County Manager Column from Sept. 8, 2020

I’m pleased to welcome Maria Sarabia from the Diversity, Inclusion and Organizational Development unit of Human Resources to present this guest column about the re-launch of employee resource groups in 2020 – Ryan

Employee resource groups to re-launch in 2020

In August you may have seen an article on RamseyNet announcing the re-launch of employee resource groups – which we’ll be referring to as ERGs. Though it’s been quite some time since there were active ERGs at Ramsey County, some long-term employees may remember or have participated in them in the past.

In short, ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups designed to promote inclusion and build a sense of belonging. The work of Ramsey County ERGs will align with our mission, vision, values and goals and offer an opportunity to amplify the voices of employees who may be underrepresented.

ERGs can help employees build connections through common bonds with colleagues who serve within a specific service or program area and/or have a shared culture, protected class or field of service.

Our work through the annual Workforce Statistics Report and Equal Employment Opportunity Plan & Report has demonstrated that embedding an equity and inclusion lens in all Ramsey County service delivery is essential to address workforce challenges and opportunities. Through ERGs, we can continue this critical work while sparking innovation.

For this work to be effective, we encourage employees and leaders at all levels to participate as we work together to foster a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture that aligns with the county’s strategic plan and priorities.

There are so many talented people working behind the scenes to make ERGs possible. My colleague Silvia Dominguez-McCalip is one of the individuals who has been instrumental in laying the groundwork for ERGs. Please take a look at the video below to learn more about the goals and benefits of ERGs.

The goals and benefits of ERGs are as broad and diverse as the tasks that they may charged with, including:

  • Identifying workforce-related challenges or opportunities and offering insights from lived work experiences. 
  • Exploring new methods or practices to increase retention and foster inclusion.
  • Supporting new employees; serving as a mentor or being mentored.
  • Co-creating professional growth, leadership development and learning and development opportunities.
  • Increasing and growing community connections and partnerships across the public service sector.  
  • Strengthening career pathways for diverse talent within Ramsey County leadership.
  • Hosting and planning ways for the county to learn about a specific culture, group, service or program area.
  • Learning about Ramsey County policies in a specific service or program area that impacts underserved or protected class status employees, and communities from racial and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Get involved

If you’re interested in participating in an ERG, contact Silvia McCalip to learn more. Stay tuned to RamseyNet for more information in the coming weeks.