How Do We Get Hourly Workers in Resource Groups?

January 30, 2012 2:23 pm
How Do We Get Hourly Workers in Resource Groups

Photo by Shutterstock

Q: We are trying to find ways to include our hourly and union workers in as much of the D&I work as possible. As you know, working with unions can be particularly difficult, and I want to have as much guidance as I can get. If there is anything written on this, that would be helpful.

A: We’ve recently completed an in-depth survey on employee-resource groups, going beyond the questions asked on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity survey. We asked a number of questions on membership research on this topic. Here are preliminary findings. The entire report is available by clicking here.

Of the companies surveyed on criteria for membership:

  • 100 percent count formally signing up for membership
  • 67 percent count attending events
  • 67 percent count attending a minimum number of ERG meetings (specified in advance)
  • 22 percent count actively contributing to the group

The criteria on exclusion varies, but 50 percent exclude types of workers from participation—contractors, in most cases. Forty-five percent have different policies for hourly and salaried workers on participation. Most of those that allow hourly-worker participation often require supervisor permission if during work hours, will not pay overtime for time spent on ERGs, or will only allow those who take on leadership positions at ERGs to participate during work hours. Many of these companies also work to educate the managers of the hourly/union workers on the importance of allowing them the flexibility to participate.

A handful of companies have been tracking employee-resource-group participation and engagement and are publicizing the results internally and on This has an energizing effect on employees throughout the organization and enhances their involvement, especially in leadership roles. Case studies of these companies and contact information for them are available to DiversityInc Benchmarking customers. For more information, contact