How to Engage Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in Volunteering

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Employee Resource Groups (also known as ERGs) are an effective way to support different communities within large companies. ERGs are workplace networks for team members with shared characteristics, special interests, or life experiences. These groups are typically employee-led rather than leadership-run which allows employees from different teams, offices, and even countries to come together to connect with like-minded employees. Due to the community and support aspects of ERGs, companies with ERGs report higher employee engagement and overall happiness. However, it’s not always easy to support these groups given the decentralized nature as they’re spread across the entire company and world.

Why Volunteering is Needed for ERGs

Employee Resource Groups are built to connect individuals who have common beliefs, experiences, and goals across a company. Data continues to show the power of corporate volunteering as an effective way to unite and connect employees across locations and provide a strong employee experience. The power of doing good increases happiness and unites employees regardless of if they work at home, work in the office, or a mixture of both. Companies should focus on giving and volunteering that aligns with their corporate mission. However, it’s also essential to support employees to give and volunteer around causes that they’re individually passionate about. Instead of encouraging employees to volunteer on their own for these causes, companies should encourage employees to come together through their ERG to volunteer.

Corporate Volunteering for Different ERGs

Regardless of the Employee Resource Groups that your company has, WeHero has different ways of supporting employees and companies with in-person, remote, and hybrid volunteer events. We’ve also helped companies around the world build custom corporate volunteer events for their individual Employee Resource Groups. Want to see a few examples of corporate volunteer events that connect directly with common ERGs?

LGBTQ+ Corporate Volunteering:

  • Skate Like a Girl: We’re building skateboards! Empower children, especially young women, to grow into confident leaders.
  • Art for Social Equality: Learn about social justice movements and paint with a nationally acclaimed artist.

Veteran & Military SupportCorporate Volunteering:

Mental Health Advocacy Volunteering:

  • Positivitea: In collaboration with 7Cups, become an active listener and support others around the globe with their mental health.

Women in the Workforce Corporate Volunteering:

  • A Common Thread: Learn about the issue of child marriage and create a beautifully designed keepsake while connecting to VOW for Girls’ mission to help every girl choose love on her own terms.
  • Period Power: Learn about period poverty in the United States, raise awareness, and provide support!

Disability Advocacy Corporate Volunteering:

  • Wheels of Support: Work together to build a wheelchair while learning about the challenges facing the physically disabled living in poverty.
  • Be My Eyes: An unforgettable experience of human kindness that your employees will love, no matter where they’re located.
  • Helping Hands: A hand-up to help others through building prosthetic arms for those in need supporting over 80 countries!

How To Support ERGs to Self-Serve

Unfortunately, successfully executing corporate volunteer events across company-wide events and individual ERG groups is time consuming and challenging. This burden often lands on one individual who has far too much on their plate. In addition, companies may choose to have all their budget for corporate volunteering go through a centralized Corporate Social Responsibility office that isn’t responsible for ERGs. This creates a communication barrier and may impact the overall employee engagement and impact a company can make.

To make this process easier for our clients, we’ve created a self-serve platform that allows companies to have their individual ERGs book events directly with WeHero on our platform.  This booking is then sent to whoever controls the corporate budget for approval. Leveraging this platform, individual teams and groups can schedule and coordinate events without having to go through the corporate volunteer manager. Before any event is fully booked, our team reaches out to the decision maker to ensure approval. Our goal is to save the entire team time so we can deliver more impact! If you want to see a demo of how this works across our client base, reach out and we can show you how this works for our clients.

It’s hard supporting Employee Resource Groups, but effortsto engage employees through volunteering are crucial in establishing strongnetworks within companies. If you need support in establishing corporatevolunteer programs throughout your company and ERGs, don’t hesitate to reachout. Our team is always here to lend a helping hand.

The Writers

Andy VandenBerg
Andy VandenBerg is the co-founder and COO of WeHero where he works closely with hundreds of companies to help them reach their social impact goals. Andy speaks actively about the importance of aligning strategy with social responsibility and how companies can pursue both purpose and profit. Andy’s past experience includes private equity and family office investing. If he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him in the Pacific Ocean or Lake Michigan.
Ben Sampson
Ben Sampson is the co-founder and CEO of WeHero where he works closely with hundreds of companies to help them reach their social impact goals. Ben speaks actively about corporate social responsibility, volunteerism, sustainability, and how companies united with activism drive powerful change. Ben’s past experience includes leading product teams, building startups, and studying sustainable business strategy at Harvard. In his free time, he’s an avid outdoor enthusiast focused on skiing, surfing, and mountain biking.

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