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So you’ve worked tirelessly to throw an amazing ERG event: you mapped it to your company goals, you booked the vendors, sent out the invites, coworkers across the company attended, and people walked away with a better understanding and appreciation of your community...so what now?
It may be tempting to take a break from ERG responsibilities now that that sprint is through. But there’s one last step that is critical to a healthy ERG program - capture what you learned! This is so, so important. There are a few key reasons why:
Again and again ERG programs suffer from a lack of institutional knowledge. ERGs are often led by passionate employees making things happen through their own volition & willpower. While that’s amazing, it can be exhausting and even contribute to burnout.
We hear all the time that when ERG leads turnover through their planned election cycles, or an employee leaves the company, all of the best practices and things they learned leave with them. That makes it so difficult to build an institution around your ERG program. It’s like trying to build a house with no foundation - each time you plan an effort or initiative, it feels like your ERG team is starting from scratch instead of learning from compounding context.
By capturing institutional knowledge early and often (i.e. best practices, frameworks, etc) it makes it less likely ERG leads will burnout, and unlocks more strategic efforts instead of logistical, repetitive tasks.
Often times after an effort, it’s tempting to tap out without debriefing how it went. But then when you or another ERG lead wants to look back to efforts or events to see what worked best or could be better - it’s near impossible to dig through dozens of docs and old messages.
By capturing bits of knowledge along the way - what events went well, which vendors are great, what could’ve been better, how attendance was - you start to paint a clearer picture of your ERG program’s strengths and room for improvement.
This historical context compounds on itself so every effort, event and initiative gets stronger each quarter.
ERGs do amazing work that contributes to company culture and strategy. Too often, though, their work goes under the radar. Management may not know who specifically put an event together or the trackable impact it had on the business. By doing a simple retro or debrief, you provide a place where others - your peers, leaders, or others - can see what you did and give you credit for the effort.
So now that you’re on board with how important debriefs and retros are, how can you put one together?
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