A resource for Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and Associate Resource Groups (ARGs)
Easterseals Crossroads is in the process of developing a community Ability Round Table group for
- companies that have or are considering having an ERG/ARG focused on employees who have disabilities
- caregivers for those with disabilities
- individuals who have family members who are disabled
- individuals who feel strongly about wanting to help create change within their company
What is an ERG/ARG?
Many employers are establishing and operating affinity and resource groups for various groups of employees. In addition to groups focused on disability, other groups also are often focused on minorities, LGBT issues, veteran status, health/fitness, generational differences and other cultural factors.
The disability ERG/ARG has some unique issues (confidentiality, disability-specific issues) but may also intersect with other ERGs/ARGs, and employees may be involved in other ERGs/ARGs in addition to the disability ERG/ARG.
Disability is the largest minority group and the only one any one of us can become a part of at a moment’s notice. Disability doesn’t discriminate. Disability has all the characteristics that define a culture and has all the needs a unique culture has. You need to know about the resources now — not when it’s too late.
The group will focus on a series of shared learning opportunities resulting in:
- Increased retention of employees whose lives are touched by disability
- Increased engagement of upper/lower management
- Improved strategies for success for ERGs/ARGs
- Increased awareness of community disability resources
- Demonstrated business value of ERGs/ARGs
- Networking with leaders who want to elevate ERG/D&I (Disability & Inclusion) efforts
- Maximizing workplace culture
We will begin with an initial series of shared learning opportunities scheduled for October 5, November 2 and December 7, 2018.
These three meetings will all take place at Easterseals Crossroads located at 4740 Kingsway Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46205, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
The topic for October will focus on how to get beyond a group of people with a common interest to really add value; the topic for November will focus on finding a disability resource group champion (top-down buy in); and the topic for December will focus on how to work with employees who do not wish to self identify as having a disability.
An effective ERG/ARG can improve the company’s bottom line. Statistics show diverse companies are more profitable and successful than their non-diverse counterparts. Diverse companies also have a richer pool of problem-solving talent at their disposal. In addition, many employees care about disability issues, whether they have a disability themselves or have someone in their lives with a disability. Connecting with people interested in disability issues, resources and organizations that provide support is critical to increasing independence.
Features of a disability ERG/ARG include the following:
- Increases employee retention
- Provides a resource pool for improving the accommodations process and building accessibility evaluation
- Provides opportunities for reverse mentoring of management in the handling of employees with disabilities or caregivers from those invested in and knowledgeable of the corporate culture
- Improves the work lives of people with disabilities
- Creates a more inclusive environment and a culture where disability is safe to talk about
- Puts people with disabilities in context and encourages the appreciation of differences
- Increases profitability in the company by helping people with disabilities produce at a higher level
If you have a disability ERG/ARG, we want to help you make it more effective. If you don’t have one, we want to help you get started!