professional Development effects of ERGs on the following business areas: • Global Development • Product Development • Community Outreach • Marketing to External Customers • Cultural Assimilation • Marketing to Employees as Customers • Supplier Diversity12 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  13. 13. 2 Case Studies EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 13Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  14. 14. “Cisco’s Employee Resource Groups provide a framework to help employees identify ways to better leverage the talent and connections within their organizations. We then challenge them to use those connections to drive innovation and business opportunities.” — Jacqueline Munson, Senior Manager, Cisco14 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  15. 15. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT single expert. One place to start was by revisit- ing the Cisco collaborative platform, Cisco I-Zone. This platform was designed to help enable the entire company to brainstorm on ideas for new businesses, and submit these ideas for evalua- tion by an expert team. It would allow ETG to ben- efit from ideas from anywhere across Cisco, usingCISCO EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES global collaboration to identify and promote newCOLLABORATION AND growth markets.INNOVATION ETG was interested in reinventing I-Zone by in-The Cisco Emerging Technology Group (ETG) works corporating the most relevant tools, processes,to identify the next billion dollar businesses for and incentives. They began working with the ERGthe company. Earl Valencia is a Business Devel- innovation team to survey and solicit feedbackopment Manager in the small and fast-moving from employees, to understand what motivatesEmerging Technologies Group. Earl and his team and incents people to participate in innovation in general. Survey data was collected from over 500believed they could enlist the help of the 12 Cisco Cisco employees worldwide, helping ETG under-Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to discover the stand behavior and adjust the related innovationnext big idea for the company. ERGs would bring structure and process, including incentives. Thisdiverse cultural, geographical, and functional encouraged traffic and participation in I-Zone,perspectives that would enhance the innovation and ultimately helped identify the next big idea.process. As Cisco continues to grow, there is a consistentCoincidentally, the Business Development leads need to focus on new creative ways to innovatefrom the Cisco iCON (Indians Connecting People) and build business. Cisco is leading what theERG had approached the ETG about establishing a future will look like regarding technology. Everypartnership to work together to encourage prod- day, Cisco needs to focus on evolving customeruct innovation. ETG and iCON moved forward with segments and markets, consumer and customertheir partnership. needs, and product requirements.After Guido Jouret, Vice President and Chief Tech- Identifying the next big idea within Cisco is bestnical Officer (CTO) of ETG, agreed to be the execu- done with support from a diverse set of employ-tive sponsor of the new initiative, ETG and iCON ees who are both knowledgeable about Ciscoexpanded the opportunity to the remaining Cisco products and markets, and can provide value-ERGs, with the goal of working collaboratively to add perspectives. Cisco ETG continues to engagepromote innovation. ERG innovation team mem- with the ERGs as a collective group, and integratebers were identified from the various ERGs, and them into innovation strategies. While the goalsthe collaboration officially began in March, 2010. of the ERG and the individual ERGs may each beThis collaboration with ETG and ERG innovation different, on the whole, all have similarmembers was guided by the belief that the best aspirations of supporting business alignment andor most innovative ideas are derived from a large business impact, which is part of what they aregroup of diverse contributors, rather than one measured on by Cisco management. EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 15 Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  16. 16. The process of innovation continues, even for the African-American ERGs have taken advantage of individual ERGs. Right now, iCON is working to these opportunities to encourage sales. They play identify other internal and external ways to cap- a critical role in building customer intimacy and ture diversity of thought and help support product maintaining a strong corporate brand reputation. development and innovation at Cisco. Other ideas Recently, Ford’s ERGs have been moving even that have been proposed include ‘‘Idea Storms” deeper into product development efforts. For with ERG members, business case competitions example, the mobility motoring division has part- at local universities, and tapping into the diverse nered with the Ford Employees Dealing with dis- networks within the ERG communities to uncover Abilities (FEDA) network. FEDA members provide potential external innovation partners. Ford design and development engineers with By using the diverse and entrepreneurial resourc- valuable insights about the needs of people with es of Cisco, ETG will continue to create product disabilities. The value of this process accrues innovations that will help encourage Cisco long- to Ford beyond just amassing market insights. term growth. ERGs will be instrumental partners As ERGs learn to communicate their value more in this process. broadly, diverse communities will make buying decisions accordingly. ERG MARKET RESEARCH AND PRODUCT DESIGN PRODUCT RECONDITIONING Today, after a decade of diversity programming, Cummins values diversity at every level of the orga- the Ford Motor Company has 11 ERGs that are nization. The company’s strategy for ERGs is both responsible for improving career development horizontal and vertical, aligning the groups accord- and the company’s position in the marketplace. ing to affinities, businesses, and sites. Cummins ‘‘It can be difficult for ERGs to make a difference achieves this by aligning ERGs with the Local Diver- within a large company,” says Ford’s Global Manager sity Councils (LDCs) for each business. The company of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Alison Trawick. employs a diversity business model to help ensure ‘‘At Ford, we point to ERG product development and that the strategy is consistently executed across marketing efforts that are noticeable, measureable, various ERGs and regions. As a matter of process, and directly impact the bottom line.” the LDCs look to the ERGs to gain insights on im- portant business decisions. Over the last 10 years, Ford’s ERGs have helped sell vehicles through the company’s Friends and This approach often yields unexpected and posi- Neighbors program. ERG members have assisted tive results. Recently, when the company was in with the development and execution of market- search of new business opportunities in Mexico, ing campaigns to diverse customers. Ride and a business unit partnered with an LCD and Cum- Drives are a popular venue where ERGs solicit mins’ Hispanic ERG. After the combined group customer feedback about products, which they brainstormed product ideas, the business unit then report back to Ford engineers and design- decided to recondition control modules. Previ- ers. There is tremendous value in securing cus- ously, control modules were destroyed and tomer preferences about Ford’s vehicles directly thrown away. Now, they had come up with a way from the diverse markets that the company is to open, reseal and resell them, greatly improving hoping to serve, and there is no company asset sustainability and benefiting profitability. The col- better equipped to perform this task than their laborative effort generated an additional revenue ERGs. Ford’s Asian, Indian, Chinese, Hispanic, and stream of more than US$2 million.16 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  17. 17. MARKETING TO EXTERNAL CUSTOMERS In most Asian cultures, relationships come before business. Cisco AAN played an instrumental role in cultivating relationships and fostering an environment of networking among important business leaders. The ERG partnered with the Asia America Multi- Technology Association (AAMA) to co-sponsorASIAN NETWORK CULTIVATES the event, which yielded impressive attendanceCRITICAL RELATIONSHIPS from leaders of Cisco and Shui On Group, as well as local city officials and AAMA executives fromThe Cisco Asian Affinity Network (AAN) supports major corporations. The event, which helpedthe company’s goals for employee empowerment. position Cisco as a thought leader with broadA visit to Silicon Valley by Vincent Lo, Founder business capabilities, is expected to createand Chairman of the Shui On Group, the largest future dialogue between the Cisco Greaterpublicly-traded real estate company in China, China team and the Shui On Group about Ciscopresented an excellent opportunity for the CAAN technology.to use its relationships and skills to cultivate The event also helped strengthen thebusiness opportunities. relationship between Cisco AAN and AAMA.Lo, number 19 on the Forbes 2010 Hong Kong’s The groups have since discussed makingRichest List, is developing a knowledge and AAMA’s mentorship program available to Ciscoinnovation community in Shanghai’s Yangpu employees, and the possibility of sharing careerdistrict. He envisions the community as one that development and apprenticeship resources.blends work, living, recreation, and culture, in They also have begun meeting regularly tohopes of inspiring creativity. Lo’s vision resonated identify additional synergies. Cisco AAN planswith the Cisco mission to ‘‘change the way we to continue using the success of this event towork, live, play, and learn.” encourage additional activities that bring in new business opportunities or spawn innovations toCisco AAN approached Gary Moore, Senior Vice support Cisco growth.President and Co-Leader of Cisco Services, aboutsponsoring a business development event. Moorereadily agreed, seeing it as a great opportunity tosupport Cisco diversity objectives and highlight QUINCEANERA GIFT CARDthe company’s technology. Responding to the multicultural marketing team’s‘‘This event allowed us to create an even stronger call for help in reaching the Hispanic market,relationship with one of the foremost business Macy’s Hispanic ERG developed an electronic giftleaders in China,” says Moore. ‘‘It facilitated a card specifically designed for this audience. Thedialogue that gave us an understanding of what group also created a system for tracking Returnsuccess looks like to Vincent and his organization. on Investment (ROI) in its efforts to reach this rapidly growing marketplace.It also gave Lo insight into the strategic value of apartnership with Cisco, to help achieve his vision Macy’s offers a vast assortment of electronicquickly, seamlessly and effectively.” gift cards for different occasions. The Hispanic EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 17 Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  18. 18. ERG focused on creating a specialty card for GLBT MARKETING COUNCIL Quinceañera, a hallmark celebration in the Hispanic community of a girl’s 15th birthday. The LEADS TO OTHERS ERG worked with Macy’s multicultural marketing Founded in 1993, The Employee Association of team to design the card and create Quinceañera Gay Men, Lesbians, Bisexuals & Transgenders materials to educate store managers and (EAGLES) was one of Prudential’s first ERGs. associates. They determined the highest In 2008, it established the GLBT Marketing Hispanic-populated stores and focused efforts Council to partner with the company’s marketers there. In the first year, the Quinceañera gift card who were already engaged in creating GLBT was introduced in 38 stores and contributed over marketing materials. EAGLES added value by US$250,000 in sales. creating a forum for coordinating marketing The Quinceañera electronic gift card was very efforts across businesses that typically marketed successful, but Macy’s is already analyzing the independently. EAGLES proactively identified a effort to make improvements. In the region need for a more consistent strategy across all where the Quinceañera project was initiated, markets, and initiated a collaboration to develop the multicultural marketing team happened consistent communications. to have many members who were also part of The GLBT Marketing Council laid the ground the Hispanic ERG. This proved to be helpful, as work for uniting marketers across all Prudential the majority of people involved were personally businesses and the launch of the company’s invested in the diverse community they were first Multicultural Marketing Symposium in 2010, trying to reach. In future similar efforts, Macy’s which ERG members served as participants will not rely solely on the gift cards. and organizers. It also led to the formation of The company plans to establish a comprehensive a Multicultural Marketing Committee of the Quinceañera marketing campaign that targets Company’s new Marketing Council. external Hispanic customers (as opposed to The newly formed Multicultural Marketing relying on passive marketing efforts directed committee is an integral part of the company’s at retail store employees). In addition, Macy’s forward looking business strategy, giving ERGs Hispanic ERG is part of a working committee more input into marketing. This holistic strategy that looks at ongoing efforts to reach Hispanic counteracts siloing and promises to provide customers. successful business outcomes.18 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  19. 19. M ARKETING TO EM PLOYEES AS CUSTOMERS available and create strategic objectives,” says William Edmonds, Internal Relationship Lead of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. ‘‘They also know what they should be used for and not used for.” Nationwide quickly organizes its ERGs around business objectives. The company’s ERGs have achieved great success through ‘‘BuyGROWING AN INTERNAL Nationwide,” a program specifically designedCUSTOMER BASE to convert employees into customers. Nationwide has nearly 32,000 employees. ERGWhen Nationwide’s ERGs launched in 2008, membership, which is close to 10 percent of thethey had tightly structured processes, policies, entire Nationwide population, has had a hugeand procedures that were tied to the company’s impact on internal customer conversion. ‘‘Buyoverall diversity strategy and business objectives. Nationwide” is also an employee retention tool,In the ERG formation stage, Nationwide asked the as it bolsters morale and educates the workforceright questions. What will the employee networks on the company’s products and services. Whilebe? How will they connect to the business? As a ‘‘Buy Nationwide” now reaches far beyond theresult, within a few short years, ERGs are already ERGs, the groups have a significant impact onpromoting business internally at Nationwide. growing the number of internal customers and‘‘Everyone knows about [ERGs], that they are thereby impacting the company’s bottom line.‘‘Everyone knows about [ERGs], that they are availableand create strategic objectives. They also know whatthey should be used for and not used for.” — William Edmonds, Internal Relationship Lead of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 19 Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  20. 20. GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND POLICY reposition the company as a business partner. ERGs contributed greatly to this effort. GE’s Hispanic and African American networks built government ties by hosting congressional leaders at GE sites, speaking at events, and participating in initiatives such as the National INFLUENCE ON CONGRESS Census. GE’s Affinity Networks are rooted in business GE’s Chief Diversity Officer, Deborah Elam, objectives, one of which is ‘‘Government as says, ‘‘I can’t imagine GE without Affinity Customer.” Following the 2008 election of Networks.” Indeed, GE’s ERGs have clearly President Obama, many federal committees affected company revenue and employee were restructured, and caucus representatives retention through their government relations changed. Therefore, GE needed to rebuild its efforts. For this reason, GE has invested in relationships with government legislators and educating its ERG leaders and members on General Electric: Leveraging Diversity in Government GAME PLAN RESOURCE Launch RELATIONSHIP Identify key Government strategic Relations relationships Diversity Council ADVOCACY EDUCATION Educate network Identify visible leaders on key GE events and issues touch points VISIBILITY20 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  21. 21. Congress, caucuses, and committees. AFFECTING FEDERALThe company’s ERGs played a major role when LEGISLATIONthe Pentagon sought to cut funding on GE’sF136 engine, a joint project with Rolls-Royce. The workplace has always been ahead ofThis could have been devastating, as the F136 government when it comes to equality for LGBTengine was projected to generate US$465 million employees, making corporations a powerful forcein revenue for GE. Congressional lobbying efforts in influencing legislation for these issues. Now,by ERG members and other GE employees with an influx of ‘‘Generation Y” employees whocontributed greatly to keeping the F136 program are demanding increased transparency from theiralive. employers, companies must do more than just talk about inclusiveness.These efforts were tracked and measured.GE leadership collected data on the number Knowing this, Intuit’s Pride Network made sureof employees that contacted the government that the company supported important non-and got involved in lobbying efforts. When discrimination legislation, the Employment Non-ERGs mobilized their members, the number Discrimination Act. This proposed U.S. legislationof communications and actions increase five- would prohibit discrimination against employeesfold. Over 7,000 Facebook fans supported the on the basis of sexual orientation or genderGE Rolls-Royce team, and thousands of letters identity. At the urging of the Pride Network, Intuitwere sent to Congress through the company’s corporate affairs got involved in backing thewebsite. legislation.Ultimately, the government accepted a new GE More employers, like Intuit, are beginning toRolls-Royce proposal that will save the federal understand that discrimination against LGBTgovernment US$1 billion over the next five employees will ultimately hurt their ability toyears. compete in the global marketplace. Largely thanks to the efforts of the company’s LGBT ERG, Intuit is reinforcing its position as an employer of choice that values diverse talent.‘‘I can’t imagine GE without Affinity Networks.” — Deborah Elam, GE’s Chief Diversity Officer EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 21 Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  22. 22. HUMAN RESOURCES instrumental in adding gender and identity to the company’s EEO statement, and in developing and launching gender-transition guidelines and training. They also actively sought self- identification statistics, creating opportunities for volunteers to identify themselves as LGBT or CREATING A SAFE SPACE LGBT allies, by posting a magnet on their cube or office. Capturing this data can ultimately Progressive HR policies and benefits are critical influence Wellpoint’s perception of how sizeable to retention and engagement, and to harnessing this particular community may be. the potential of all employees. Invisible affinities As a result of ANGLE’s efforts, Wellpoint is such as LGBT, some disabilities, and others have updating its employee benefit package to support proved difficult to advocate for, as gathering those undergoing gender transition. By 2012, data requires self-identification, which many Wellpoint will offer benefits for gender-transition employees are not comfortable offering. surgery. ANGLE has also conceptualized a Safe Wellpoint’s LGBT group, Associate Network for Space program to support all of its efforts and Gay and Lesbian Equality (ANGLE), has been is working with Wellpoint HR to configure the proactive in supporting LGBT and gender- program. ANGLE members will act as education transitioning employees. The group was and training consultants to HR and to employees. As a result of ANGLE’s efforts, Wellpoint is updating its employee benefit package to support those undergoing gender transition.22 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  23. 23. I TMENT RECRU AND N TENTIO building a portal that can be accessed by any RE member around the world. Women can log on and share a variety of information and resources, from the simple to the complex. The results from the project have been phenomenal. In the last year alone, 20 new Women’s ERG chapters were launched. There is even a Women’sFOSTERING A FEMALE Network in Pakistan, a location that culturallyLEADERSHIP PIPELINE presents many obstacles for women.Although Colgate-Palmolive generates US$15billion in sales annually, approximately 75-80percent of these sales come from outside the DISABILITIES RECRUITMENTUnited States. With such a global revenue base, About three years ago, Prudential’s Abled andrecruitment and retention of premium talent Disabled Associates Partnering Together (ADAPT)from around the world is critical to Colgate’s ERG began creating more opportunities forsuccess. Eugene Kelly, Worldwide Director of employees with disabilities. One of the main areasGlobal Workplace Initiatives, is charged with of focus has been developing a structure so thatfinding ways to ‘‘export diversity and inclusion individual business lines can hire students andinitiatives across the globe.” Finding similarities adults with disabilities for the summer who mightacross diverse cultures is not always easy, but a transition into full-time positions. There werecommon denominator is often gender. many internal challenges related to launching this‘‘Colgate knows that women will represent program, but ADAPT aggressively sought solutions.more than 50 percent of the global workforce in To successfully recruit and retain ADAPT programthe future,” says Kelly. ‘‘If we took a snapshot participants, the group had to make sure thatnow and then later, representation at senior hiring managers were prepared and felt supported.levels would be impacted noticeably. We need ADAPT established a core sourcing team,tremendously effective leaders because they are comprised of ADAPT volunteers and members from the Prudential recruiting team, and built acritical to growth as a company. If Colgate is not network of recruitment sources. The final step wasable to [solve the challenge of attracting qualified convincing the summer hires of Prudential’s abilityfemale leaders], then we are not going to have to include them in a way that would support theirenough talented people to run our businesses. professional goals.We need to look at development of women atlower and mid-levels so we can export talent There is still a lot of work to be done for thearound the world.” program to reach scale. The company is actively measuring impact and ROI on the program, lookingThe company is now relying on its Women’s at expansion of business segments as a result ofNetwork to help recruit and retain female leaders ADAPT’s efforts.around the globe. This ERG is working to helpensure that female representation significantly ‘‘Our BRGs are trying to grow, and grow andincreases. One way they are doing this is by support a culture of inclusion, at a company EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 23 Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  24. 24. that already has a tremendous commitment future. This effort will help Deloitte determine to diversity,” says Gloria McDonald, Director of whether LGBT events positively contribute to Diversity at Prudential. talent recruitment. More broadly, a formal ROI measurement tool could elevate the overall value proposition of ERGs and diversity within Deloitte. AFRICAN RECRUITMENT GLOBE’s initial efforts to develop this ROI tool COLLABORATION were thwarted by limited time and resources, and challenging geographies. Unwilling to give Cummins believes there is wealth in diversity, up, Deloitte recently partnered with the other Big and seeks to attract and retain people of various Four accounting firms to create the Professional backgrounds. The company’s policy is to fill Services Alliance on Solutions. The partnership vacancies internally before seeking external focuses on deriving best practices and services, candidates. Following a recent expansion, and has been working on an ROI dashboard tool. Cummins needed to recruit for positions in Africa. Eventually, the technology will be rolled out to all A subset of the company’s African American of Deloitte’s GLOBE chapters. Affinity Groups researched and analyzed demographics in Africa to determine how to Members of GLOBE created a survey for Deloitte best secure local talent. The Affinity Group also partners and directors that asked how much of worked with African employees and with HR to their business was linked to an LGBT relationship. help develop recruitment efforts in the various The survey results identified close to US$10 countries where Cummins has a presence. million in sales. Despite this clear example of the group’s effect on business results, GLOBE had no formal way of tracking its impact (aside from MEASURING LGBT ROI EFFORTS ad hoc surveys like the one given to executives). An ROI dashboard could, for example, track the Deloitte’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender number of attendees at LGBT Deloitte recruiting Employees (GLOBE) ERG is evolving from a social events, as well as the number of interviews network into a resource group. One way it is doing that resulted from the event, how many other this is through analyzing its own ROI metrics, company events the candidate attended, and identifying what can be tracked immediately and then how many offers were generated to event setting goals for what should be monitored in the participants.24 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  25. 25. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEADERSHIP STRETCH ASSIGNMENTS Wells Fargo has a unique ERG leadership structure. The network leadership role at the company is defined as a ‘‘stretch assignment,” meaning it demands a high level of motivation and skill, often exceeding what is required in a standard functional role.CEO RECOGNITION ERG business initiatives require an intense level of project management, collaboration,Historically at Cisco, ERG leaders who have had and leadership, all of which present importantnoteworthy success have been invited to meet executive development opportunities. Wellswith CEO John Chambers. These meetings have Fargo picks leaders through a talent identificationbeen held using Cisco TelePresence technology process. These high-potential employees areto support global recognition without travel. encouraged to take on the stretch assignments.The ERG leaders appreciate this opportunity to The goal is to secure the best talent and developbe recognized by the CEO. It creates awareness a diverse leadership pipeline.in the ERG community and the organizationwhere the employee belongs. These meetingsare a professional development opportunity DEDICATED LEARNING LABthat enhances the value proposition of ERGleadership. This, in turn, increases the pool of “Our [ERG] leadership opportunities provide aemployees interested in taking on these roles. safe learning laboratory where employees can practice leadership skills,” says Gloria McDonald,ERGs are a proving ground for emerging Director of Diversity at Prudential.leaders, providing ample opportunities tostretch beyond core competencies and take Prudential sees ERGs as a vital resource for fillingon roles and responsibilities that might not its leadership pipeline. The company offers a ded-normally be afforded. Many companies are icated place for ERG members to try out emergingcapitalizing on this by using ERG leadership competencies. Prudential allows employees topositions to provide training on the skills that take on leadership roles within ERGs and enablesare necessary in senior roles. risk-taking that is critical for developing new competencies that are eventually taken back intoEmerging leaders are anxious to take functional business lines.advantage of these opportunities, as theyprovide exposure to senior leaders that In addition to providing this safe space to de-otherwise would not be possible. velop leadership skills, Prudential also brings together all of its ERGs members at an ERG Professional Development Conference. Like the EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 25 Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  26. 26. ongoing leadership roles, the annual conference chosen in the [ERG] succession planning process provides ERG members a dedicated platform and are believed to have leadership potential and for exchanging ideas, gathering intelligence, and runway,” says Deborah Elam, GE’s Chief Diversity sharing insights on how ERGs can improve busi- Officer. ness results. Charged with overseeing hundreds of chapters and thousands of participants across the globe, ERG leaders have full agendas. But they also have FULL-TIME AFFINITY GROUP an incredible opportunity. ERGs at GE are directly LEADERSHIP MODEL aligned with the company’s business objectives, so ERG leaders have the ability to make a real GE invests extensive time and money in business impact. leadership growth and development. Many of the GE also presents female employees specifically company’s top 600 leaders are promoted with promising opportunities. The Women’s from within the organization. ERGs help Affinity Network is linked to the company’s create leadership exposure and development corporate succession planning process, so opportunities at GE. Unlike most other that talented, high-performing women can be companies, GE picks its ERG leaders only from identified early and groomed for future roles. the top 600 people in the company. Each ERG is This process has led to a dramatic increase in assigned one fulltime leader. representation of women in leadership and ‘‘GE’s [ERG] leaders are people who have been executive levels at GE. ‘‘GE’s [ERG] leaders are people who have been chosen in the [ERG] succession planning process and are believed to have leadership potential and runway.” —Deborah Elam, GE’s Chief Diversity Officer26 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  27. 27. GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT Feedback collected from university staff, students, and IT professionals was very positive, and included requests for several similar sessions at other universities. The majority of students in attendance were women pursuing bachelor degrees in computer science and IT- related engineering careers. The impact on these women was powerful, as they typically do notTECHNOLOGY EDUCATION have opportunities to learn about such advancedTRANSFORMS SOCIETY AND technologies. To help replicate the experienceYOUTH at other universities, Dr. Wail Omar, Dean of Computing Faculty at Sohar University, presentedThe Cisco Middle East Inclusion and Diversity a paper about the event at the 2010 MIT LINC(MEDI) ERG brings together employees who want conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Forto enhance their careers, support the community, the Cisco MEDI team, the event provided realand grow the business, by facilitating business work experience that furthered professionalpartnerships between Cisco and the community. development, extended professional networks,As part of MEDI’s Business Outreach Program, a fostered cultural collaboration and marketingglobal Cisco team came together in Sohar, Oman, skills, and improved understanding of theto promote discussions on how technology technology and development needs in the region.training can empower youth and transform The event served not only as a knowledge-society. exchange opportunity, but it also cultivatedIn December, 2009, the pilot Information and potential Cisco customers and employees. SeeingCommunications Technology (ICT) training the value of Cisco technologies in action, Soharprogram was delivered to over 130 university and University plans to purchase Cisco IP Telephonyhigh school students, along with local companies, for a new campus expansion.government officials, and technology partners.Private and public IT representatives were invitedto attend the opening session as well. ICT training DEVELOPING HEALTH IN AFRICAtracks included IP telephony, wireless, green GE’s African American Forum (AAF) identifiedinitiatives, and professional development. Both philanthropic potential in Africa, utilizing a modelthe content and the audience were selected already being used domestically by the company.based on input from various stakeholders, Although GE did not yet have a presence in Africa,including faculty from Sohar University, the AAF felt it was possible to export Developinggovernment’s Information Technology Authority Health, an initiative focused on primary health(ITA), and Networking Academy teams based centers in low-income, underserved communitiesin Dubai and Lebanon. In total, 27 people where GE does business. The company’s ERGscollaborated on the project, and 17 Cisco were involved in launching Developing Healthparticipants personally funded their travel to across the United States, creating a wholeOman to take part in the effort. brand for GE around lowering healthcare costs, EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 27 Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  28. 28. supporting quality products, and improving and in Asia in 2008 with the assistance of GE’s access to healthcare. Asian-Pacific American Forum. GE has been able to measure these investments. For example, Following the interest expressed by AAF, with US$40 million spent on Developing Health GE committed to improving rural healthcare Globally in Asia, the number of affected lives systems in Africa with a five-year, US$20 is approximately five million, with over 3000 million product donation. Through Developing products donated. Health Globally, as it came to be called, AAF managed the donation of medical equipment, Each country’s program is implemented utilizing power equipment and water purification, and a replicable model. The first step is to create worked with teaching hospitals to improve a partnership with the Ministry of Health, to infant mortality. AAF coordinated volunteer select hospitals and set parameters for long- groups of eight to ten people to go to Africa term success. At each hospital site, GE teams for four to six weeks. Over time, GE gained a conduct assessments to identify gaps in power, positive reputation in the African countries and water, healthcare equipment, appliances, lighting, communities where it donated and volunteered. and long-distance communication. GE then In 2008, AAF leaders went to Africa with GE provides sustainable solutions, based on GE and executives, traveling to various countries non-GE technologies. When all installation and to better understand the challenges of the training is complete, GE employees are chosen continent and explore growth opportunities. to be volunteer ambassadors to each hospital, Participants met with governments, business, monitoring equipment use and impact, and and academic leaders to discuss areas where GE providing coaching support to improve facility could provide long-term, sustainable solutions. operations. Each clinic is assigned a lead person As a result of these development efforts, GE from the relevant ERG; this person reports to the finally gained unparalleled access to the Ministry overall ERG lead, who then reports out to GE’s of Health and other government officials. diversity council. Since then, GE’s Developing Health Globally GE’s commercial presence has grown in a number investment has increased to a US$50 million, of markets, thanks to AAF’s commitment to six-year commitment in Africa. In addition, global development in Africa. In the future, GE the model was implemented in Latin America expects to see substantial revenue growth in in 2007 with the help of the Hispanic Forum, Africa as a by-product of AAF’s efforts.28 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  29. 29. COMMUNITY OUTREACH LATINO PARADE AND MOBILE UPGRADE MARKETING Throughout the economic downturn, companies, particularly B2C companies, have been forced toPRIDE KIOSKS get creative about reaching their target markets.Macy’s Pride Network is one of the retailer’s At Best Buy, ERGs have become a mediummost active and tenured ERGs. A few years through which the company can deliver additionalago, the Pride Network partnered with the value.multicultural marketing team to create a One example of this can be found in thenational identity and a marketing strategy to company’s Latin Involvement Network (LatIN),reach LGBT markets nationwide. With that, the which has focused its business-impact effortsPride Network established a consistent national around the Puerto Rican Day and Dominicanpresence and message. Day parades. At these events, LatIN membersFor Pride events throughout the United States, hand out coded coupons from which sales canthe Pride Network launched a full ad campaign, be tracked once they are redeemed. In addition,including branded T-shirts for all Macy’s event attendees can use the Best Buy Mobileemployees who volunteered at Pride parades. Upgrade Check to determine whether theyIn addition, the campaign included Pride kiosks, are eligible for a free phone upgrade. This isfrom which people could access Macy’s online measureable as well, since Best Buy can trackPride registry for wedding and commitment whoever performed a check. All Best Buy ERGsceremonies. have access to generic online coupons. These coupons are traceable and therefore directlyIt has proved difficult to measure the business aligned to the business, and can be customizedimpact of the Pride Network’s efforts at these with appropriate logos for any event.events. Tracking sales from the registry, or fromgiveaways and discounts, is challenging becauserevenue from these efforts is not realized until HELPING COMMUNICATIONSthey are used. TEAM RAISE AWARENESSEven though Macy’s cannot currently measuredirect sales, the company knows the efforts At Duke Energy, the communications teamhave had a huge effect in the retail market, requested ERG participation in a recentboth with the community and customers. In community outreach effort. The awarenessaddition, the activities of the Pride Network have campaign involved going into neighborhoods,prompted other employees to get involved in including local churches, to teach about energy-supporting diversity. efficient light bulbs and other related Duke Energy products, and distribute coupons. With members of the company’s African American ERG, and LUCES, the Latinos United Cultivating EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS 29 Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
  30. 30. Energy and Service ERG, already serving as active EDUCATING GENERATIONAL volunteers and mentors in their communities, this effort was made easier. CUSTOMERS ‘‘The communications team tapped into the ERGs, Supporting Advances in Generational because they wanted to reach diverse consumers Empowerment (SaGE) is one of Best Buy’s who may not otherwise get the message,” says Employee Business Networks. This ERG has Regeana Phillips, who manages ERGs across partnered with local community centers and Duke Energy. organized several Senior Tech Day events, where members provide technology training ERG members also helped the communications and education. The initiative is customized for team customize marketing collateral to reflect the audience, with appropriate sound and visual the language and preferences of diverse materials so that the elderly can see and hear customers. The campaign was primarily about the demonstrations. SaGE has also partnered educating consumers and getting the word with Geek Squad to host product events to which out about energy efficiency, but it also served elderly customers are invited to bring technology as a marketing opportunity. Having diverse products that they do not know how to use. Best representatives from Duke Energy visible within Buy provides tutorials, building trust and loyalty these communities helps the company further its among this customer segment. The events have corporate agenda: growing the business, securing been so successful, SaGE plans to video an event diverse talent, and enhancing community and offer it online so that Best Buy’s other ERGs partnerships. can hold similar events across the country. ‘‘The communications team tapped into the ERGs, because they wanted to reach diverse consumers who may not otherwise get the message.” — Regeana Phillips, who manages ERGs across Duke Energy30 EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS Copyright (c) 2010 Jennifer Brown Consulting. All Rights Reserved.