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on February 22, 2024 Human Resources Employee App The Stitch

The Power of Employee Resource Groups

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As we continue into 2024, now is a great time to examine your workplace and its diversity initiatives. How do you create an environment where every employee, regardless of their background, feels seen? In this case, businesses of any size can benefit from establishing an Employee Resource Group (ERG).

What is an ERG?

ERGs are nothing new—in fact, the first one was formed at Xerox in 1970 by Joseph Wilson as a resource for Black employees. Historically, these volunteer-led gatherings of employees were led by the organization’s Black or female employees aiming to promote an inclusive workplace. 

Today, ERGs continue to support a wide range of diverse employees and experiences. Additionally, allies may be invited to join to advance important workplace causes and provide support to their coworkers.

These groups are overwhelmingly advantageous at creating engagement within the workspace. A 2022 McKinsey report found 66% of employees believe their ERG effectively builds community. 

How can I form an ERG in my workplace?

With such a celebrated history and encouraging statistics, you may be inspired to form your own ERG. Technology has greatly advanced since the 1970s, meaning you can create your group in your employee app!

Within your employee app’s messaging feature, create a dedicated communication space. Coworkers can then join and begin sharing messages and resources with each other in one convenient location. Topics in this space can be personally tailored to employee needs and serve as an open opportunity for discussing diversity and inclusion efforts in the workplace. 

But that is just the beginning. To achieve impactful workplace engagement, your group needs to be a well-run and constructive addition to your team. The same McKinsey study found that employees who rated their ERGs effective or very effective were much more likely to say they felt included than employees who rated theirs as ineffective or very ineffective.

Below are five tips for making your ERG an effective one!

Let your employees opt-in 

It’s important to establish an open and honest environment from the start. Employees should be empowered to join an ERG, not feel forced into one. Achieve this by adding an opt-in feature to the group, so your employees know it’s their choice.

Regularly communicate updates

Use your employee app’s functions to promote consistent group interactions. Upload multimedia such as a weekly newsletter, specific company resources or meeting minutes to keep members engaged and dedicated to the ERG’s cause.

Make your ERG part of the onboarding process

Looking to help your new hire integrate into the company culture? Include your ERG! Longtime members can serve as mentors to the new employee and introduce them to the culture of belonging they have created. 

Measure your metrics

Keep track of your ERG’s success by tracking key metrics within your employee app. Specific statistics to look for include membership growth, member tenure rate and team participation.

Evaluate your members

As your group evolves, create a system for providing ongoing feedback. Anonymized surveys from your employee app can give members a chance to suggest ways to advance and improve the organization.

Now that you’re ready to create an effective ERG, consider backstitch to bring your team together! With a fully customizable employee app, you can build a group that’s responsive, strategic and designed to foster a welcoming workplace environment.

Liang Deng

Chief of Staff