There is nothing more human–and healthy–than positive social connection. Workplace dynamics are entirely random, with employees coming from various walks of life, creating a sense of isolation for certain individuals.
This is where Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) come in.
ERGs create a space for people with shared characteristics or experiences to connect, network, and support each other. Historically, they developed for underrepresented populations that faced race, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity discrimination. Today ERGs exist for these groups and more!
Importance of ERGs 🥳
- Fostering an Inclusive Environment. Encouraging ERGs in the workplace is a way to promote inclusivity amongst your team and shows employees that they are seen and supported.
- Benefits of Belonging. ERGs connect employees with shared characteristics to help establish belonging within the organization. The benefits of a team that feels like they belong are staggering. Deloitte reports that ‘belonging’ is the top human capital issue companies face that affects an organization’s success. The research shows that belonging impacts job performance, turnover, employer net promoter score, employee raises and promotions, amount of used sick days, employee satisfaction, and the bottom line.
- Employee Empowerment. ERGs are volunteer-led, which provides an excellent opportunity for professional skill-building. The group can provide a support system for growth, positively impacting members' confidence and self-efficacy.
- Recruiting and Retaining Diverse Talent. HR experts consider ERGs “a dynamic retention tool [that] are an often-untapped resource." Research shows that team diversity is a significant factor in strong organizational performance. Employers should prioritize ways to recruit and retain employees who bring a diverse edge. Tap into the magic of ERGs to attract and retain diverse talent!
Starting an ERG 🌟
Establishing ERGs at your workplace can seem like an intimidating undertaking. The following steps can help you get started establishing ERGs at your workplace.
- Determine Group Purpose and Participants. Determine why you are creating the ERG and who it is serving. Leveraging employees who are passionate about the cause will spearhead and motivate others to participate.
- Create an Application Process. Ensure participants are committed by having them complete a simple application process. This could be filling out an application form or submitting a video statement of why they want to join! The process doesn't have to include interviews or massive amounts of effort–just an action to show that they are serious about participating.
- Establish Leadership. Establish a leadership structure to aid in decision-making and ensure accountability.
- Clarify Expectations amongst the Team. Set expectations from the get-go. Determine group roles, time commitment, and meeting schedules.
- Empower your ERGs to Take Action. To ensure your ERGs can adequately run their programming and events, provide a budget and additional required resources. Most importantly, step back. Provide space to members so they can self-govern and meaningfully engage in the ERG.
Check out our blog, 5 Tips to Create Successful Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for additional information.
There are so many advantages when it comes to embracing the power of ERGs. Get started establishing these powerful groups to benefit your organization!