One of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’s talent goals is to “Foster a diverse and inclusive culture.” To create this cultural awareness, improve employee engagement, and develop long-lasting policies, we created strategic Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to support our diversity and inclusion, talent acquisition, and corporate strategy goals.
In 2013, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) established the Women’s Inclusion Network, its first ERG. Subsequently, we created seven other ERGs: Asian Blue Community, AZULatino, Black Professional Network, BluePride, Empowering Abilities, Young Professionals Network, and the Veterans ERG. Over the years, we have strategically designed the ERGs to play a critical role in our talent strategy, which focuses on securing and retaining the right talent, integrating new associates into our culture, and supporting their productivity.
To advance that strategy, BCBSMA proactively partnered each ERG with a talent recruiter to focus on diversity recruiting efforts, with the goal of recruiting, respecting, and retaining our top talent across BCBSMA. Through this approach, we have developed strong partnerships with disability organizations, veterans groups, and racially and ethnically diverse organizations that help feed our diverse talent pipeline.
In addition, as a way to continue strengthening the ERGs as true business resources for the company, we are rolling out a new Talent Ambassador Program (TAP) with ERG members in 2018. TAP is based on the premise that our associates and leaders are our best brand evangelists and are uniquely qualified to represent our brand. The goal of TAP is to identify, train, and deploy diverse and engaged employees to support the BCBSMA talent strategy. In this role, associates will function as representatives and promoters of our brand. TAP will give participants the tools and resources they need to represent the company at career fairs, networking events, campus outreach, and relevant community forums.
A third of our workforce— over 1,100 associates—currently participate in our ERGs. In 2018, we hope to have more ERG members engaged in our TAP program to help strengthen our external brand and talent strategy. Our ERGs also help drive core business initiatives, such as user testing and capability recommendations for our public mobile health application.
Each one of us has a role in making diversity and inclusion a part of everything we do. Whether we are answering the phones or leading a large group of associates, we can all seek out new perspectives, learn from those with different backgrounds and experiences, and welcome all styles and approaches. This helps us build the strength and flexibility we need to respond to the demands of an ever-changing marketplace.