Employee resource groups serve three important functions.
- They provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all employees and advance a respectful and caring community.
- They provide an opportunity to network with and mentor one another on common interests and concerns.
- They provide a mechanism to advance concerns to university and college leadership.
There are five guiding principles for all employee resource groups.
- All ERGs are open to all employees.
- ERGs promote diversity, openness, understanding, and inclusiveness.
- ERG participation by employees is voluntary.
- ERGs adhere to university and college policies and procedures.
- ERGs strive to provide long-term business benefit to the university as well as professional/personal benefit to participants.
Organizations find that successful employee resource groups have several common characteristics.
- They have a leader who fulfills leadership duties.
- They have a purpose (e.g., share concerns, foster community, network, share identified concerns to leadership).
- They foster connections with the work organization and the broader community.
- They have membership from across all levels of the organization including senior leadership.