New Survey Shows Employee Resource Groups’ Positive Impact on Millennial Workers

Almost half of Millennials ages 18-34 are interested in joining Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to stay engaged at their workplace, according to a new survey from the New Talent Times.  This is a drastic shift from the preference of their older counterparts who in the vast majority say they don’t want to participate in these social groups designed to connect employees with similar interests or backgrounds.

What Does That Mean?

The full article, “Survey: Employee Resource Groups Help Engage Gen Y Workers” gives details on the survey data as well as insight into how the results should impact employee engagement strategies. Glenn Llopis, the CEO of the Glenn Llopis Group, attributes these findings to the younger generation’s structure shift in America.  He says that the millennial generation is on the cusp of a demographic shift which “is changing the ways businesses operate, who they sell to, and how they recruit and develop talent. In other words, today’s talent pool needs to reflect the demographic shift of the people that buy the products or services that company sells.”

The article goes on to quote the Pew Research Center on Millennials: “They are the most ethnically and racially diverse cohort of youth in the nation’s history.” The New Talent Times says that this could explain the primary reason that 18 to 34-year-olds are more inclined to be interested in ERGs – their own diverse composition.

Interest in Joining an ERG by Age

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The article concludes that ERGs are so important to this age group that most respondents claimed ERGs had significant influence on where they applied to work, how long they stayed with an employer, and what level of engagement they committed to their company.

To ERG or Not to ERG?

Many companies currently avoid implementing ERGs due to:

  • Their sensitive nature
  • The organization has an older workforce that doesn’t value them
  • Lack of resources to successfully implement and manage them

But the data indicates that they may be a good option for companies looking to recruit, retain and engage younger workers.  Maybe it is time for your business to entertain ERGs since they have potential to positively impact the company’s bottom line and engage Gen Y employees in the organization.  “It’s about embracing the special skills and characteristics that may be attributed to one’s culture or ethnicity or gender,” Llopis says, “[while utilizing the] special intelligence … that particular group can deliver to the company’s overall strategy or business model.”

So, How Do I Get Started?

First of all, Llopis underlines the importance of having a senior executive lead an ERG and have them participate with the members to clearly outline the objectives for the team.  With structure and leadership, ERGs can be effective in developing sales and marketing strategies to attract others in their demographic. This investment will not only empower the members of the employee group, but also will provide an opportunity to grow businesses in the new generation.

Want More Information?

Here’s the full report from Software Advice, an HR technology research group, with more statistics and details on this survey.

Author: Abby Hagan, MBA, is Crescendo’s Marketing Manager. She knows the business world and is working to improve it one professional at a time.

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