Fostering ERGs

ERGs can actually raise levels of discomfort at first: How do I act? What if we disagree with each other? Will I be cancelled if I say the wrong thing? Here are some tips about how to foster a culture that is conducive to culture-building via ERGs.

Top Tips for creating a culture that supports ERGs

  • Integrate your ERG

    Does your company have a weekly newsletter where you can plug events and announcements? An events bulletin board? A regular section for announcements during all-staff meetings? Integrate your content as much as possible, so your group feels part of the larger whole.

  • Emphasize that everyone is invited in your comms

    Even if merely an email footnote, it is an imperative reminder. Repeat after me thrice: You don’t have to be LGBTQ+ to attend LGBTQ+ events/meetings. Now click your heels. 👠

  • Serve as 1:1 ambassadors

    Leverage 1:1 connections! Instead of only leveraging mass email distribution lists, try sending unique, personalized invites with a friendly tone. Ask your members to directly invite personal work connects. This way, it’s an opportunity to learn more about Kyle and their community, vs. meeting an intimidating community of strangers with whom you may lack a shared background.

  • Everyone loves a snack

    Food is a natural convener. You’d be surprised how effective it is to hand out treats, with a short ribboned note from your friendly, neighborhood LGBTQ+ ERG. You’ll make so many fans.

  • Everyone loves some swag

    Laptop stickers are such a tech thing, right? Make different stickers for different events, and be generous with them. It promotes visibility, and keeps them coming back for more. Catch ’em all!

  • Collaborate with other ERGs

    Try lunch socials, potlucks, screenings, to collaborate with other ERGs. Champion and show up to each others’ events. Lead by example that allyship is an active state and important.

  • Document everything

    Take stock of what’s happening at your meetings, events, mixers, and include updates in your all-staff newsletters and comms. Especially pertinent to show there can be allies and participants who don’t identify as LGBTQ+.

  • Get allies to show their support

    Ok, so maybe folks won’t stick around for a screening of a 9pm screening of Boys Don’t Cry. But handing out “LGBTQ+ Ally” stickers during lunch? Low lift, and makes people smile. They might not remember what you said to them, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. So make ‘em feel good!