What Are ERGs and Why They Matter

If you’re focused on building a strong workplace culture, you’ve heard the term “ERG,” aka Employee Resource Groups. In fact, it is likely you already have ERGs in place. 


But if for those who are less familiar or are still establishing their program, here’s some information on what ERGs are and why your company should have them. 


ERGs are workplace affinity groups. Lead by employees, these groups are usually part of a company’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging program. ERGs are usually distinguished by specific experiences and identities, such as gender, ethnicity, interests, religious affiliations, among others. The goal is to create inclusive, empowering collectives that support colleagues with a shared identity. Sometimes these groups also invite allies to join as well. ERGs create safe spaces that allow employees to show up as their whole selves at work authentically.


Because ERGs advocate for employees and build a culture of belonging, it allows employees to feel more supported, connected, and thus, innovative. When employees feel safe being themselves at work, companies thrive. In addition, ERGs inspire new ways of thinking, conversation, and community. So much so that ERGs have created more equitable policies, led on social impact programming, and championed companies’ missions. 


ERGs are a crucial part of any workplace. Why? Because they provide employees with a sense of belonging, foster a diverse and inclusive workplace, and drive a sense of purpose. And when given the right tools, these groups can motivate others to engage around causes and nonprofits.


The first ERGs stemmed out of the Civil Rights movement. Since then, ERGs have evolved and their popularity has grown. ERGs are found in 90% of Fortune 500 companies. In more recent months, we have also seen companies start paying ERG leads for their labor, recognizing the effort that goes into running these groups. 


The future of ERGs is bright, and Deed is here to help champion the groups that champion employees! 


Check out our GOODCon Panel on ERGs moderated by Afdhel Aziz, founder of Good is the New Cool. Our panel featured Julia Li, Head of Social Impact & DEI Programs at Thumbtack, Christina Louie Dryer, Head of Social Impact at Lob, and our very own Olivia Boger, Head of Partner Success at Deed. 


Learn how Deed can support your ERGs today! 



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