Why ERGs drive the growth of workplace diversity, and much more
- After three decades of existence, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) continue to deliver real value in promoting diversity and helping workers feel included in the company culture. It doesn't stop there, as ERGs can also help boost profits by supporting brand image, improving retention and increasing employee productivity, according to Bloomberg BNA.
- BNA reports that surveys conducted by Catalyst supported the idea that inclusion is key to an engaged work force, which in turn can help raise the bottom line. One survey, Inclusive Leadership: The View From Six Countries, showed that those who reported a greater sense of inclusion also reported increases in both “team citizenship behaviors” and innovation in the workplace by 46% and 42% respectively.
- Another Catalyst survey, which highlighted the role of ERGs in promoting engagement and innovation, found that 50% of ERG members reported an increased intent to remain at their job long-term and higher levels of commitment, helping employers lower recruiting costs.
As noted in the BNA article, ERGs, when done right, can create a clear ROI. And HR leaders who may not be taking advantage of them are missing a golden opportunity. It's clear that not only are they part of solving the diversity challenge, they also present a strong profit-making business case as well.
Most of all, employees, when connected via ERGs, can be a voice for change, but also represent much more than a "feel good" idea to make people happier. In fact, ERGs across the nation have become key builders of both the internal and external communities impacted by their respective organizations. HR leadership needs to focus on the business case when either strengthening existing ERGs or creating them for the first time.