Employee Resource Groups Revolutionizing the Views of the Companies
- Omer Usanmaz
- July 3 2022
Employee resource groups, or ERGs, are a group that ensures that the companies have fair practices within their group. By fair practice, it promotes a safe space for people, where they can voice out their opinion from their underrepresented communities. The group has membership eligibility for every sect of people like women, Africans, Black Americans, Asians, etc. The ERGs slightly push these sects of people to come out and shine with their hidden talents and skills. ERG also offers various courses for the employees to help them build stronger relationships along with professional development with the organization and other fellow employees. Before diving into the topic, if you want to learn about our ERG software in detail, you can visit the link.
What is the Purpose and Importance of ERG?
Employee resource groups strive to create an inclusive company culture where employees from diverse groups can feel safe and comfortable. These groups provide guidance and support for underrepresented employees and help them intensify their community. The groups take the initiative to create a forum for employees and encourage interaction between diverse employees. This forum stands as a platform for communication, where everyone can pitch in their views and opinions and share their heart without any hindrance.
One can work well and efficiently in a positive environment. So, the ERG works towards equally creating an impactful working environment for all the sects. The ERGs stand as support and pillar for the candidates and help them find work opportunities that can help them settle well in an efficient workplace environment. The groups care a lot about personal development and the employees' professional development. Moreover, they motivate the members to engage in various activities and spread awareness in their organization. A social network can build a stronger connection between the employees, so it encourages all social practices without compromising the employee's culture and tradition. This is the key to complete professional development of the employee. The performance appraisal must be conducted by the senior leadership equally, be it a black employee or white. This brings both personal benefit as well as professional and becomes a crucial asset in business decisions for long term informal leadership opportunities.
The employee resource group is an experience-based group that focuses on talent acquisition, culture awareness, sexual orientation, employee satisfaction, and many other important aspects. The benefits of ERGs apply to all the employees who feel left out of their groups. The ERGs stand as the voice of the unheard and take their opinion to the company. The importance of having ERGs in an organization is mentioned below to give a wider perspective on the effectiveness of the group.
Creates An Inclusive Work Environment
The employee resource groups ensure that the employees feel welcomed in their company. So, they create an inclusive environment that lets the employees feel accepted and appreciated for who they are and what they bring to the table. This initiation by the group creates a strong bond built on trust and transparency between the employees. Employee development and safety are considered the foremost priority for the group. The motive is to give every employee the equal opportunity they deserve for their potential and talent in their field. In the pursuit of having a diverse group without any bias, the company leaders tend to hire underrepresented employees. The company's executive team as well as the marketing team team also constantly check on the performance of the ERGs so that they do not lose focus and deviate from their initial motives.
Encourage Cultural Awareness
A company can be filled with employees of different cultures. It is important that the leaders do not make any inappropriate decisions based on the team members' cultures and identities. The ERG imparts knowledge of different cultures to guide the company leaders on cultural awareness. ERG aims to remove the hurdles that block the company from having an inclusive workplace. So, they conduct cultural awareness programs or workshops to help the company leaders understand a culture or a heritage better. This can help in creating a sense of community within the team. Moreover, whenever there are official parties or events, the company leaders and the team can work their way by considering the culture of the diverse set of people in the office, embracing a variety of themes for the party and celebrating different religious functions with equal fervor.
Enhance and Strengthen Company Innovation
Diversity and innovation might seem like two extremely different and unrelated topics. However, research shows that the promotion of diversity can increase the company's innovation to a greater extent. A safe and secure working environment can always create magic, especially when the environment is a psychologically sheltered space for them. A protective environment can help the employees think better and share their ideas without hesitation. The sense of acceptance and belonging within the team can be a driving force to help the underrepresented community come out of their shell and showcase their strengths. In this way, you can have innovative ideas from the most delicate person in the team. Budget tracking tools used by the senior leader help keep a balance on the expenditure involved. This is crucial during both employee recruitment as well as retention.
Improves Employee Experience
Employees are the most prized possession in an organization. It is imperative to build an environment and facilitate them to put their best foot forward for boosted engagement and productivity. Most of the diverse groups of employees are engaged with employee resource groups that help bring out the best in them. Being part of an ERG helps them gain a solid experience which is quite helpful for them to explore their way around the inclusive work environment. Moreover, the employees are also set to create a positive work environment that helps them with the business practices effectively.
Different Ways for Companies to Support ERG
The world is changing digitally and morally. The once followed practices are now a long-forgotten dream in society. Corporate and tech companies are also slowly welcoming the new working environment of diversity and inclusion. The companies are stepping forward to create a strong employee identity equally for everyone. Most companies are also encouraging employee resource groups to increase the regularity of their activities in recent years. Some of the different ways the companies lend their support to such ERGs are as follows:
Create a Diversity Committee
One of the best ways for the companies to support ERGs is by forming a diversity committee. The committee can partner with one of the employee resource groups and work towards inclusion initiatives. You can initiate cultural diversity and make inclusion efforts to push the company toward employee engagement. Moreover, the committee can be a foundation to set up action plans and diversity strategies that can help them implement an inclusive community. This can also be a platform that helps promote inclusion behaviors among the employees through company leadership. If there is any issue relating to diversity and inclusion, the committee would stand as a peacemaker and help resolve the issue. Moreover, the committee gives ERG leaders and members constructive feedback to improve the inclusive environment. The committee also funds any events or trips related to promoting diversity.
Recruit a Diverse Set of People
Diversity and inclusion create a common identity among the employees without any prejudice. A company that is open to inclusion for people tends to attain higher profits. Employees from different sectors bring in a wide variety of ideas and try to implement them in their inclusive community at the workplace. Moreover, having a diverse group of people encourages one another to speak up and come out of their comfort zones. A company filled with diverse employees can attract diverse candidates during the recruitment process. Moreover, the companies can showcase their inclusive culture in their job description to grab the attention of a wide set of candidates.
Motivate New Joinees into ERGs
Everyone in the company should build a strong community within the organization and its teams. Moreover, there should be a strong sense of diversity and inclusion inculcated among every employee working in the organization. The companies can also guide the new hires to join the employee resource groups from the beginning to have cultural awareness and know the common practices in a supportive environment. The perfect time to engage the new joinees in the ERGs is during the hiring or training period. Involving the new joinees from the start can help them communicate with other employees better without any prejudice. Moreover, this also helps in the candidate's personal development in their career.
Conduct Various Courses
Employee satisfaction and development are the primary goals for ERG. The group strives to make the professional and personal life of an employee better and more comfortable. As an underrepresented community, some employees fail to get equal development opportunities. So, the ERGs strive to identify the individual's potential and try to push them forward and help them become a go-getter. They open up wide development opportunities that have been hidden from their sight. The ERGs offer various courses to work on their personal and career life so they can connect well with their team. Moreover, the focus of ERG is to prepare the candidate to be mentally fit to work in a supportive environment. The communication from ERGs is solely based on improvising the personal self of the individual.
What are the Basic Practices Employed in ERG?
The employee resource groups take initiation through various methods to encourage the employees and the companies to lead a diverse organization. The ERGs aim to build interaction between employees without any bias and prejudice. In order to make this possible in an organization, the ERGs utilize a few practices that can create visibility for employees.
Events that Center Around Employee Goals
The organization and the employees are an interconnected group; one does not exist without the other. So, the ERGs work effectively without disturbing the business and the employee goals. The group initiates by offering cultural support to the businesses and sharing some valuable insights on the products of the company. Moreover, the ERGs help in the recruitment of the right talent into the company. With the candidates looking for a culturally diverse organization, having ERGs during the recruitment process attracts the candidates to the company. Moreover, ERGs conduct events according to the cultural frame of the company without disappointing any particular culture. Moreover, they have the ability to conduct both offline and online events, making it easier for the employees to communicate in a comfortable way.
Social Media Platforms
At times, ERGs would have few members who would have been disconnected from the group for various reasons. However, with the surge of social media platforms, the groups can get in touch with the dormant members. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogpost, Podcast, and many other social platforms are some of the basic tools that ERGs use to create a strong network among the members. Even without the physical presence of the members, ERGs can still have collaborations and events with the members through online platforms. They can conduct basic events that do not require any physical items for activities to engage the members. Moreover, the ERGs have forums where they have discussions on certain topics to know more about each other's experiences and help them with their needs.
Employee Resource Groups Examples
The ERGs primarily focus on creating diversity among the employees in an organization. ERGs lend a supporting hand to all the groups that need recognition for their community in their management. Some of the examples of ERG groups that help employees overcome community issues are as follows.
ERG with the LGBTQ+ Community
A person's identity has always been a matter of discussion for quite a period. Organizations tend to be on both sides in order to maintain employee satisfaction for every group of people. So, the LGBTQ+ ERG has become the voice for these silent groups of people to speak up and share their opinions and perspectives. A person's identity or choice does not make them weak or small in the world. They have the same rights as the others in their workplace. So, the LGBTQ + ERGs encourage companies to accept LGBTQ+ employees into their organizations. Moreover, the groups help the employees receive equal opportunities in all the fields without any bias. The group focuses on providing the employees with leadership opportunities if they have the right skill and talent to become a leader.
Interfaith ERG Section
An organization that has a mixed variety of employees tends to have differences in their views and culture. In such circumstances, all the employees tend to group only with those employees who belong to their own faith. This becomes a setback in larger organizations as the religious affiliation tends to create tattered relationships in the companies. In order to break such unfair practices among the employees, the interfaith ERG proclaims to accept all religions equally. Culture awareness is missing in most companies, and so the ERGs work to create awareness about every culture among the members. It would be ideal to have a clear understanding of the cultural norms of different religions so that when the employees are planning an event or activity, they could look through these regulations and plan accordingly. Moreover, whenever the companies celebrate a festival or holiday, they can celebrate it according to the norms of that particular religion, following their traditions.
ERG for Working Parents
A working parent might have a lot going through in their life, which might make them alienate themselves from the rest of the employees. So, in order to engage them equally with the other employees, the working parents' ERG offers various benefits that can help them with their workplace scenario. The ERGs make sure that the working parents get the necessary time off so that they can spend their valuable time with their families. Moreover, the carrying women are also facilitated with ample days for maternity leave so that they can get adjusted to the new life they are approaching. The mothers are also provided with an option to work from home so that they can earn and take care of their children at the same time. The ERGs take care of the members and their families equally by offering them benefits supporting child care and family planning.
Race ERGs for Different Races
The issue of workplace discrimination has always been a topic of discussion for all the candidates who are in the pursuit of finding a job. Employees tend to look for companies that are open to diversity and inclusion. So, the race ERGs have the motive to provide equal benefits and opportunities for all the employees. The companies are also slowly encouraging inclusive talent acquisition so that a mixed group of people would be engaging in the organization. However, even if there is a slight setback for a particular set of people, then the race ERGs would stand up against such unfair practices and try to bring the race riots to a closure. Native Americans, black employees, and Asian Pacific Americans are some of the races that are predominantly differentiated in a company. The ERGs fight for these sects of people and try to get justice for any unfair behavior towards them.
Development of Employees with Employee Resource Groups
The development of employees has always been the main focus of the ERGs. The benefit to participants is both tangible and intangible. The group tends to create a space for people that could help them come out of their comfort with diversity strategies and diversity training. Barriers to inclusion are thus eliminated. Moreover, it aims to bring the outcast employees into the limelight and engage them in various activities through encouraging interaction and inclusive products. The ERGs are a vital support for the organizations which are trying to change according to the modern world. ERGs do not compromise on leaving out the sentiments of a particular culture and strive to create an absolute atmosphere for the employees. ERGs are the inclusion for people who are outcast for being part of a particular community.
Employee resource groups (ERGs) have been shown to be an effective tool for developing employees. ERGs are employee-led groups that focus on a particular demographic, such as women, minorities, or LGBTQ+ employees. These groups provide support and networking opportunities for members, and they also help to raise awareness of issues faced by their demographic. In addition, ERGs can serve as a pipeline for talent, identifying high-potential employees and helping them to develop the skills they need to succeed. Furthermore, research has shown that ERGs can help to improve retention rates among members. Thus, businesses that are looking to develop their employees would do well to consider creating employee resource groups.
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