The Power of Employee Resource Groups: How People Create Authentic Change

  • 2h 32m
  • Farzana Nayani
  • Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • 2022

This is the first authoritative book on building employee resource groups (ERGs) to empower underrepresented employees and positively impact diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts within organizations and in society at large.

In existence for decades, ERGs originated out of affirmative action policies and have evolved into powerful sources of employee activity and engagement. Organizations can leverage ERGs to support business goals, but ERGs can also play a critical role in creating a more inclusive work environment for marginalized individuals. ERGs represent a balance of serving company interests and empowering employees, offering the opportunity for innovative leadership within organizations.

This book is a practical guide on how to manage ERGs effectively and how they inspire a deeper connection between employees and companies while helping us progress toward the DEI goals that we aim to accomplish. Participating in an ERG can help professionals of color and other historically excluded groups advance their careers, thereby increasing diverse representation in leadership. Farzana Nayani provides foundational tools for starting ERGs and outlines the five Ps—purpose, people, processes, planning, and priorities—needed to successfully operate them.

Unlike other ERG handbooks, this book is people-centric and socially conscious and thoughtfully takes into account the experiences of employees and leaders during current times. It also serves as a deeper call to action around how ERGs can foster authentic change within organizations, creating transformative impact in the surrounding world.

About the Author

Farzana Nayani is a recognized diversity, equity, and inclusion specialist and has been a consultant, business and strategy coach, and international keynote speaker for more than twenty years. She is an advisor to the Asian Leaders Alliance and is the former national director of ERG relations for the National Association of Asian American Professionals. Her passion for employee engagement and inclusion has led to client partnerships with Fortune 500 corporations, public agencies, school districts, and nonprofit organizations. Nayani’s expertise on diversity and identity has been featured by media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Forbes, NPR, Parents, and Marie Claire.

In this Book

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Ergs, Are You Ready? Getting Started on the Erg Journey
  • Transforming Organizations—The Time is Now
  • Forming and Operating Ergs—The 5 Ps of Effective Functioning
  • The People Behind the Purpose—Engaging Erg Leaders, Members, Advisors, and Partners
  • Creating Organizational Impact—Building in Pillars, Drivers, and Metrics for Ergs
  • Solidarity and Community Belonging—Preserving Space and Showing Solidarity
  • Best Practices and Common Pitfalls—Overcoming Challenges and Finding your Way
  • Ergs as Opportunities—Cultivating Creativity and Growth
  • Shaping the Future Now—The Power and Potential of Ergs
  • Glossary
  • Notes
  • Resources
  • About Farzana Nayani, Consulting & Training