As organizations settle into hybrid work schedules, employers are seeking sustainable ways to keep employees engaged with work and with one another. Employee resource groups (ERGs), which have been around for decades, are emerging as a critical connection point, particularly for women, employees of color, and others from historically marginalized groups.
The names vary — ERGs, affinity groups, diversity councils, or at HP, Business Impact Networks — but they serve a common purpose: to help employees build supportive relationships with one another and, in the process, feel more included at work.
“ERGs bring a sense of community and belonging,” explains Amy Baldwin, president of United Partnerships and creator of the ERG Leadership Conference. “People who may not interact in their jobs, meet and partner together in an ERG. They’re building stronger, greater networks that yield retention and engagement and increase collaboration, productivity, and innovation.”
With millions of employees now working remote or hybrid schedules, ERGs are becoming more important than ever, helping employees feel represented in the workplace and connected to their colleagues even when they may not be spending every day in a physical office, where natural bonds can form.