The Benefits of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
employee resource groups

The Benefits of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Careers aren’t just about work—fulfilling jobs should also offer employees personal as well as professional development, a support network and a sense of belonging. That’s why Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), also known as affinity groups, have an important part to play in many organizations.

What are Employee Resource Groups?

An Employee Resource Group (ERG) is a network within a company where employees meet up (in person or remotely) based on shared characteristics, experiences or goals. The groups offer a chance to network and socialize, work on professional development, and to raise awareness of relevant issues.

Typical ERGs include networks for women, people of color, LGBTQI+, veterans, those with disabilities and young professionals. Groups based on shared goals often focus on volunteering, mentorship or sustainability.

How Do Employee Resource Groups Work?

Every Employee Resource Group is different. In a small company, an ERG may simply be a few colleagues getting together socially. In larger organizations there is likely to be a more formalized process, with a regular calendar of events. In some groups the focus may be internal—aiming to support each other’s wellbeing and development. Other groups may put a stronger emphasis on advocacy and awareness-raising actions.

Those who run these groups are generally volunteers, but very large organizations—recognizing the importance of the groups to their overall company culture—may offer compensation. Running an ERG can be as time-consuming as a second job, so it’s essential than leadership acknowledges the time commitment and the value it brings to their company.

The Benefits of Employee Resource Groups

Thriving ERGs can be a great thing both for those involved and your organization as a whole. Let’s run through some of the key benefits.

  1. Employee Engagement
  2. People crave social connections. The problem is, in the rush of the workday there’s often no time to find friends—and with the rise of remote work, it’s got even tougher. Extra-curricular interest groups help employees find like-minded people with whom they can bond. Having a strong social network at work—and friends with whom they have a shared sense of mission and purpose—can supercharge an employee’s engagement.

  3. An Inclusive Environment
  4. Diversity in the workplace is an important goal for many organizations. ERGs help companies achieve this ambition, by providing a safe and inclusive space for those who may otherwise feel excluded. Not only can employees meet others with similar experiences, they can have their voice amplified—when there are issues harming inclusivity, ERGs help employees act together to put things right and spread awareness throughout the organization.

  5. Professional Development
  6. ERGs don’t just offer friendship and inclusivity—they also give employees the chance to develop skills. These can come from leadership opportunities, organizational responsibilities and or mentorship. Working together as a team, with colleagues from different departments and various roles, can help provide employees with new perspectives and insights to boost their career (and personal) growth.

  7. Retention and Recruitment
  8. Employee Resource Groups don’t just benefit their members, but your entire organization. Having thriving ERGs means you have a thriving team and it’s only natural that when this is true, your top talent is more likely to stick around. Plus, you’ll find it easier to attract quality new recruits.

    An organization that can show it celebrates diversity and inclusivity—and has ERGs which align with the company’s mission and values—will be able to successfully recruit from a more diverse talent pool.

  9. Business Innovation
  10. In a large organization, there’s an ever-present risk of silos developing. Everyone has their own areas of expertise and teams becomes so specialized that they end up not talking to each other. Employee Resource Groups, comprised of employees from across departments and roles, offer a helpful corrective.

    Creativity requires novelty, and meeting new people with different perspectives is the best way to guarantee new ideas. Whether projects are developed by the ERGs themselves or when ERG members offer fresh insights to their everyday roles, the result is the kind of innovations that companies require to develop and grow.

Paycor Can Help

Paycor builds HR software for leaders of medium & small business. For 30 years, we’ve been listening to and partnering with leaders, so we know what they need: HCM technology that saves time, powerful analytics and expert HR advice to help them solve problems and achieve their goals.

Take Tour

More to Discover

Webinar: 5 Employee Appreciation Ideas Your Workforce Will Love - 12/29 @2pm ET

Webinar: 5 Employee Appreciation Ideas Your Workforce Will Love - 12/29 @2pm ET

Expressing gratitude or saying "Thank You" may seem simple, but it's a lost art. As HR and business leaders, we have a unique opportunity to recognize the hard work, the sacrifices and the commitment employees put into their jobs each and every day.Speaker: Colin Ethier As manager of content marketing and HR Researcher, Colin is responsible for creating innovative content and webinar strategies that drive demand and showcase Paycor’s differentiating expertise in the HCM market. Prior to his role in content marketing, Colin supported internal communications at Paycor.Tuesday, December 29 2pm ET

Webinar: October Virtual Summit - Winning At Work: How to Help Employees Thrive in the Midst of Pandemic & Change

Webinar: October Virtual Summit - Winning At Work: How to Help Employees Thrive in the Midst of Pandemic & Change

In the midst of so much change in 2020, one thing remains constant: employees depend on HR leaders for support and help. But what happens when you throw virtual workplaces, shutdowns and uncertainty into the mix? For starters you may see a loss in employee motivation and productivity.So, how can you better support employees and help them thrive? Watch this session to find out. Speaker: Joey Price Joey Price is the CEO of Jumpstart:HR, LLC - a Managed HR Services company that was recently highlighted by Inc.com as one of “7 Startups Making Life Easier for Small Business Owners.” He also hosts “Business, Life, and Coffee” a podcast focused on personal development for busy professionals. Joey brings over 10 years of experience in the HR...

Webinar: October Virtual Summit - Maximizing Workplace Health & Safety During a Pandemic

Webinar: October Virtual Summit - Maximizing Workplace Health & Safety During a Pandemic

As businesses reopen their offices and workplaces, employers must act to provide safe and healthy working environments.Join us as Kara Govro, Senior Legal Analyst, discusses safety strategies for offices as well as workplaces open to the public, what to do if an employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and what you should be thinking about with respect to sick leave policies. Speaker: Kara Govro Kara Govro is a Senior Legal Editor for Mammoth HR and been with Mammoth HR for over 5 years.

Webinar: October Virtual Summit - Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

Webinar: October Virtual Summit - Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

To create the best possible workplace culture, we must offer an environment where all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources and can fully contribute to the organization’s success.It’s not just about feeling better on the job. Research has demonstrated that companies with diverse workforces are more likely to financially outperform national averages. The diversity initiatives of the past have tried to make sure everyone had a seat at the table. That’s a good first step, but much more needs to be done so that everyone feels like they belong at that table.This is the essence of inclusivity. An inclusive environment encompasses all types of diversity, and actively takes steps to...