An employee resource group (ERG) is an employee-led group within an organization that fosters inclusivity and builds community through sharing of common lived experiences, demographic similarities, and/or like-views. Effective employee resource groups operate with defined goals and they meet often to create a sense of belonging through discussion and resource sharing, and participation is typically volunteer-based. These groups can be compared to what has historically been referred to as “affinity groups.” At Michigan State University, employee resource groups are open to all faculty and staff, welcoming everyone who seeks to join.
Employee resource groups can help establish meaningful relationships and enhance a genuine sense of community, which can increase employee morale and satisfaction. These groups can also help create an inclusive and engaging company culture, benefitting both the employer and employee greatly.
SHRM.org summarizes the benefit to both the employer and employee in regards to the importance of ERGs, stating:
“At 90 percent of the companies examined, ERG members helped new employees to get comfortable during the onboarding process. Studies show that the first 60 to 90 days of employment are a critical time for any new hire, and they can be particularly challenging for members of traditionally underrepresented groups. That short window of time can mean the difference between whether an employee stays for the long run or leaves the organization before the year is out. ERGs can be leveraged to acclimate employees and engender a sense of loyalty and belonging to their new company.”
Goode, Ph.D., Shelton, and Isaac Dixon, Ph.D, SHRM- SCP. "Are Employee Resource Groups Good for Business?" SHRM.org, 25 Aug. 2016, www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/0916/pages/are-employee-resource-groups-good-for-business.aspx.
MSU has a growing list of ERGs, open to all employees including both faculty and staff, many of which are hosted through the WorkLife Office, including:
Family Employee Resource Group
A place for Spartans to connect on family related topics with the goal of connecting, building community, and sharing best practices regarding raising or caregiving for children and caregivers.
Adult Caregivers Employee Resource Group
This group is intended to virtually connect MSU faculty and staff who have caregiving responsibilities for adults in their lives and those navigating assisting a senior in their life with changing care needs. This group is open to anyone interested in connecting with other adult caregivers, or learning about issues such as how to care for yourself as a caregiver.
International Employee Resource Group
The Mission of the International Employee Resource Group is to support our international faculty, staff and post docs to connect and navigate multiple roles through workplace, family, career and life transitions.
Women’s Networking Association
The mission of the Women’s Networking Association (WNA) is to connect professional women across campus through meaningful and empowering relationships. Providing an opportunity for women to network and support one another is an essential step for building women’s leadership at Michigan State University and in the Greater Lansing community.
Other Employee Resource Group are forming by request. Check the WorkLife calendar for events.