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How Esurance Creates an Inclusive Workplace for Disabled Employees

May 31, 2019
iCIMS Staff
3 min read

There is no one-size-fits-all proposal to create a workplace that’s inclusive of all people with disabilities. Yet there are lessons we can draw from companies – such as Esurance – that have successfully created an environment and culture inclusive to all employees.

Employee resource groups are the backbone of Esurance’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Employee resource groups, also commonly known as business resource groups or affinity groups, are gaining popularity as more companies see their potential. In fact, 90% of Fortune 500 companies utilize employee resource groups because they have a strong track record of success.

The purpose of these groups is for employees with similar backgrounds, experiences, or priorities to come together to address common concerns and support one another. They provide employees with a place they feel safe. This sense of wellbeing can boost job satisfaction and productivity. Resource groups also advocate for disability-related issues, including educating employees and making them aware of the support and resources available to them.

Esurance Uses Employee Resource Groups to Recruit Diverse Candidates

Esurance has a number of employee resource groups, including eBility – a group of dedicated employees from all levels of the organization who either have disabilities themselves, or family members with disabilities at home. The success of these groups is a point of pride for Esurance, whose leadership team is completely bought in on the program.

The group’s aim is to create “an inclusive, barrier-free workplace that’s physically, technologically, and culturally accessible.” In addition, the group promotes leadership and professional development opportunities, with the goal of helping members “reach their full potential.”

Employee resource groups, such as eBility, are also a boon for recruitment. As Kristi Robinson, head of talent acquisition at Esurance says, “We value diversity, and we just don’t say we’re inclusive, we live it. Our TA team is currently partnering with our Employee Resource Groups to get them involved with helping us recruit top talent. We want to have our passionate associates front and center at our recruiting events.”

How Your Company Can Recruit with ERGs

According to research conducted by LinkedIn, the biggest barriers to companies focused on improving diversity are finding diverse candidates to interview and retraining diverse employees. If your business has the same challenges, there’s good news: Esurance’s success with diversity recruitment is replicable.

  1. First, promote information about your company’s ERGs on your career portals. The existence and active presence of employee resource groups sends a clear message to people with disabilities that your company is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment for all employees. Job seekers with disabilities may feel more comfortable working for your company with the knowledge that they’ll have support from their peers and leadership.
  2. Recruiters should also be prepared to talk with interested candidates about the history and focus of employee resource groups at your company, along with benefits experienced by current employees and the organization overall. This includes talking about mentorship opportunities. Members of employee resource groups can make excellent mentors to new hires with disabilities, improving retention by offering advice on everything from career moves, to team dynamics and even how best to navigate around the building.
  3. Finally, don’t assume existing employees know about these programs already. Partner with leaders from around your organization to spread awareness by word of mouth. Employee referrals are an excellent source of candidates. The more employees know what groups exist, the more likely they’ll share that information with people in their networks.

Getting the Most Out of ERGs

Employee resource groups can be beneficial to employees and your business overall. But the existence of these groups doesn’t guarantee results. Employee engagement and leadership support are the biggest indicators of how successful your company’s ERGs will be. To get the most out of ERGs, employers need to be bought in. That means supporting resource groups by:

  • Providing resources to groups, including dedicated meeting areas
  • Encouraging interested employees to carve out time for meetings
  • Promoting leadership training to group members
  • Actively listening to proposals made by groups

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