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How Do ERGs Help Companies?

  • Omer Usanmaz
  • March 6 2023

When it comes to employee retention, engagement, and motivation, companies always look for new and innovative ways to keep their employees happy. One way that many companies are turning to is Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).

ERGs are groups of employees who share a common interest or identity and work together to support each other and the company. ERGs can help companies in several ways, including building a strong community, increasing diversity and inclusion, and boosting employee morale.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), often known as affinity units where inclusion efforts are made, have an integral role in developing performance in many organizations.

If you're wondering how ERGs can help your company, keep reading for more information. 

Employee Resource Groups: What Are They?

A network within a company called an Employee Resource Group (ERG) brings together all staff members based on traits, experiences, or objectives in common. The inclusive workplace makes a decision where it presents programs and opportunities for networking and socializing, working on professional development and career development, and bringing up the company culture.

The first employee resource group was created in the early 1960s by Joseph Wilson, the CEO of XEROX corporation, to suppress racial tension. It was made for black people, black workers, and black employees to discuss the issue of workplace discrimination.

Soon many tech companies made it a part of their company mission and company priorities and started addressing key company issues. Many black leaders and chapter leaders were formed in the process, and now ERG brings considerable benefits to organizations. 

Common examples of ERGs include people of all sexes, people of color, LGBTQI+ people, veterans, people with impairments, and young workers. Focusing on sustainability, mentoring, or volunteerism is typical among teams in an ERG with shared goals.

ERG: On Getting Started With

Effective ERGs are both top-down and bottom-up in the management hierarchy of any organization. First, the organization's executive management team must fully support, fund, and endorse an ERG and make teams within the organization. Once you have the executive sponsorship to start an ERG, have all your employees participate, either as a member of the specific groups or as an ally, and grow this team substantially.

By doing this, you will coordinate your ERG's aims with the general goals of your business. Additionally, you must prepare and specify success criteria, such as long-term objectives and probable difficulties.

Obtaining the proper support comes next. For the employee resource group to succeed, your senior managers must support the project. This holds true for your HR department in particular because recruiters can assist in spreading the word throughout the onboarding phase.

Building your team and expressing your initiative are the most crucial steps. Make a proper communication and strategy plan. Find the best group leaders and make sure they can keep their word. Present your ideas to the entire workforce and invite participation from the staff.

Functioning of Employee Resource Groups

Different employee resource groups exist, and an ERG at a small workplace might only consist of a few coworkers socializing. This must be further improvised and have an inclusive company culture. A more systematic process with company leadership is a set schedule of activities that are probably present in larger enterprises. The goal of certain groups may be to assist each other's growth, well-being internally, and employee development. Others may place a more excellent value on lobbying and actions that increase public awareness.

Volunteers often lead these groups, but larger organizations may provide a budget and use budget-tracking tools to tally the amount. Upper management will note if employees recognize the value of these groups to their entire company goals and use it for their career management.

Senior leadership must be involved, have an executive sponsor, and recognize leaders to make the time commitment and value an ERG contributes to their organization's success. This one leap will motivate ERGs to grow and continue within the company in many teams and bring continued success.

Benefits of ERGs

When inclusiveness is important at work, employee resource groups positively impact the metrics for any company's goals and standards that provide relevance in the market.

It is up to leadership and employee advocates to work together to define how these performance metrics influence and are dependent upon one another. Successful ERGs may be beneficial for all parties involved as well as your firm as a whole. Let's go over some of the main advantages.

Employee Participation

People yearn to improve their social network with a customer base that could be anyone within the employee. Finding friends is difficult because of the hurry of the workday, which has gotten worse with the emergence of remote employment.

The direct interaction between team leaders and employees has drastically reduced since the pandemic extracurricular interest clubs assist staff members in connecting with others who share their interests.

A team member's engagement can be significantly increased if they have more people at work with whom they share a strong sense of mission and purpose.

An Inclusive Atmosphere

Resource group programs enable workers to collaborate at critical times to address problems that threaten inclusivity and raise awareness across the firm. Workplace diversity is a central objective for many firms. ERGs assist businesses in achieving this goal by giving those who might otherwise feel excluded a secure and welcoming environment.

Employees can not only connect with people who have shared experiences, but they can also have their voices heard. Having all the critical resources and an inclusive culture means the company's innovation is moving forward.

Progression in the Workplace

ERGs provide more than just inclusion and camaraderie; they also allow members to advance their careers. Employees can gain fresh perspectives and insights by working collaboratively with coworkers from other departments and responsibilities. These may result in organizational responsibilities, leadership opportunities, or mentoring.

With the ERGs being consistent on a weekly or monthly basis, your employees would feel more positive and have a progressive mindset and work to become better human beings and assist towards making the environment within the organization healthy.

Recruiting and Retention

The practice of Employee resource groups benefits your entire company, not just its members. Since solid and fair practices of ERGs indicate a successful team, top talent will be more likely to remain when this is the case. Additionally, you'll have an easier time finding qualified new hires.

When a company shows that it has teams and members that value equality and has groups that follow the company's vision and mission, it can successfully employ a more diverse talent group from the talent pools that are present.

When you have a growth mindset and a smoothly functioning system within your organization, recruitment increases, and staff retention is also high. This is a massive boost for your team and organization. You can multiply teams, take on the performance charts, and conquer what most competitors would like to achieve. 

Commercial Innovation

A huge corporation has the constant risk of silos forming. Teams grow so specialized as each member has their areas of expertise that communication breaks down.

Employee resource groups of staff from various departments and functions provide a beneficial remedy. The improvement would allow members to become leaders, which would eventually help them grow in the organization and bring in more extensive compensation for them to stay in the team.

This additional compensation would allow the employees and employer to reach more heights in the market and look at what was impossible is now achievable.

Creativity Requires Novelty

Meeting remote workers with diverse perspectives and having unconditional conversations is the best method to ensure fresh ideas will emerge. The result is the kind of innovations businesses need to expand and grow, regardless of whether the ERGs themselves create initiatives or when ERG members give new perspectives to their regular duties.

The marketing team can develop different creative methods and expand the employee forum. It can address topics that make an impact, like different sexual orientations, social justice, and religious affiliations.

Dr Shelton Goode is a master of creativity with ERG and has been why many people have come out positively and performed better. Productivity has increased when they have attended the ERG, and achieving their deadlines has made them feel less stressed and worried about work.

DEI: ERG's Biggest Ally

Employers have lost hundreds of billions of dollars per annum due to staff turnover and lost potential revenue due to a lack of diversity at all levels. Improved diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at all levels can result in greater profits and innovation, and ERGs are an efficient approach to achieving this.

Employees who might otherwise feel isolated might share their experiences in resource groups' safe places. They may even assist members in identifying problems and alerting HR or management, enabling the development of helpful policy initiatives to deal with systemic issues before they result in attrition or even reach the point of the lawsuit.

Are You Prepared to Launch an Employee Resource Group?

ERGs provide resources for employees, and this affects the employee retention rate. They advocate for equity and establish a public forum for staff to exchange ideas.

Dr Shelton Goode is someone with whom you can learn more about ERGs. In 2018, Goode established his firm for diversity strategies, equity, and inclusion. His group assists businesses in strengthening their DEI initiatives and acquiring diverse personnel. Additionally, they manage executive learning initiatives and mentor staff.

Companies may improve employee experience, satisfaction, and creativity by launching ERGs. Connect with us to learn more about how an ERG can help your company. 

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