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What is an Employee Resource Group?

What is an Employee Resource Group? Purpose to build retention, diversity, belonging at work.   ER Groups provide personal and professional development.

What is the purpose of an ERG program?

While each ERG must define its purpose and goal, common ERG drivers are:

An ERG program creates an open forum for employees who share a common identity to meet and support one another in building their community and sense of belonging.

When we feel supported at work, less quiet departures, healthier workplaces, employee retention results in a respectful and inclusive company culture and reinforces the importance of inclusion.

  • Diversity groups that foster a sense of belonging among employees that belong to a minority group in the organization
  • Volunteer programs where employees can support charities and other volunteer initiatives together
  • Affinity clubs where employees with similar interests get an opportunity to socialize. 
  • Groups to support women, people with disabilities LGBTQIA etc.
  • Professional development groups that provide employees the opportunity to share knowledge with their peers from other departments

Did you know that 40% of workers feel isolated at work?

I was thinking, are we still at 40%, maybe it’s higher? This falls on the HR shoulders, with a ERG group,  they can refer them to join an ERG or an affinity group.

Employee affinity groups give your employees more power. Some organization leaders may fear this ability to connect and organize. Innovative organizations realize that ERGs give you the opportunity to fix workplace issues before they spiral into resentment or turnover. Giving up a bit of power is priceless when you recognize the effect these groups can have on retention and engagement.

How can it benefit you as a business owner? 

Improves Employee retention and the company or community culture.

How to get started is to ask your employees some questions.. a survey the key thing of surveys is that you use them, implement a program. Otherwise you are just wasting their time and your employee group may become disillusioned with you

I found this as I was researching being an agency for the end of life care. As I got more into this, I realized being an ERG Agency I could help more people.. even help small business owners or entrepreneurs to help them create their own.

In Canada, they are called Social Committees for companies, I couldn’t figure out why they don’t have them in the USA. Guess what? They do – it’s just under a different name.

If you want to form an Employee Resource group / Entrepreneur Resource group, think about these questions and if they resonate with you.

As an Employee

  • Do you feel as if every team member pulls equal weight?
  • Are job expectations clear and realistic?
  • Do you feel that other employees comply with the rules?
  • What changes would improve workflow?
  • When something confusing or unexpected happens at work, do you know who to ask for help?
  • What do you most enjoy about your job?
  • How long do you plan to continue in this role/in the company?
  • If you won the lottery tomorrow, would you still come to work?
  • Do you know everyone on your team?
  • Do you enjoy working with your team?
  • Do you feel close to your team?
  • Do you feel as if you get equal say within your group?
  • Do you feel as if your direct leader treats all group members equally and fairly?

As a CEO’s / Entrepreneur

  • How often do you collaborate? 
  • Do you feel like you know many people in other areas of  your business?
  • How often do you offer help to teammates?
  • Do you feel as if you can go to any member of your team for help?
  • Do you feel as if you can depend on your employees?
  • Do you feel as if your teammates care about you on a personal level?
  • Would you prefer to do team building activities on the clock or during non-work hours?
  • What kinds of team building activities or outings most interest you?
  • What word would you use to describe your feeling at the end of most work days?
  • If there was a place to have more support would you join it?

I look at employees being happier, when they feel they belong to something, besides just work. To give employees an opportunity to learn more about the 5 Wishes, resources about how they are taking care of their parents and grand parents. What about the people who don’t have children or not married they don’t have support of another partner.

By answering the question of  “What is an Employee Resource Group?”  I hope you’ll ask yourself how can I support my employees without taking too much time away from work, think about what’s important to you, Retention? Quality life? Diversity? Living well, holistically?

As an employee what do you expect from your employer, are there ways they can support or help you?

Reach out, let’s see how we can work together.. By all means let’s collaborate.. we all could use a little  Love sometimes.

According to Wiki “ERGs are generally based on providing support, enhancing career development, and contributing to personal development in the work environment. In the past, ERGs have traditionally been focused on personality traits or characteristics for underrepresented groups, for example women, sexual orientation, gender, etc. With the resurgence of ERGs in the workplace, ERGs are expanding to “interest-based” groups gathered around particular activities.”

Look forward in hearing from you!


Read more about this topic:

Creating a High Performing Organization





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