How employee resource groups make the workplace better—for everyone

10 min read

January 18, 2024

How employee resource groups make the workplace better—for everyone

As humans, we all want to feel like we belong. Like we’re able to speak our minds and be heard and respected by those around us. Like we’re supported, included, and accepted for who we really are. Like we have the same opportunities to grow and excel as everyone else.

The workplace is no exception—even though it can often be the last place we expect to have these needs met. Cue employee resource groups (ERGs), one of the incredible tools that help employees find their proverbial “seat at the table” within their company.

It makes us feel that our uniqueness matters, that we matter and we are defined by more than just the job we were hired to do.

Agustin Arroyo

Agustin Arroyo

I’m Isabelle, a Diversity and Inclusion Specialist at Miro. My role involves spearheading initiatives to cultivate an inclusive and diverse environment, including overseeing the setup and optimization of our ERGs.

Today, I’ll define employee resource groups, explore why they’re important and impactful, what they look like at Miro, and how you can start or join one in your own workplace.

What is an employee resource group (ERG)?

Employee resource groups (ERGs) are workplace groups organized by employees, for employees. ERGs unite team members around shared characteristics, interests, or goals, and create an ongoing sense of community and support. Team members can either share the focal characteristic or be an ally who wants to be seen as publicly supporting that group.

ERGs are typically created around common identities that are often underrepresented, like people of colour (POCs), members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, and those living with disabilities or chronic physical or mental health issues. Other common ERGs are focused on religion, ethnicities and nationalities, veteran status, geographic location, economic and social causes, and more.

What is the purpose of employee resource groups?

At the end of the day, an ERG is a way for members to connect with each other, relate to each other, provide and receive support, and grow together on a micro and macro level. ERGs are also a platform within the company, giving a voice to the considerations and needs of those groups while promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion in the long run.

This makes ERGs a quintessential “win-win” for everyone, on both the employee and the employer sides of the equation.

By having a diverse workplace, we can help turn the tide and make an impact by allowing everyone to have a seat at the table and inspire others to follow in the same footsteps.

JC Silverman

JC Silverman

Why are employee resource groups important?

According to research from Great Place to Work, only 16% of employees reported having high well-being. 16%! 

Obviously, this figure is a lot to unpack, with plenty of different contributing factors and plenty of potential solutions. But part of the reason for a low sense of well-being at work has to do with a company culture that doesn’t foster a feeling of support, connectedness, and balance.

When implemented well, ERGs can directly help to address all those issues. Employees can tap into a network of peers who understand and empathize with their experiences while feeling supported by their employers to show who they really are.

Authenticity is our watchword; we want to create a safe and happy environment for anyone to be their authentic selves at work and in life. Empirical data shows that happiness, proactivity, and performance increase when conditions are in place to allow people to be their authentic selves.

Scott Sorensen

Scott Sorensen

There are several other benefits of employee resource groups, like:

  • Helping you grow professionally through expanded networking and increased collaboration
  • Being a platform for advocacy and positive change, on both local and global levels
  • Creating opportunities to learn about yourself, your peers, and other groups you want to support
  • Fostering lifelong friendships through the connections that come from shared experiences and goals

How to start an employee resource group

Interested in starting your own, or just curious about how the process works? Let’s lay out an employee resource group handbook of sorts.

(And be sure to check out our ERG Resource Hub Template in the Miroverse!)

1. Define your purpose and goals

What’s the common characteristic, interest, or goal that will unite the members of your employee resource group? It might help to review your company’s diversity and inclusion objectives to make sure that they align well, as well as to give you some inspiration for creating a formal mission statement if needed.

2. Get the green light from leadership

This stage will look different for every company, depending on details like company size, resources, and whether there are established processes and procedures for forming an ERG. For example, at Miro, this step involves reaching out to our company-wide diversity and inclusivity team.

3. Introduce your ERG

Once you’ve got the green light, you’re ready to make your debut. At this stage, you can start spreading the word about your newborn ERG. Make announcements on company channels (when permitted) and tell your colleagues all about it. 

Once you have some traction, schedule your kickoff meeting. This can be a formal meeting, or more casual like an in-person or online lunch, depending on how many remote workers the company might have. This is where you can introduce your idea, get to know your future members and why they joined, and outline what you hope to build and accomplish together.

4. Build and grow

Get creative with how you meet and engage with your group, as well as the company as a whole. Consider all your options, like video conferences and collaboration tools to host meetings, webinars, and other events. If possible, arrange face-to-face events and celebrations to foster stronger connections. These might include cultural celebrations, holidays, volunteer activities, and educational sessions.

If your company has other ERGs, explore the overlaps. Reach out to other leaders and see what opportunities you might have to collaborate on common goals. This has a one-two punch of accomplishing your mission and expanding your reach even further (and theirs too!).

5. Create a long-term plan

Dream big about the scope and reach of your ERG. Ask questions like:

  • Who are the key leaders?
  • What types of initiatives will you focus on as a group?
  • How, when, and how often will you meet?
  • How will you continue to promote the group and consistently grow membership? 
  • How will you balance virtual and in-person engagement?
  • What impact will your ERG have on members and the community?

If you’re looking to secure resources or sponsorship within your company, these will all be helpful answers to have on-the-ready.

6. Get feedback and measure impact

Ideally, you have a continuous feedback loop that’s always tapped into your member and leader experiences. Ask what they like and dislike about each meeting or event. Ask what their ideas are and how you can constantly improve. Incorporate new ideas where they make sense, then lather, rinse, and repeat.

To measure impact, you can create metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track over time. You can look at things like membership numbers, engagement levels, participation in events, and any direct impacts your ERG has on the company and community as a whole.

How ERGs thrive at Miro

Miro’s team members represent more than 100 nationalities who work from 12 hubs in 8 different countries. This means that communicating across cultures and identities isn’t just a bonus—it’s a necessity. That’s why Miro supports and champions more than a dozen ERGs (and counting!).

The process is open, simple, and available to every Mironeer who wants to create and join employee resource group activities. And these ERGs are just a stepping stone toward the larger goal of embodying Miro’s four core values:

  1. Play as a team to win the world
  2. Focus on impact and make it happen
  3. Practice empathy to gain insight
  4. Learn, grow, and drive change

Let’s look at a few employee resource group examples at Miro and what they’ve been up to.


Throughout the year, Jew-ish works to support local Jewish-owned businesses, partnering with various local individuals and organizations. For example, JewBoy Sub Shop catered an event in Austin, and a Jewish female designer helped redesign the ERG’s logo.

In addition to celebrating high holidays together, Jew-ish also hosts special events, like a virtual cross-hub candle lighting celebration for Holocaust Remembrance Day to commemorate and grieve together. Jew-ish’s founder, Sabrina Danilovich, says:

I founded this ERG to create a community where we could talk and find solutions together as one Tribe—something a lot of Mironeers were looking for.

Sabrina Danilovich

Sabrina Danilovich

Black Excellence

For Black Excellence’s inaugural Black Futures Month, leaders organized and hosted a series of events with 3 goals: celebrating Black leaders and artists, making Miro’s product more inclusive, and honoring the Black experience.

This included hosting a Black Futures Month Customer Insights panel, designing two new stickers with Black skin tones for Miro’s sticker pack, and raising company-matched donations for  organizations that provide resources and support to Black communities. In November 2023, the Black Excellence ERG organized an event in collaboration with Afrotech to also celebrate and create connections in the Black communities.

Miro Asian Community

Every year, Miro Asian Community (MAC) celebrates holidays and events like Diwali, Lunar New Year, and Asian Heritage Month through events, internal communications, and cause campaigns.

The ERG has also helped raise more than $18,000 for various causes, including ending anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate, providing COVID-19 relief to people in India, and helping save endangered Asian tigers and other big cats for the year of the tiger.

And that’s just a few, other ERGs at Miro include Somos Miro, MiroQueers, Women and Allies, Muslim ERG, Well-being Mironeers, Working Parents, Miro Earth, Christian ERG, Miro Earth, and Ukrainians of Miro.

A place and a voice for everyone

At Miro, the current version of our ERGs is just the beginning. We’re working towards ERGs becoming embedded diversity consultants for our company, where they’re consulted directly on the policies that affect their members. 

Our Working Parents ERG could collaborate with our Total Rewards team, advising on Parental Policies. Our Mental Health and Neurodiversity ERG could build wellbeing policies together with our Culture & Engagement team. This is just one of the few ways we plan to use employee resource groups to help foster belonging and diversity. 

The global workplace is getting more diverse with each passing day. When properly harnessed and nurtured, this diversity can have remarkable impacts on companies and the people who make them tick. 

Employee resource groups are just one tool in the toolbox for companies that want to lift up their employees, give each of them a platform and a voice, and collaborate to make a more inclusive, supportive, and thriving environment.

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