To boost engagement and increase employee morale across the U.S., PRIDE Industries has created several ERGs. These groups are instrumental in mitigating feelings of isolation and bringing a sense of community, camaraderie, and connection to the company, giving employees a sense of belonging and value.
In October 2020, the company hired a Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Compliance to lead its effort to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organizational fabric. A roadmap was created to support the ERGs by providing them with essential tools, templates, and resources.
The Director of Diversity launched five ERGs—Black Employees Network, Millennial ERG, People with Disabilities, Professional Women’s Network & Friends, and the Veterans ERG—by using the collective impact framework. To ensure the groups’ success, each ERG was assigned a facilitator, ambassador, allies, and an executive sponsor. They received an annual budget to support its outreach, education, and networking activities. Successful outcomes of the ERGs include: a physician panel discussion on COVID-19, a panel on invisible and visible disabilities, a career development and upward mobility series, a TED-Talk speaker, a Memorial Day event, and a Veterans Day event. Each ERG has also met with the CEO and other senior executives for Q&A sessions.
Additionally, our diversity and HR offices hosted an inaugural ERG virtual leadership retreat for the ERG officers. During an opening event, the senior executive sponsors voiced their support for all the ERGs. This was followed by three days of workshops, activities, and networking opportunities. The quote below is typical of the sentiments voiced by participants.
“Thank you for a wonderful ERG Retreat. I attended all the presentations and looked at the 52-week motivational journal that was given to us. Many things resonated with me,” ERG leader.
To build on this year’s success, PRIDE Industries will launch two more ERGs in 2022: Hispanic Heritage ERG and Asian Pacific Islander ERG. This momentum is reflective of the broad support that diversity and inclusion efforts receive at PRIDE Industries, as expressed by Jeff Dern, CEO of the company:
"At PRIDE Industries, our people are our most valuable resource. We are committed to growing leaders from within the company and attracting new talent to drive growth and continuously expand our mission. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are a critical piece of our organization’s fabric, providing a sense of community, common purpose, learning enhancement, and relationship development. The evidence is overwhelming that employee resource groups are good for business. A diverse workforce is vital for our ability to grow and innovate in today's global marketplace. The executive team is committed to ensuring that ERG leaders and constituents have the resources they need to launch and expand ERGs across the organization."