9 Steps To Forming Employee Resource Groups


What is one step businesses need to take to form an effective employee resource group (ERG)?

To help small business owners form employee resource groups, we asked CEOs and business professionals this question for the best tips. From letting employees lead to recruiting a growth team there are several steps that may help you form an employee group for your business’ continued success. 

Here are nine steps to forming employee resource groups:

  • Make It Inclusive
  • Find Interested Parties
  • Define Your Purpose
  • Let Employees Lead
  • Listen to All Members
  • Recruit a Growth Team
  • Create a Resource List
  • Share Insurance Benefits
  • Provide Financial Support

Make It Inclusive 

While we do not have an ERG in place, through our research, I believe a business would need a diverse group of people who are willing to be honest and open to new ideas. They also need to have the support of the business to be able to implement recommendations that come as a result of their work. 

Michael Martin, Tempe Tourism

Find Interested Parties 

Whether you choose to send a mass email or to use word of mouth, your first step is to find people who also share your values and interests in your organization. Once you're able to identify people who are interested in joining or leading the group, you will be able to efficiently create your ERG.

Brooke Wilson, Fabric

Define Your Purpose 

To have effective employee resource groups, there must be a purpose that its members can support. This can be anything from career development or mental health safety. Define the responsibilities of team members and their role in carrying out the mission. Center all events and activities around the mission statement to ensure the group doesn't stray from its goal.

Haim Medine, Mark Henry Jewelry

Let Employees Lead

Give employees full control over how the group is run. If they are completely in charge, it promotes accountability because the group's success falls squarely on the employees. It will motivate them to actively work to grow the group and ensure it sticks to its purpose.

Rym Selmi, MiiRO

Listen to All Members 

Employee resource groups (ERGs) can be a valuable resource for employees of various backgrounds who are looking for additional resources that can help them with their work and allow them to connect with colleagues on the basis of a shared interest or disposition. ERGs are the most effective when they’re run in a way that is democratic and lifts up the voices of all who wish to contribute.

Greg Hannley, Soba Recovery

Recruit a Growth Team

Build a team whose members are committed to their leadership roles. Develop guidelines, set goals, and communication expectations. Make sure members without leadership positions strongly support the ERG and will promote it throughout the organization to attract other employees.

Michael Scanlon, Roo SkinCare

Create a Resource List 

Have a long list of available resources for your employees. Do not only have one option for each category. Every employee has unique needs, try to provide different options for different people. Make sure it is covered by the company as well so you are not misleading teams either.

Guy Bar, Hyfit

Share Insurance Benefits

First, gather all benefits that employees can have with insurance. See what health groups can offer as bonuses for businesses to add and what wellness offers there are. Once all of these are found and gathered, lay it out in a document and organize the data. This will help to have one place for all found information before sharing it with the company.

Olivia Young, Conscious Items

Provide Financial Support

It is hard for employee resource groups to function without a budget. They are usually underfunded and purely voluntary. So what businesses can do is provide financial support. They can use such resources to develop and organize programs and activities that have relevant impact on inclusivity within your company.

Joe Flanagan, VelvetJobs

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