Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

What did you want to achieve? 

At Philips our ambition is to create a culture that fully leverages our differences and fosters intentional inclusion. In order to achieve this, our Diversity & Inclusion strategy focuses on the creation of Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s). Our employee-led Employee Resource Groups provide an inclusive space for employees to support, embrace, and care for one another, develop skills, experience meaningful cultural connections, and support key business initiatives. ERGs are usually created by employees who share a characteristic, but our ERGs are open to all and we truly encourage people from all backgrounds to join every ERG at Philips supporting the concept of allyship

What did you do?

Over the last 2 years we have worked closely with our ERG’s (currently 11 globally) to help them form, establish clear charters, and support their ambitions. Our current ERGs represent the following employee demographics: Black, Latinx, Asian, LGTBQ+, Veterans, Disabled, Parents, Neurodiversity, Caregivers, Future Leaders, and Women. Each ERG follows our operating & governance model that provides a structure as it relates to executive sponsorship, succession, areas of focus and competencies. Each ERG has an executive sponsor from our Global Diversity Council and is co-led by two selected employees that manage the day-to-day operations. ERG leaders are accompanied by committees focused on areas such as culture, recruitment, retention, development, allyship, intersectionality and mental health and wellbeing to help support their respective missions. Each ERG has 1-3 KPI’s that measure their success year after year. KPI’s focus on topics such as awareness, representation, community impact. Our ERGs communicate to their members via our internal communications platforms and our collective ERG leaders meet monthly to share best practices.

What are the results so far?

Currently our ERG’s have over 10,000 members globally and are governed under one model. They are making significant impact on our culture when it comes to education, inclusion, allyship and professional development. Providing psychological safety, they have created platforms for employee feedback, allowing employees to share their work experiences at Philips so we can improve our processes, accessibility and policies. Through their work and leadership, our Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Indexes via our Employee Engagement Survey are some of the highest rated favourable throughout Philips. Truly a testimony of a culture of inclusion! 

What have you learned? 

We have learned so much! The change we can make with the power of connection and coming together and empowering our employees to use their voice. Creating visibility, voice and platform for ERGs and what they can do when they have our support. Executive sponsorship is so crucial to have the advocacy and buy-in from the top helping guide them and challenge barriers. Recently three of our ERG’s have influenced change 1) as it relates to employee accessibility and policy change; 2) by providing feedback to an in-house created visual that represented stereotypical images (due this feedback, the visual was immediately changed); 3) by providing feedback on work experiences that has in turn substantially influenced our Diversity and Inclusion strategy!