Does your company have an Employee Resource Group (ERG)? If so, you’ll want to get involved. What is an ERG? Employee Resource Groups are led and run by volunteer employees who want to create a safe and diverse workplace for all people in their company. They come together through a shared characteristic, such as gender, ethnic background, or lifestyle. The goal of ERGs is to be a warm resource that strives to make all people feel welcome. Here are five reasons why you should join an ERG.

Find a mentor

ERGs are filled with diverse members from all levels of the organization who would be a great mentor for you. A mentor will help you navigate the ins and outs of your current job or help you create a career plan for the job you want to have. Your company’s ERG will make it much easier for you to find a mentor in your field.

Networking opportunities

Current networking statistics state about 85% of employees find new employment opportunities through networking. By joining an Employee Resource Group, you’ll have a much easier time networking with colleagues who share your same interests.

Sounding boards

If you have a great idea for a project or are thinking about asking for a raise, the members of your ERG are valuable sounding boards to give you the right feedback you need. As members of a shared community, they’re better able to understand your current situation.

Professional development

Not only are ERGs inclusive groups and safe spaces within your workplace, they are perfect for professional development as well. Many ERGs offer career boot camps, lunch and learn, or guest speakers with expertise in leadership, career planning, communications, executive presence, etc.  I have the privilege of working with several ERGs at AT&T, Microsoft, Google, Johnson & Johnson, and Genentech. If your company has an ERG, we should talk about bringing an activate your career dreams program to your organization. 

Leadership opportunities

Getting involved in your company’s Employee Resource Group gives you the opportunity to move up in the group and become an officer. As such, you’ll gain leadership, project management, and supervisory experience outside of your regular position. 

If your company offers ERGs for their employees, it’s well worth your while to consider joining, not only for community and friendship but for activating your career as well.

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Madelyn Mackie

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