Posted by: outandequal | August 23, 2012

4 Insider Tips for Employee Resource Groups: Making the Most of the Out & Equal Workplace Summit

Whether you’re a leader of a well-established employee resource group, business resource group, or affinity group, or considering creating a new group to empower LGBT employees in your organization, you can find exactly what you need at the 2012 Workplace Summit. Here are four tips on how you can make the most of your Workplace Summit experience:

  1. Spend some time exploring the full range of options at the 2012 Workplace Summit. Divide and conquer – if other members of your group are coming, attend different workshops and report back to each other.
  2. Go beyond ERG-specific workshops. For example, the ally track has a workshop on how to engage allies in your LGBT employee resource group (The Next Frontier: Allies – Acceleration and Impact).
  3. Sign up for the ERG Leadership Seminar. Take away tools, information, and resources to help take your ERG to the next level. You don’t want to miss this day-long unique learning opportunity and chance to network with ERG leaders from around the world. Monday, October 29 | 9 am – 5 pm | Cost in addition to Workplace Summit registration. Breakfast and lunch provided.
  4. Participate in Out & Equal’s bienniel ERG survey of ERG leaders to gather information about issues, concerns, and best practices to incorporate into this year’s Workplace Summit. Click here to be sure that  your organization is one of the nearly 200 included on the ERG Registry (there is no cost for including your group in the registry).  By participating in the survey, you can help shape the content and programming at this year’s Workplace Summit.

Click here to register today for the 2012 Workplace Summit and ERG Leadership Seminar.

Here’s a sample of ERG-specific workshops offered at the 2012 Summit:

Marketing to Your Marketers
Sometimes it takes more than just a great idea to create a successful partnership or event. Whether you are an ERG Leader or Community Partner, find out more about how to promote your organization and building successful partnerships and events. Find out what you need to know when presenting your ideas to your marketing team.

Ideas to Actions: ERG & Regional Affiliate Strategic Planning
Ideas are easy. Making them happen is hard. So how do you focus and make it all happen? Where to begin? Organizations that achieve lasting success have one thing in common: a robust strategic plan. Creating a solid, workable and long-term plan for your ERG or Regional Affiliate is the key to taking ideas and transforming them into actions that support your organization’s goals. In this workshop, the leadership team from 2011 Regional Affiliate of the Year, Out & Equal Houston, will share the planning processes and tools used to create their 5-year strategic plan—including how to engage your membership, set reasonable, achievable goals, build multi-year “shaping curves,” activity planning, and budgeting. A downloadable toolkit will be provided to all workshop participants.

Leveraging the Regional Out and Equal Affiliate for Best Practices and On-Boarding of New Corporations
Out & Equal Regional Affiliates are often the first point of contact for LGBT employees from a company without ERGs, allowing them to find best practices for establishing a network or protections within their own workspace. This workshop is designed to be a practical discussion on how to on-board new companies as they start to develop ERGs or parity statements for LGBT employees. We will cover some of Out and Equal Indiana’s best practices for reaching out, engaging and then developing networks that will be of value to the new organization.

Helping ERGs Embrace the B and T
Does your Employee Resource Group’s alphabet begin with G and end with L? While your ERG may have the best intentions, it could accidentally be excluding others. Even the best ERG can become more inclusive. This workshop, facilitated by a bisexual and a transgender woman, will include a forum to share ways to make your ERG more inclusive of sexual and gender diversity while helping to build equality.

Diversity in the Workforce–Thinking Beyond Locally and Acting Globally
Global employers are discovering both the advantages and challenges of creating a diverse workforce. Perhaps one of the most difficult areas to address globally is the inclusion of LGBT employees into the organization, both at the employers’ local level as well as worldwide. Progress toward achieving such a goal and employment equality is particularly daunting when trying to overcome not only internal challenges, but cultural ones as well. For example, how can one establish an inclusive workforce when the employer is located in a region hostile to LGBT individuals? This workshop is designed to aid employers in establishing such a workforce through corporate infrastructure that includes creating ERG’s, training, and follow-through once programs and procedures are put in place.

From Basement to Board Room: The Evolution of a Fortune 100 ERG
What started as a handful of hopeful people working without an Office of Diversity or a budget has grown into a leading ERG with packed monthly meetings, a full calendar of meaningful events and a business liaison committee with executive leadership’s ear. Founding and current leaders of a Fortune 100 Pride ERG will provide insight into the necessary steps to these milestones including how to leverage your company’s sponsorships and work with other ERGs for effective programming with lasting impact.

For questions or information about the ERG Registry, contact Nancy Mace. We look forward to seeing you in Baltimore!

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