Employee resource groups are becoming a prevalent new age cultural initiative in many employee-friendly organizations. Want to know how to create one. Read on!
Employee resource groups
Companies have employee resource group programs to create support community groups within your firm. What is ERG? ERG or the employee support group is a group formed by employees who share some common characteristics.
ERGs offer support, boost career development, professional networking, and personality development in the organization. In this blog, we try to answer questions like the definition of erg, the purpose of an employee resource group.
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What is an ERG?
Diverse and inclusion programs have become widespread are popular in the workplace. ERG has become more popular. What is an ERG? Employee resource groups are support-based groups that aim to help foster a diverse and inclusive workplace in the organization they serve. Employees who share traits like gender, ethnicity, religion, lifestyle, or interests.
What is an employee resource group?
The employee resource group is an employee identity or experience-based group in an organization that helps build community. Employee resource groups are also called affinity groups or diversity groups and offer professional and personal development.
Core organizers founded employees resources. The size of a group depends on the purpose of the group and the number of employees. Most ERGs are voluntary, but some companies offer paid time or other recognition like leadership opportunities.
What is a business resource group?
A business resource group or BRG is a voluntary, employee-based group that helps to encourage a diverse and inclusive workplace. These groups are formed based on interests, issues, and shared backgrounds.
You can form the group of employment around women, LGBTQ, people of color, people of disabilities, and veterans. Initially, employee resource groups form were an excellent forum for networking and support systems.
Currently, it is a group that supports brand image, improves productivity and retention. Experts believe employment resource groups will evolve into innovative groups to solve problems and present ideas.
Purpose of employee resource groups
Every employee resource group is different. Smaller organizations may have an ERG, where colleagues interact socially. In larger organizations, employee resource groups have a more formal structure organizing regular events or providing support. ERGs can be beneficial, and the purposes of employee resource groups are,
1. Employees resource improves employee engagement
People crave connections. We find it tough to take out time for friends with our busy schedules. The problem has been compounded, by the rise of remote work. Employees resource groups help like-minded employees interact and bond. A social network at work where your employees have a purpose and goals improves employee engagement.
2. Employer resource management creates an inclusive environment
Having a diverse workforce is a goal of organizations. Employer resource management helps you achieve the goal by assisting in creating a safe and inclusive space. Your staff will get the opportunity to meet colleagues who have had similar experiences. It gives them a chance to highlight issues in your firm that can harm inclusivity.
3. Employee group helps professional development
Employee groups are a forum that allows your staff to develop skills. These can be leadership or mentorship opportunities or organize events. Employee resource groups encourage staff from different departments and various roles. They can get fresh perspectives and insights that can benefit the organization and their careers.
How to set up employee resource groups?
Once you or your employees are convinced of the benefits of employee resource groups, your next question is how to set up an erg group. Where do I start? In the next section, we have outlined the steps you can take to begin a workplace resource group in your organization.
1. Align your workplace resource group to your company’s broader objectives
For ERGs to be successful, the aim of the group, ensure it is tied to the company’s overall goals. Does your company want to give back to the community? or Do you want to build a more diverse workforce?
Show how your workplace resource group will benefit your company. If you can demonstrate employee resource groups will benefit from your company, you will earn support from other departments.
2. Secure executive support for ERG resources
Executive support for your ERG is essential for continued success. To gain support you require the support of executives or sponsors who believe in diversity and inclusion. Top management officials are busy and result-oriented.
They may help you create metrics and present data to show the advantages of implementing ERG resources. Your HR department must back the ERG as they help explain the benefits of ERGs and share details of the ERGs with recruits during onboarding.
3. Build your Resource groups
Before building a resource group, draft a communication plan, goals, and potential. Identify and recruit colleagues with leadership roles who are willing to give time to the project. You need to identify other members who would like to be part of the group.
Clear communication is an integral part of employee resource group strategy. Start simple outlining goals, events, and ideas for participation. Involve marketing department to help. Equip the employee resource groups with material to generate buzz during company events.
Top 5 employee resource groups best practices
Launching or building a program to capitalize on the values of a management employee group or affinity groups can be challenging. It takes organizational dedication, detailed planning, and strong-focused leadership to build successful employee resource groups within your company. Here are some of the top employee resource group best practices you can implement,
1. Create a mission statement for the group of employment
When people come together for any purpose, you need to create a mission statement and guidelines. The mission statement for a group of employment helps to align with the group purpose and the company’s business objectives.
After you define a mission statement, the employee resource group will be able to formulate a group. The goals are the foundations for the ERGs, business plan, and the guide the employee network groups. You can modify the goals periodically when required.
2. Establish guidelines for ERG employment
Establish guidelines for ERG employment based on the goals and mission statement. The employment resource groups should elaborate,
- The various chapters in the organization and how will they establish?
- Handling the finances and funding will be handled
- How will you hold the meetings?
- How will you select leaders?
3. Define leadership roles in employer resource council
Like any group, the employer resource council should select a capable leader who is driven and encourages members to participate in activities. To ensure top performs led your business networks to provide incentives or leadership roles in the employer resource council.
Organizations are recognizing the importance of employee resource groups, and they are appointing leaders based on capabilities.
4. Engage executive in ERG diversity program
Besides having strong leadership, ERG diversity programs need sponsors to define expectations from the program. Responsibilities of the sponsor include serving as a public advocacy group, influence other companies to lend their support, and exercise their influence as a catalyst for growth and as a connection to constant funding and impact. It is an opportunity to engage with the employees across the organization.
5. Track and measure the effectiveness of employee network groups
Like any other company initiative, you need to implement a matrix to measure and manage employee network groups. Your employee resource groups can have metrics like group membership, event attendance, participation, and budget. The HR department can formulate its metrics like recruiting event representation, retention rates, employee engagement levels, hiring rates, and promotion rates.
Top 10 types of employee resource groups
Employee resource groups have been around since the 1960s. Employee resource group company was started in Xerox by CEO Joseph Welson to create support groups for employees. Since then, the employment employer resource council has evolved with society, here are the top ten types of employee resource groups,
1. Professional development employee resource groups that drive business
Professional development employee resource groups allow employees from different departments and levels to meet to share knowledge. These networking sites provide mentorship to staff looking to improve their skills or expertise in a particular area. The group is excellent as employees learn new skills like leadership skills.
2. LGBT employee resource groups
LGBT employee resource groups are for employees who identify with the LGBT community. The group advocates equal rights for the LGBT community. They organize LGBT-recruiting events and awareness events and advocate equal employment opportunities along with sexual orientation and gender identity.
3. Employee groups for women
Employee groups for women provide support in the workplace, extra support. The group can help women find mentors to provide career guidance. The mentorship could be provided by an experienced employee or by a peer. The group helps to address gender-based concerns or any other concerns.
4. Diversity resources group
Diversity resource groups are employee resource groups for minorities in your organization. Minorities can be distinguished by race, religion, nationality, or any other characteristic that may make someone feel alienated. Diversity resource groups help employees from different backgrounds integrate and foster a greater sense of community.
5. Work resource for Veterans
Work resources for veterans are to provide support to employee veterans through shared experience, veteran recruitment, career development, outward engagement, professional growth, and retention. The objective of the employee resource group for veterans is that it works to harness the strengths of veterans and promote inclusion and diversity in the workforce.
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6. ERG employee resource group for Affinity group
ERG employee resource group for affinity clubs is created for people with similar hobbies who want to socialize. Some common affinity clubs are trekking groups, book clubs, and wine clubs. Affinity groups help diverse groups with a common interest to meet and get to know each other.
7. Company employees as a group for people with disabilities
Company employees as a group for people with disabilities, aim to promote disability inclusion throughout the employment life cycle. Employee resource groups work with the HR department to improve recruitment, onboarding process, career development, and engagement opportunities, and post-employment activities if any.
8. Employment resources group for caregivers
Employment resource group for caregivers are for both men and women who are the primary caregivers for families whether they are children or parents or anyone else.
The ERGs often provide education and awareness to build understanding about becoming a caregiver. The group aims to function as a support group. The group also helps to educate the employee about various benefits that may be available to them.
9. Corporate resource group for remote workers
Corporate resource group for remote workers helps build a sense of connection, belonging, and community for remote employees. The group helps to protect the company culture when employees are not interacting daily and highlights the unique needs of employees. The group can provide employees with the much-needed social connection.
10. Groups in the workplace for volunteer groups
Groups in the workplace that meet for volunteer work are becoming common. These are employees who are keen to give back to the community and support causes.
To help volunteer groups succeed, employers often provide resources or donations required to organize events. Volunteer employee resource groups are forums for an employee to meet others with a shared passion and build a sense of community.
Case studies, ERGS examples, and various ERGS form in the US
Employee resource groups started as affinity groups more than 30 years ago. The groups today have become broader and more business-centric. A report in 2011 reported that ERGS forms are on the rise. Companies today are adding more employee resource groups to their business. We have discussed three case studies of three leading companies in the US.
1. Accenture employee resource groups
Accenture employee resource groups want to attract, develop, and retain top talent. Presently Accenture has 10 diversity resources groups in the US which include groups for African Americans, Indians, Asia Pacific Americans, LGBQ, people with disabilities, women, and so on.
There are over 6000 members in Employee resource groups in the US. The employee groups for women help career advancement, work/life balance, recruiting, external relations, and community access. The pride network has spread to over 45 countries.
2. AT&T employee resource groups
AT&T employee resource groups have around 37 employee groups and networks with over 145250 employees participating. In 2019 AT&T had one of the best employee resource groups in the US.
Employee resource groups help people with the employee life-cycle, understand both customer and business drivers better, and gain insight on business insight. The company hosts an annual conference for all its employee groups. Cash prizes are given at the event to help fund events. AT&T gives a high degree of autonomy to the ERGs.
3. Dell employee resource groups
Dell employee resource groups were started to create an inclusive environment. It has evolved into an award-winning employment resources group. Presently there are over 13 ERGS in 67 countries with 33% participation.
It focuses on five key principles community, business innovation, team member experience, and our unconscious bias foundational learning. The research found employees who participated in erg work think outside the box, use their unique expertise and perspectives to improve the work environment and improve business.