The Value of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for Administrative Professionals

March 26, 2024


Women's Employee Resource Group

Employee Resource Groups, commonly known as ERGs, are groups united by shared interests, goals, initiatives, or demographic factors, including gender, ethnicity, or professional experiences. These groups provide a fun, supportive environment for administrative assistants to get involved with the company’s mission and meet peers.

Let’s explore why ERGs are important and how participation in them can help admins advance their careers, develop leadership skills, and build a professional network.

Why You Should Consider Joining an ERG

At their core, ERGs exist to connect like-minded colleagues. Their purpose depends on the organization’s values, but like any club, they incorporate relationship building, skill development, and collaboration. 

Admins should join an ERG if they want to enhance their professional skills, make new connections, celebrate a community they’re a part of, or advocate for company policies that positively impact their community. When deciding what group to join, it’s important to consider what ERG aligns with your values, career goals, and interests. 

Here are just a few examples of ERGs that may be available at your job:

  • Women in Leadership is dedicated to supporting and empowering women in managerial positions 

  • Diversity and Inclusion groups focus on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the company culture and policies

  • Professional Development is a group that offers resources for career growth to its members

  • Technology and Innovation ERGs may offer training to efficiently leverage technology

  • Work-Life Balance groups recognize the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal lives 

How ERGs Can Advance Your Career 

Continued learning and skill development are fundamental to career advancement, and ERGs offer a variety of educational opportunities for administrative professionals to learn new skills. Plus, some groups even allocate funds to support their members’ educational goals. 

For example, many groups organize trainings and workshops that teach:

  • Time-management skills

  • Professional communication hacks

  • Project management

  • Technology and software proficiencies 

Additionally, many ERGs give members access to online courses, industry publications, webinars, conferences, and volunteer opportunities. Admins who take advantage of these perks have the chance to get hands-on training, stay up-to-date on industry trends, and develop the professional skills necessary to move up in their roles. 

Developing Leadership Skills Through an ERG

Before being considered for a promotion to a leadership role, companies often seek candidates with experience in managing projects or subordinates. If your current role lacks leadership training opportunities, joining an ERG could be an excellent way to develop management skills. 

Admins who actively participate in a group have the chance to take on leadership roles, like:

  • President

  • Vice President

  • Committee Chair

  • Event Coordinator

  • Secretary 

  • Diversity and Inclusion Officer

  • Special Projects Lead

Even without an official position within the ERG, members can step up to manage projects or mentor new members. These opportunities provide admins with invaluable leadership training in a supportive environment, all while fostering the confidence necessary to lead. 

Networking Opportunities in an ERG

ERGs serve as a centralized networking hub for the entire company, offering admins the chance to network with senior leadership, colleagues from diverse departments, and coworkers one doesn't regularly interact with.

Collaborating and sharing information with a variety of colleagues in your company is essential for building a professional network. Additionally, ERGs provide a low-pressure setting to meet, build relationships, and practice networking skills with people from all levels of your organization.  

Making Your Company a Better Place to Work

ERGs provide more than just individual opportunities; they offer vital support for marginalized or underrepresented groups to celebrate shared history, learn, and advocate for inclusive company policies. They drive innovation and foster growth, prompting change when corporate cultures fall short of stated values. 

How to Start an ERG

If your company is missing an ERG that you believe would benefit your colleagues, consider having a conversation with your human resources department about spearheading a new group. Creating your own ERG is a proactive way to showcase your ambitious leadership skills!

Here’s a guide on how to create a new ERG at your company.

Click here

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