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Activating Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion through employee resource councils

The challenge

The leadership of a large home healthcare provider sought to operationalize their Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) strategy by launching Employee Resource Councils (ERCs) across their organization. Success to this client meant formalized strategic planning exercises and mobilizing these ERCs so they could flourish independently. These success factors would create true impact and value at both an individual and broader organization level. Initial efforts were focused on determining the number of ERCs and the identities they would support. Following the initial strategic planning phase, the organization needed support integrating interdisciplinary stakeholders, mobilizing working groups, training ERC facilitators, determining membership and application processes, and securing executive sponsorship. In standing up ERCs, the organization hoped to support employee engagement and development by offering a dedicated space for discussion, support, and decision-making related to issues, needs, and policies.

The approach

To stand up and mobilize the ERCs, Vynamic helped in four key ways:

Strategic prioritization of focus areas 

The team kicked off this effort by designing a survey to identify priority ERC focus areas. In parallel, the team used a detailed leadership expectation rubric to develop the target membership mix for identified groups, ensuring a broad range of multi-level perspectives would be represented from across the organization.

Mobilization and sponsorship

Once ERC focus areas were identified, the Vynamic team led a series of kick-off meetings with the Executive Sponsors for each group. These sessions were used to align on the Executive Sponsors’ roles and discuss how they could be most effective, as well as to prepare for upcoming ERC-specific kick-off meetings. The team collaborated with the Executive Sponsors to both design and execute initiation meetings with each ERC that focused on building connections and outlining responsibilities, and then conducted follow-up meetings with ERC leadership (Co-Chairs and Secretaries) to help them structure future meetings and set the goals for their ERC.

Training and empowerment

As the ERCs began to mobilize, Vynamic supported them by facilitating introductions across ERC members, sharing critical workgroup materials, assigning and aligning on shared responsibilities, and actively leading initial meetings. Taking a strategic ramp-up approach, Vynamic began systematically training and empowering the teams to be self-sufficient, ensuring they felt energized and confident in their objectives, goals, and implementation plans.

Sustainability of initiatives

Once ERCs achieved a solid and sustainable cadence and could operate independently, the Vynamic team transitioned toward onboarding a full time DEI leader to ensure longevity and clear direction post-engagement.

The result

Vynamic’s recommendations equipped the client with a focused and sustainable approach to following through on their DEI commitments. Through this project, the client was able to activate Employee Resource Councils, successfully onboard a DEI leader, and introduce internal DEI branding. Moreover, our client updated their customer-facing marketing to better communicate their focus on DEI, creating heightened visibility of these initiatives through their public website.

Examples of the ERC groups formed include:

  • An ERC dedicated to educating and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community and allies. Accomplishments of this group to date include upgrading filters on operational documentation and forms to reflect a more inclusive spectrum of demographics (such as a broader range of gender identities) and DEI-focused language training for hiring managers.
  • An ERC focused on creating opportunities to increase racial and ethnic diversity in leadership through focused education and development programs. This group focused on career development, specifically forming clear pathways for growth into leadership roles.
  • An ERC centered on providing support, opportunities, and open dialogue to women within the workplace set goals centered on talent acquisition, connections and community, and enterprise-wide communications such as town halls and circulated messages.

As a result of this foundation and framework developed by Vynamic, this organization was able to launch two additional new ERCs in the next year.

About Vynamic

Vynamic, an Inizio Advisory company, is a leading management consulting partner to global health organizations across Life Sciences, Health Services, and Health Technology. Founded and headquartered in Philadelphia, Vynamic has offices in Boston, Durham NC, New York, and London. Our purpose is simple: We believe there is a better way. We are passionate about shaping the future of health, and for more than 20 years we’ve helped clients transform by connecting strategy to action.

Through a structured, yet flexible delivery model, our accomplished leaders work as an extension of client teams, enabling growth, performance, and culture. Vynamic has been recognized by organizations like Great Place to Work and Business Culture Awards for being leaders and innovators in consulting, company culture, and health. Visit Vynamic.com to discover how we can help transform your
organization or your career.

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