Strengthen Your Workplace Culture with Employee Resource Groups 

03.03.21 08:35 AM By Motion Connected

Is your organization looking to make an impact on employee morale, mental health and wellbeing?  You may consider introducing Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to your benefit toolkit. 

Employee resource groups are voluntary, employee-lead groups that are custom to each organization.  

ERGs give employees a voice, and a connection to peers and colleagues in similar situations or demographics.  With the ongoing pandemic and changing workplace dynamics, ERGs are an excellent way to foster inclusivity, boost culture and engagement and improve health and wellbeing.  

From a talent perspective, Employee Resource Groups increase retention and productivity, as well as cultivate future leaders. 

To be successful, ERGs should align with the organization’s missions and values, and have leadership support. 

Examples of ERGs: 

  • Networks for women (Women in Technology, Women in Construction, Women in Leadership) 

  • People of color 

  • Differently-abled 

  • Working parents 

  • Eldercare 

  • Veterans 

  • LGBTQ+ 

  • Single-parents 

  • Millennials 

  • Shared goals like volunteering, mentoring or sustainability 

Are you ready to develop your own ERGs?

Here are 6 steps to start an Employee Resource Group at your organization: 

  1. Survey employees to determine interest and shared characteristics, like gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, lifestyle or interest. HR leaders can also assess groups of employees to determine where ERGs are needed. For example, in underrepresented employees. 

  1. Determine leaders for each Employee Resource Group and invite others to participate, as members or as allies of the group.  Groups can be small, consisting of a few colleagues, or include many individuals. 

  1. Leadership and middle-management support is essential. Gain leadership participation in each ERG group by serving as an executive sponsor and member. 

  1. Define the mission and goals of the group. 

  1. Align the mission and goals with business objectives. For example, they can influence recruiting and career development or marketing strategies. 

  1. Spread the word. The more individuals that participate in ERG’s (even in multiple groups) the more impactful they are for an organization.  

Employee Resource Groups are a key element in elevating the employee experience.  

They develop a sense of community and belonging, inform better business decisions, build trust and grow leaders. These groups are successful in tackling company challenges, decreasing suppressed frustrations and alleviating toxic environments. They make the work environment better for everyone. 

The wellbeing of all of us impacts our collective success.