✨  Don't miss out! Register for our Employee Appreciation Webinar scheduled for 29th February.🎖️
✨  Don't miss out! Register for our Employee Appreciation Webinar scheduled for 29th February.🎖️

Register now

Live Webinar: Secrets to Building a Successful B2B2C Growth Flywheel
Save your spot now

The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

Visit Hr Glossaries

Empoyee resource groups (ERGs) provide a platform for employees to connect, support one another, and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace. Employee resource groups have been around since the 1960s. Today, ERGs are found in 90% of Fortune 500 companies.

ERGs are important because they help employees feel safe bringing their whole selves to work. They also play a crucial role in supporting the company’s broader Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy. However, business leaders must ensure that ERGs align with employees’ expectations and the business’s DEI priorities.

What is an employee resource group?

An employee resource group is a voluntary, employee-led initiative to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace. ERGs are typically formed around shared characteristics or life experiences, such as gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, lifestyle, or interest.

Listen, recognize, award, and retain your employees with our Employee engagement software  

What are the benefits of employee resource groups?

Here are some key benefits of employee resource groups:

1. Diversity and inclusion

Employee resource groups promote diversity and inclusion by providing a space for employees with shared backgrounds, experiences, or interests to come together, share their perspectives, and foster a sense of belonging within the organization. ERGs celebrate diversity and promote awareness and understanding of different cultures, identities, and perspectives.

2. Professional development

Employee resource groups offer opportunities for professional development and skill-building through networking events, workshops, mentorship programs, and leadership development initiatives. Members can learn from one another, share knowledge and expertise, and develop new skills that enhance their career growth and advancement opportunities.

3. Employee engagement and retention

Employee resource groups contribute to employee engagement and retention by creating a sense of community and connection among employees. By fostering relationships and building social networks, ERGs help employees feel valued, supported, and engaged in their work, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and retention rates.

4. Recruitment and talent development

Employee resource groups play a role in recruitment and talent development by showcasing the company's commitment to diversity and inclusion. ERGs serve as ambassadors for the organization, helping to attract diverse talent and providing support and resources for onboarding and integration into the company culture.

5. Leadership opportunities

Employee resource groups provide opportunities for members to take on leadership roles and develop leadership skills through volunteering, committee work, and organizing events and initiatives. Serving in leadership positions within ERGs can help employees build confidence, expand their networks, and gain visibility within the organization.

6. Employee well-being and support

Employee resource groups offer a supportive environment where employees can seek advice, guidance, and emotional support from colleagues who share similar experiences or backgrounds. ERGs provide a platform for addressing issues and concerns related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and advocating for positive change.

7. Community outreach and impact

Employee resource groups engage in community outreach and social impact initiatives to give back to the community and support causes important to their members. Through volunteering, fundraising, and partnerships with external organizations, ERGs make a positive impact beyond the workplace and contribute to social responsibility efforts.

Who can join an employee resource group?

Employee resource groups (ERGs) are typically open to all employees within an organization, regardless of their background, identity, or job role. The purpose of ERGs is to create inclusive spaces where employees with shared characteristics, interests, or experiences can come together, connect, and support one another.  

ERGs welcome participation from employees at all levels of the organization, including:

1. Employees from diverse backgrounds

Employee resource groups often focus on specific demographic characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or cultural identity. Employees who identify with these characteristics are encouraged to join ERGs that reflect their identities and experiences.

2. Allies and supporters

Employee resource groups are not exclusive to individuals who share the characteristics of the group. Allies—employees who support and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion—are also welcome to join ERGs as allies and supporters.

Allies play an important role in contributing to the diversity and inclusion efforts within the organization and can help amplify the voices and perspectives of underrepresented groups.

3. Employees with shared interests

In addition to demographic-based employee resource groups, organizations may have ERGs based on shared interests, hobbies, or professional affiliations.

These employee resource groups bring together employees who share common interests, such as sustainability, wellness, community service, or career development. Employees with shared interests are encouraged to join these ERGs to connect with like-minded colleagues and pursue shared goals.

4. Leadership and management

ERGs may include participation from employees at all levels of the organization, including leadership and management positions. Inclusive participation from leaders and managers helps demonstrate organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion and fosters greater understanding and support for ERG initiatives.

5. New hires and seasoned employees

ERGs are open to employees at all stages of their careers, including new hires and seasoned employees.

New hires can benefit from joining ERGs to connect with colleagues, learn about the organization's culture, and access support networks. Seasoned employees can contribute their knowledge and experience to ERG activities and provide mentorship and support to newer colleagues.

What are the challenges faced by employee resource groups?

The challenges faced by employee resource groups are:

1. Limited resources

Employee resource groups may face challenges in securing adequate resources, including funding, staff support, and administrative assistance, to sustain their activities and initiatives. Limited resources can constrain the ability of ERGs to organize events, provide programming, and effectively support their members.

2. Leadership and participation

Employee resource groups may struggle to recruit and retain volunteer leaders and members who are willing to actively participate in group activities and initiatives. Without strong leadership and active engagement from members, ERGs may struggle to achieve their goals and maintain momentum.

3. Visibility and recognition

Employee resource groups may face challenges in gaining visibility and recognition within the organization, particularly if senior leadership is not actively engaged or supportive of ERG efforts. Lack of visibility can hinder the ability of ERGs to attract new members, secure resources, and influence organizational policies and practices.

4. Inclusivity and representation

Employee resource groups may encounter challenges in ensuring that their membership is inclusive and representative of the diversity within the organization. ERGs must be mindful of creating an inclusive environment where all employees feel welcome and valued, regardless of their background or identity.

5. Alignment with organizational goals

Employee resource groups may struggle to align their activities and initiatives with broader organizational goals and priorities. Without clear alignment, ERGs may be perceived as disconnected from the strategic objectives of the organization, making it difficult to secure support and resources.

6. Sustainability and long-term viability

Employee resource groups may face challenges in sustaining their efforts and maintaining long-term viability, particularly if there is turnover in leadership or changes in organizational priorities. ERGs must develop strategies for continuity and succession planning to ensure their continued effectiveness over time.

7. Intersectionality and overlapping identities

Employee resource groups may encounter challenges in addressing the intersectionality of employees' identities and experiences. Employees may belong to multiple ERGs based on different aspects of their identity, leading to potential overlap or conflicts between groups and challenges in addressing the diverse needs of all members.

8. Measuring impact and effectiveness

Employee resource groups may struggle to effectively measure their impact and effectiveness in achieving their goals and objectives. Without robust metrics and evaluation processes in place, it can be challenging to demonstrate the value of ERGs to senior leadership and stakeholders.

Are employee resource groups beneficial for remote workers?

Yes, employee resource groups can be highly beneficial for remote workers for several reasons:

1. Building community and connection

Employee resource groups provide remote workers with a sense of community and connection, which can be particularly important for employees who may feel isolated or disconnected from their colleagues due to working remotely.  

By participating in ERGs, remote workers can connect with others who share similar backgrounds, interests, or experiences, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie.

2. Professional development and networking

Employee resource groups offer opportunities for remote workers to engage in professional development and networking activities, such as virtual workshops, webinars, mentorship programs, and online forums.  

These opportunities allow remote workers to expand their skills, knowledge, and networks, enhancing their career growth and advancement prospects.

3. Support and resources

Employee resource groups provide remote workers with access to support networks and resources to help navigate challenges and overcome barriers associated with remote work.  

Whether it's tips for maintaining work-life balance, strategies for effective remote collaboration, or advice on career development, ERGs can offer valuable support and guidance to remote workers.

4. Advocacy and representation

Employee resource groups serve as advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization, including advocating for the needs and interests of remote workers.  

By participating in ERGs, remote workers can contribute their perspectives and insights to discussions about remote work policies, practices, and initiatives, ensuring that their voices are heard and represented.

5. Engagement and retention

Engaging remote workers in ERGs can help improve employee engagement and retention by providing opportunities for connection, development, and advocacy.  

When remote workers feel connected to their colleagues and supported by the organization, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work, leading to higher levels of job satisfaction and retention.

6. Community outreach and social impact

Employee resource groups engage in community outreach and social impact initiatives that remote workers can participate in, even if they are not physically located near the organization's office.  

Virtual volunteering, fundraising campaigns, and online advocacy efforts allow remote workers to make a positive impact beyond their immediate work environment and contribute to social responsibility initiatives.

How to select a leader for an employee resource group?  

Here are steps to consider when selecting a leader for an ERG:

  • Define leadership criteria: Begin by defining the criteria and qualifications for the ERG leadership role. Consider factors such as passion for the group's mission, leadership potential, communication skills, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and abiity to collaborate effectively.
  • Solicit nominations: Invite nominations for the leadership position from group members hrough an open call or nomination process. Encourage members to nominate themselves or others who they believe would be strong candidates for the role.
  • Review applications or nominations: Review the applications or nominations received for the leadership position. Evaluate candidates based on the established criteria and qualifications, considering their background, experience, and suitability for the role.
  • Conduct interviews: Conduct interviews with the shortlisted candidates to assess their fit for the leadership role. Ask questions about their motivation for leading the group, their vision for the group's future, their leadership style, and their ideas for advancing the group's goals and initiatives.
  • Seek feedback from group members: Gather feedback from group members on the candidates being considered for the leadership position. Provide an opportunity for members to ask questions, share their perspectives, and express their preferences for leadership.
  • Facilitate group discussion and consensus: Facilitate a group discussion or meeting where members can openly discuss the candidates and provide feedback. Encourage open dialogue, active participation, and respectful exchange of ideas to reach a consensus on the preferred candidate.
  • Hold an election or vote: If appropriate, hold an election or vote to select the leader for the ERG. Ensure that the election process is fair, transparent, and inclusive, allowing all eligible members to cast their vote and have their voice heard.
  • Announce the selection: Once a leader has been selected, announce the decision to the group and congratulate the newly appointed leader. Communicate the reasons for the selection and express appreciation for all candidates who participated in the process.
  • Provide support and resources: Offer support and resources to the newly appointed leader to help them transition into their role effectively. Provide training, mentorship, and guidance as needed to support their success in leading the ERG.
  • Encourage ongoing engagement and participation: Encourage ongoing engagement and participation from group members in supporting the leader and contributing to the success of the ERG. Foster a culture of collaboration, inclusivity, and accountability to ensure the group's continued effectiveness and impact.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

Quick Links

Employee Engagement solutions

Recognised by market experts