Empowering Workforces through Employee Resource Groups: A Theoretical and Practical Framework

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Thomas, Dylan
Master of Leadership Development
While evidence suggests that employee resource groups can play a vital role in organizational health, their facilitation is not often subject matter found in textbooks on the subject of human resources and few current articles seek to link their governance to theories that might undergird their success. This work seeks to provide a basic theoretical framework for facilitating employee resource groups that add value to the lives of their members and the organizations in which they arise. This is understood through examining theories, support for, and criticism of employee resource groups found in current works on the subject. Practically, this goal is achieved through synthesizing definitions of employee resource groups, cultural competency, and key performance indicators to create a principal mission statement that facilitators can use to assess the health of an employee resource group and its initiatives. This principal mission statement is also utilized to understand some of the common problems such groups encounters and to help envision healthy responses to those difficulties. Finally, a four-phase plan is provided which asks facilitators to envision the pervasive goals built into each stage of an employee resource group’s lifecycle.