Verbate Guide: How to Set Great Goals for your ERG

Anisha Nandi
Co-Founder, CEO

Intro: Why Goal Setting is Important

Employee Resource Groups are becoming a must-have at companies that want to promote inclusivity, healthy workspaces and employee engagement. Companies like Twitter, LinkedIn and JustWorks have begun allocating meaningful budgets and compensation structures around ERGs to show commitment and support for their efforts. 

But with this added investment from employers often comes higher expectations. So how can ERG leaders and program managers make sure that they’re setting themselves, and their organizations, up for success? This boils down to effective goal-setting and tracking. 

As you go about setting your ERG goals, this guide is an evergreen reference to make sure you’re setting effective goals.

Frameworks to Know

The 4Cs

The 4Cs are a framework that lays out four main areas that ERGs can reference when thinking about the impact of their efforts. DRR Advisors created this model in order to benchmark ERG success and goals. Below are the 4Cs and some pointers on how to think about them as you create ERG goals and efforts.

Career

  • Does this effort contribute to career advancement or professional development of your company’s employees?
  • Goal could contribute to: recruitment, engagement, retention

Culture

  • Does this effort strengthen cultural competence or understanding within your company? 
  • Goal could contribute to: recruitment, retention, corporate governance, employee happiness & sense of belonging 

Community

  • Does this effort foster internal or external community?
  • Goal could contribute to: brand awareness & love, employee belonging, wellness & purpose, recruiting & retention  

Commerce

  • Does this effort contribute to the company’s business outcomes?
  • Goal could contribute to: profitability, competitive advantage, brand awareness & love 

OKRs

OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. Many organizations use OKRs to track their strategies across key business imperatives. Building effective OKRs means breaking down goals into three main parts: your objective, key results and initiatives. Goals for your ERG can be thought of within the same framework to establish strategic alignment and clear  vision.

Objective

  • What is your ultimate destination...what do you want to accomplish with this goal?

Key Results

  • What are you measuring along the way as you work towards your objective?

Initiatives 

  • What are the concrete tasks that you need to accomplish in order to hit your key metrics and results and reach your objective?

Effective Goal-Setting Checklist

Now that you have a few frameworks under your belt, let’s talk about how to apply them. ERGs foster engagement, retention, recruiting, inclusivity, connection and more. Some of these metrics can be measured quantitatively and some are better measured qualitatively. 

The key is setting that expectation for what success looks like early, and tracking it diligently. Verbate’s platform helps you along - but here are the basics for anyone to dive into. 

1. Alignment

Align your goal with company mission, imperatives and/or values.

  • Does your goal align with the ERG’s mission? 
  • Does it align with company values?
  • Does it align with one or more of the 4Cs listed above?
  • Is it tied to OKRs for your ERG or company at large?

While your goal doesn’t have to hit all the points above, it’s good to keep them in mind as you form goals at a high-level. 

2. Stakeholders

Determine your stakeholders

  • Are there specific champions leading this goal? 
  • Are there ERG members who want to  take the lead?
  • Is the executive sponsor involved? 
  • What other teams within the company could be involved? (i.e. talent, recruiting, HR, etc.)

Determining who will see the goal through to success is critical to making sure it doesn’t fall to the wayside. Assigning clear leaders of the specific goal and empowering them with the tools they need for success is key.

3. Timeline

Establish your Timeline 

  • Is this a quarterly goal? A yearly goal? 
  • Can it be broken down into different phases and tracked against separate timelines?
  • What’s a conservative estimate and an ambitious estimate?

This will give you and your team a way to assign realistic tasks within the goal, track against past success and provide examples for future success/room for improvement. 

4. Demonstrate & Improve

Showcase your success and room for improvement.  

  • Once the goal is completed, how will you demonstrate success? This can be both qualitative and quantitative. 
  • For quantitative results, are there concrete OKRs you can point to? I.e. attendance, satisfaction scores, etc. 
  • For qualitative success, are you recording surveys or asking for feedback?
  • How are you internally messaging success and getting the word about events past and present?
  • Are you holding post-event retros and keeping record of successes and areas for improvement?

Tracking successes and areas of improvement not only help your ERG get better today, and show leadership all your hard work, but also help future ERG leaders execute their goals, events and efforts more effectively. 

Want to see some example goals for some inspiration? Head over this 'Verbate's Example Goals' guide laying out a few example goals using the frameworks we've covered in this guide.

Anisha Nandi
Co-Founder, CEO

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