Employee Resource Groups (ERG)
Join an Employee Resource Group
You can make a difference where you work! If you are interested in these ERGs or the CEOD below, both are available to you as UMass Memorial Healthcare and UMass Medical School employees. Fill out the form on this page to join or get more information!
Employee Resource Groups (ERG)
- This group focuses on specific organizational issues impacting African American employees and patients. It promotes the recruitment, retention and career mobility of African Americans while helping to enhance a positive patient experience for all.
- This group provides a support network and knowledge base for Asian and Asian-American employees and patients. It focuses on health and wellness issues, education, personal and professional development for Asians and creating a positive work environment for all.
GenX & Millennial
This group is open to all employees, particularly Gen X and Millennial, who want to understand and embrace the generational workforce differences that ultimately drive organizational success and the best possible patient care.
- This group promotes religious tolerance, understanding, and the promotion of our core values. The network enables people of all religions to come together and express their faiths in appropriate and meaningful ways in the workplace. It also explores the relationship of spirituality and patient care by enhancing communications among those who share a religious belief.
Language of Healthcare
This group focuses on employees who have the ability to speak multiple languages, or who are interested in the benefits of diversity and speaking multiple languages, as it relates to providing quality patient care.
This group provides a network that supports the professional development of Hispanic/Latino employees, increases retention and talent acquisition, and works to drive a positive patient experience for all.
This group aims to support veterans of all branches within the armed forces. Members may be veterans, Reserve or National Guard members, family members of a veteran or simply an individual who desires to support members. The group provides insights to community needs, helps to strengthen the patient experience of veterans and supports the recruitment, retention and career mobility of veterans.
Recommendations for Finding Diversity Resources
Diversity is a dynamic field of study with proven methodologies and success measures. There are numerous resources—far too many to list in this guide—for your continued learning and to assist you in achieving the goals of your diversity council or ERG. Following are some tips for consideration when choosing appropriate methodologies or finding the best tools to meet your needs:
- Understand what is meant by diversity and inclusion for your organization. A “best practice” only works if it is aligned with your organization’s mission and business objectives.
- Change is inherent in diversity management. When it comes to diversity, “if we always do what we’ve always done, we won’t always get what we always got.” Diversity practices that once worked, even in the recent past, may not be effective when applied in the current setting.
- Ensure that your sources are current and that the information is evidenced-based or grounded in social science research.
- Diversity professional organizations provide resources and the opportunity to network and share information with other diversity council and ERG members. Several reputable organizations exist and can be found by searching the Internet. Review the websites to determine if the benefits of membership for your organization are worth its associated costs.
Purpose of ERG
The purpose of the group should reflect the following:
- Heightening awareness and educating the institution about workplace trends that impact the group
- Broadening the organizational agenda to include topics that greatly impact the membership group
- Developing leadership and support for underrepresented groups within the organization
- Assisting the institution’s diversity and inclusion office with recruitment efforts and inclusion programming for members
- Forging effective partnerships in the community and acting as a liaison between the organization and the larger community by extending community service and outreach activities
- Transforming the organizational culture by addressing the following concerns:
- What work environment conditions or practices help members feel a part of the organization?
- What can the organization do in partnership with the group to maximize productivity?
- What can the organization do to maximize customer/client/patient satisfaction and the experience of excellent service with ERG members and those in the community who share the same group identity?
- What external entities should the organization form relationships with to better understand the needs of participants who share the same group identity?
- How can the ERG help increase participation in the mission of the organization?
Establishing Effective ERGs
Like diversity councils, employee resource groups, or ERGs, serve as catalysts for transforming an organization’s culture into a more inclusive, engaged, and productive one. Employee resource groups are task groups that provide education and bring awareness to the participants and other employees outside of the network. They also offer opportunities for the professional and personal growth of their members. The purpose of all ERGs is to help drive the mission, support the organization’s fundamental values, and enhance cultural competence across the organization.
Naming the ERG
The name of the group reflects the purpose, its targeted participants, and the connection to the organization. When naming the group, consider that ERGs are networks or affinity groups that provide an open environment for members. Membership should be open to employees across the system, including those who do not share the group identity of the targeted participants.