March 14, 2018 BestCompaniesUSA

Why Employee Resource Groups Matter

Picture this: a thriving workforce of diverse individuals collaborating with one another, communicating effectively, and working together to help the company thrive. Sound like a dream? It doesn’t have to be. Our clients’ employees stay that with Employee Resource Groups and Business Resource Groups at their companies, this picture is reality. Employee resource groups matter. Here’s why:

They Grow Leaders

Employee resource groups allow people to expand their networks across the company, interact with senior leadership, and expand their cultural awareness. These groups provide a unique space for employees to grow both personally and professionally, forming important connections that will help them become the next leaders of the company.

They Help Attract Diverse Talent

Employee Resource Groups demonstrate a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is a huge draw for prospective job seekers. One member of Hyatt’s LGBT Employee Resource Group, HyPrideAZ, says he loves being a part of the group and being able to bring awareness of LGBT issues to the company.

“Each day I can enter work and be my true self, allowing me to focus on my daily tasks and make connections with colleagues, new hires and community partners,” Daniel Chaparro, an Area Wellness Manager for Hyatt said.

They Encourage Professional Development

Many people in employee resource groups rave about the professional development opportunities.

“I’ve grown professionally, and my leadership skills have been enhanced,” said Lashonda Royal, the national chair of Black Professionals at Charles Schwab (BPACS).

“I’ve been a project manager, a liason, and a guest speaker on behalf of my group and I am now its national chair. All of these opportunities were new to me and help me exercise my influence with not only my peers but leadership as well.”

Charles Schwab has employee resource groups for many diverse communities, including Asian/Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Latinos, Parents, Women, Veterans, LGBT, and Environmental Activists.

They Boost Innovation

Employee resource groups can help boost innovation at your company. It’s incredible how creative people are when they know they’re free to be themselves at work. Having a safe space to be around people they share a common identity with can help employees feel more comfortable at work. The more comfortable and supported people feel, the more likely they are to want to contribute to their company in big ways.

They Cultivate Mentoring

Employee resource groups are a hub for mentoring! Hyatt has an employee resource group, Women@hyatt, that strives to develop and empower women at the company. The group hosts events promoting wellness, community involvement, work life balance, and networking. Talk about women supporting women!

Are you considering starting employee resource groups at your company?

Check out Charles Schwab and Hyatt’s company profiles to learn more about their employee resource groups and to be inspired!