Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are groups of employees who voluntarily come together to provide support, engagement and create connections based on shared interests, experiences, and/or identities. ERGs offer a chance to meet colleagues, increase cultural competency, and make a positive impact in the campus community. The primary objectives of ERGs are to promote a sense of community, build personal and professional networks, enhance employee support and retention, and assist in attracting new employees to Hofstra to foster a diverse and inclusive culture. While the ERG model is based on common background or interest, any employee can join any ERG. Students are not eligible to become members of ERGs; however, there may be opportunities for student organizations and ERGs to collaborate on or co-sponsor activities.
ERGs contribute to Hofstra’s mission by fostering a sense of community and increasing employee engagement. ERGs are meant to be truly voluntary activities and choosing to join or not to join an ERG will have no impact on employment. ERGs are not vehicles through which the University will address employee problems or grievances, these types of concerns should continue to be directed to HR or the applicable employee union. ERGs are not meant to conflict with employee work responsibilities.
- Serve as a vehicle for personal development of their members and help build professional networks.
- Provide an opportunity for social connection, comfort, and belonging within the workplace, thereby increasing morale, connections to campus, employee support and retention.
- Positively impact recruitment and retention of campus community members, in support of our strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
- Enhance a sense of community based on shared interests and experiences.
- Promote meaningful collaborations across ERGs.
Groups of employees wishing to establish themselves as an ERG must align with the spirit and purpose of contributing to a more inclusive and supportive community. Applications are submitted to the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
To form an ERG, complete the Employee Resource Group interest form. ERGs with 2-4 members will be considered provisional until membership reaches 5 employees. ERGs with 5 or more members will be considered full-status ERGs. All ERGs, regardless of status, will appear on the OEI and HR websites. Further ERG structure and guidelines appear below:
- General Governance
The strategy and ongoing purpose of the Employee Resource Groups shall be supported centrally by the Office of Equity and Inclusion. We will offer guidance, an overarching strategy, and support throughout the life of the ERG. Regular functions of ERGs are left to the discretion of each ERG in compliance with this Policy.
Each ERG will identify an ambassador who will help guide the ERG’s plans and activities, meet on a regular basis, liaise with the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and be listed as a contact for the ERG on the OEI and HR websites. Additional (optional) officers could also be appointed or elected at the ERG’s discretion.
- ERG Leadership Meetings
The Office of Equity and Inclusion in partnership with Human Resources will arrange regular meetings with ERG ambassadors at least once a semester for the review of ERG priorities and scheduling, coordination of efforts where appropriate, and information sharing.
- ERG Goals
Specific activities and plans for each ERG shall be created by the ERGs once established and be shared with the Office of Equity and Inclusion. Plans may include social and cultural events, programming, or other activities that foster community building and support other ERG goals.
- All ERGs must follow all Hofstra policies, including the nondiscrimination policy and harassment prevention policy.
- An ERG is not an entity with which the University discusses terms and conditions of employment.
- Ambassadors will acknowledge receipt of policy and indicate that they will provide policy to the ERG members.
- No employee may be excluded from an ERG because of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, marital or veteran status.
- Nothing in this policy is intended to interfere with the employees’ rights to meet and discuss work issues.
- Employees will not be retaliated against for joining or not joining an ERG.
- For non-exempt employees, any time spent at ERGs is voluntary, not considered hours worked, and must be scheduled outside of work hours.
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