Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions
An employee resource group (ERG) is a group of employees who volunteer to improve conditions for marginalised and/or minority groups within a workplace. These groups can be related to religion, sexuality, gender, and/or other factors.
An ERG will work to improve conditions for marginalised groups within your organisation. This can be in a physical way, such as introducing gender-neutral toilets and accessible facilities within your workplace. Or, it can be in terms of introducing benefits that improve the work-life balance and mental health of employees, such as:
Flexible hours for groups that need them (e.g., working moms)
Encouraging team events
Ensuring opinions of remote or hybrid workers are heard
They may also provide input on company-wide issues for the community they represent. This includes having input on hiring plans, to ensure diversity hiring is taken into account, and ensuring interview and onboarding processes are inclusive and accessible.
ERGs sometimes have different names in different businesses. Other names for employee resource groups include business resource groups, employee network groups, business network groups, or affinity groups.
Employee resource groups are usually formed by employees themselves, when they see there are a number of individuals with similar interests, backgrounds, common factors, or other points to bring them together.
However, if you as a manager are interested in forming an ERG within your business you can also create one yourself.
Employee resource groups are usually made up of employees from multiple different teams and departments, as this gives a better overall picture of the business and how different areas can be helped. Of course, the larger the business is, the more different departments will be present, and the larger the ERG in general.
Once management or team members decide to form an ERG, the next step is generally to send an internal message to all team members about the formation of the ERG. It will also involve setting up meetings and informing management of the ERG to ensure they’re included in decisions.
As well as providing a boost to the workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) of a company, an ERG provides the following benefits:
Ability to see how changes impact different groups
Improved feedback culture
Better employer branding
Improved diversity recruiting strategy
Stronger relationships between team members
Want to know more about making diverse groups feel comfortable and represented within your business? Our blog articles on diversity, equity, and inclusion can help with this.
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