Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), also known as employer-based affinity groups, business resource groups or employee networks, are popular in many big companies today. Organizations recognize the benefits of these groups as business partners by leveraging them to offer support from recruiting and retention to product development and marketing. ERGs play an important role in integrating a diverse workforce and help to keep employees engaged and motivated by giving them a sense of inclusion.
More specifically, ERGs can benefit an organization and its employees in the following ways:
- Talent Attraction and Recruitment: Members of these groups are more likely to associate with people within their affinity group outside of work as well. These associations could lead to potential employees. ERG members help to serve as the voice of the organization outside the company walls. Additionally, ERG members can attend conferences, job fairs and offer testimonials on the company website to aid in the attraction and recruitment of diverse talent.
- Talent Engagement, Development and Retention: Employees gain developmental opportunities that they would not otherwise receive by participating in Employee Resource Groups. Non-management employees often develop leadership skills by participating in network groups helping them feel more engaged, leading to retention.
- Customer Attraction and Market Outreach: Resource groups can assist organizations in reaching customers in otherwise saturated markets and help them tap into underserved markets. Additionally, ERGs can be instrumental in developing new products.
ERGs and Vibrant Pittsburgh
Employee Resource Groups within the Pittsburgh region play a vital role in advancing the Vibrant Pittsburgh mission by attracting and recruiting diverse talent to the region’s workforce. Once the talent is here, ERGs are instrumental in keeping them engaged and retaining them in the area.
Vibrant Pittsburgh offers several resources to our employer members.
- Affinity Groups Council: The Affinity Groups Council (AGC) was created in mid-2011 to engage Affinity Groups in the Pittsburgh Region. Employee Resource Groups within organizations around the Pittsburgh Region are encouraged to join the Affinity Groups Council. Currently more than 65 Affinity Groups have joined the Vibrant Pittsburgh Affinity Groups Council. The benefits of joining the council include:
- Gain greater visibility for Affinity Groups and the diverse communities they represent: Vibrant Pittsburgh promotes AGC members’ events and activities to our entire network and creates opportunities for leadership (i.e., event steering committee, event partnerships etc.).
- Hear first about trends in the community, resources and technical assistance available in our community through periodic communications from Vibrant Pittsburgh.
- Receive invitations to special events.