How to create ERG's
An employee resource group, most commonly known as an ERG, is a group of employees that come together based on shared characteristics and interests. Generally, ERG’s are based on providing support and enhancing career development, and have been focused on employee experiences and traits.
There are many benefits of having ERGs within your company. Employees are able to support each other and work together to improve their work environment, while also building a strong community. To add on, members of an ERG are given the opportunity to collaboratively create a positive environment and inclusive culture at their workplace, while also forming a connection with their coworkers and gaining personal and professional development.
By creating a space for employees to share their challenges and problems, members are able to easily communicate and brainstorm solutions which creates an efficient and successful workspace for employees. ERG’s also bring value to companies as they build community by connecting employees both socially and professionally.
Commonly shared characteristics between employees of an ERG are similar interests, religious affiliation, socioeconomic background, age, ethnicity, and more. Some topics discussed in ERG’s are often led by the team members as they share their personal experiences and provide support to their coworkers' personal and professional development.
Steps to Create an ERG amongst your team:
1. Find team members with shared interests 👥
- Organize a meeting for you and your team members and share your interests. Then the next step would be to decide who would like to be a part of the ERG, based on their shared interests. During this meeting, it is also crucial to determine who are the leaders of the ERG, and who will be leading the meetings and organizing all ERG details. (ie. date, time, meeting location/platform, topics to discuss)
2. Establish the mission, purpose, and goals of your ERG ✅
- Sit down with your ERG members and discuss the main purpose of your group. It is important to determine what each member is expecting from joining their ERG, and what they are hoping to accomplish. By setting your ERG’s goals clear for the team members, they can track their personal progress and keep track of their overall development.
3. Promote your ERG to your workplace 💼
- Advertise your ERG throughout your workplace. You can inform your coworkers by sending them messages through your workplace channels and also tell them directly during your next meeting. Make sure to inform everyone about the purpose of your ERG and your overall mission, goals, and meeting details. Promoting your ERG to your coworkers is extremely important as it ensures that everyone is given the chance to be included.
4. Organize upcoming events 🗓
- The next step is to organize your events and bring your members together. When scheduling your events, make sure that they are set to an appropriate time and date to ensure that as many members as possible can attend. Making your event virtually accessible is one way of making sure that many members are able to attend. It is important to acknowledge that several attendees may be from different time zones, so considering that when planning upcoming events is crucial.
5. Evaluate the performance of your ERG 📝
- Keeping track of your performance is an effective way to determine the success and progress of your ERG. Administrating metrics such as attendance and employee satisfaction is a helpful way of measuring overall value and success! Another effective way of measuring performance is to send surveys before and after events to all group members. This provides direct feedback that will allow you to make any changes based on positive or negative input from your ERG.
Common examples of ERGs in the Workplace:
- A LGBTQ+ network
- Working Parents Support Group (include pet parents too!)
- A Women’s network
- Network for people with disabilities
- A mentorship program
- Mental Health Awareness Group
- Network for people of color
- Gender Identity Minority
- Sexual Orientation Minority
By familiarizing yourself with ERGs, you and your team can gain insight to sufficient strategies that will assist you in creating your own successful ERG. An ERG program is an inspirational, employee-led organization that showcases consideration to their employees, by uncovering company initiatives and resources. By actively focusing on social impact and providing opportunities to build employee engagement, ERGs boost a company’s dedication to involvement.