Creating a diverse, inclusive, and fair workplace is a great undertaking for any business. One way to help promote diversity, equality, and inclusion in the workplace is collaborating with organization leaders to create employee resource groups (ERGs). ERGs are voluntary groups of employees who typically share a characteristic (i.e. gender, ethnicity, interest) and work to cultivate a more inclusive workplace.
We have compiled the benefits of creating ERGs to help you better serve your employees and foster a workplace culture built on diversity, inclusion, and equality.
Inform decisions. Because ERGs provide a platform for underrepresented employees voice their thoughts and concerns, organizations can make more informed decisions. ERGs can offer insight into potentially negative impacts, early feedback, and set up business strategies, workplace culture, and overall organizational goals for more success.
Improve brand. Reputation can be the make-or-break decision-maker for potential employees. In fact, half of job seekers would not accept a position with an organization that has a negative reputation. Further, 92% of employees would leave an organization for a company with an excellent reputation. ERGs can help strengthen your brand by creating a more positive and inclusive workplace. Ninety percent of Fortune 500 companies have an ERG.
Emphasize the “B” in DEIB. ERGs provide a sense of belonging, not only helping employees feel a part of a community, but also that they can be authentic in the workplace. In return, this allows employees to find their work more purposeful, strengthen peer recognition, connection, and equity, and improve visibility of minority or underrepresented groups within organization. Employees who believe their ERGs is effective or very effective were most likely to score inclusion more positively (83%) than those who rated their ERGs as ineffective or very ineffective.
Enhance recruiting. If the first three points above didn’t speak for themselves, creating a stronger culture can enhance recruiting strategies. An ERG is a great benefit to highlight in interviews with potential candidates. It showcases the importance of emotional intelligence, collaboration, and the significance of belonging in an organization. With studies predicting that by 2044, ‘minority’ groups will become the majority, ERGs can provide you an advantage over competitors.
Increase retention. ERGs not only ensure employees feel respected, valued, and connected in your organization, but they also promote employee feedback and suggestions. Feeling heard, seen, and appreciated can increase employee retention.
As businesses and individuals, we need to step up to do the work to support the underserved. Namely intends to do its part.