Diversity and Inclusion

Unlock the Power of ERGs in Your Workplace

So, you’ve heard the term, ERG, but do you know what it means? In the world of workplace acronyms, this one’s essential to get right.

ERG stands for Employee Resource Group. It’s important for any workplace, or employee, interested in creating an inclusive culture to be aware of ERGs and their benefits. 

We all know that fostering an inclusive culture has long-term positive impacts on employee engagement, retention and productivity. 

Employee resource groups go further and create communities for people to find support, discuss issues and advocate for themselves and others in a safe, proactive group. 

In this guide, we take you through what ERGs are, who can join and the benefits of setting them up. 

What is an Employee Resource Group or ERG? 

Put simply, ERGs bring people together for mutual support in the workplace. They are communities that an organisation will set up to better support employees. 

They can be formed based on shared characteristics such as race, gender, sexuality, religion or any other protected characteristic. 

“ERGs are not clubs, extracurricular work or hobbies. Fighting the status quo is a hard choice to make.” Cherie Caldwell, Head of DEI (Salesloft)

The group work together to share information, support each other and run events and activities. In larger organisations, multiple ERGs can exist across the business to support a wide range of people. 

What groups can create an ERG? 

As we said, there are many people that can form an employee resource group.

This could be based on a protected characteristic including:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Or other groups such as carers can form an ERG for mutual support in the workplace.

How do ERGs add value? 

ERGs create a sense of community for people who feel marginalised or underrepresented in the workplace. They also provide a way for employees to advocate for and promote diversity and inclusion at work. 

This adds value to an organisation by improving the employee experience of your people, offering channels of support and creating lasting change. This leads to better retention and offers an attractive benefit to new joiners.

What are the benefits of setting up Employee Resource Groups? 

The benefits of ERGs are wide-ranging. From developing leaders to a more inclusive culture, there are many reasons to start an ERG.

Just some of the benefits you can expect to see include:

  • Developing future leaders: Nurture and develop your future leaders by providing opportunities through resource groups. It’s a great way to spot new leaders and nurture talent. 
  • Fostering an inclusive culture: ERGs create communities where everyone can feel seen, heard and supported. By creating these groups you can actively foster an inclusive culture.
  • Creating safe spaces: Finding ways to support your people can be difficult. Creating safe spaces for employees to talk means they can share and resolve issues, leading to higher retention and employee happiness.
  • Raising awareness: ERGs are effective at providing educational opportunities in the workplace on key DE&I topics. They can be a vital tool for advocacy and educating your people across the business.
  • Creating pathways to make change: Bringing people together means that no one will be singled out for speaking up. If you want to create people-led change in your workplace, ERGs are a great way to do that.
  • Enhancing organisational reputation: By demonstrating your commitment to diversity and inclusion through ERGs, you can improve your external organisational reputation. Building better relationships with customers, suppliers and other external stakeholders that value DE&I has lasting benefits to your bottom line and more. 

Can allies join ERGs? 

The good news is, allies can join an ERG to support their colleagues and drive positive change in their organisation too. This goes a long way to creating a culture of support across the business. 

The important thing to remember is that as an ally your role is to listen and act where you can. As an ally, you should aim to listen more than you speak when participating in a group.

Women in tech forum white paper: mentoring for womenAre ERGs effective? 


According to a Deloitte survey, 79% of companies with ERGs saw an increase in employee engagement as a result. 

On top of this, ERGs have been shown to build trust and create more inclusive workplace cultures. They’re a highly effective D&I strategy to implement in your organisation. 

People thrive when they feel safe to bring their whole selves to work. Creating communities is a fantastic way to improve DE&I in your organisation. 

📖 Find out more key stats on Diversity and Inclusion in our guide 📖

How can I ensure I get the most out of my ERG? 

Three ways to improve the effectiveness of your ERG:

1. Make the purpose clear

ERGs work when there is a clear focus to the group. This means that people can join confidently knowing whether the group is for them.

Maintain alignment and direction of your ERGs by setting out clearly what the purpose, goals and structure of your group will be. This includes aligning with wider DE&I strategies to avoid mis-matched priorities.

2. Get senior leadership buy-in 

This goes for any company wide initiative, from mentoring to employee resource groups. Getting support from senior leaders ensures visibility of the initiative and that ERG leaders receive the recognition they deserve.

3. Manage expectations 

ERGs can be incredibly effective at tackling a number of issues in the workplace. However, it’s important that those joining the group are getting the right information about what to expect.

If you’re starting a group to improve career progression for a community underrepresented in leadership, it’s important that this is clearly communicated and that it stays a top priority for the group. Otherwise, members may become disillusioned with the groups progress.

So, what are you waiting for? If you’re a DE&I lead or other people professional, setting up an employee resource group could be the key to unlocking potential in your people and creating an environment in which everyone can thrive. 

And, with Guider’s software, you can easily facilitate connections between your people – we do more than just mentoring! 

Want to connect your ERGs and spark relationships that get results? Speak to our team to find out more. 


7 Foolproof Ways To Improve Your Onboarding Process Today

There are massive, gaping flaws in the ways most companies go about onboarding – and the proof is in the latest research.

🚩 Nearly two-thirds of employees found their onboarding experience to be stressful 

🚩 Only half of all new hires said they felt productive and capable of doing their jobs

🚩 20% of new employees felt they’d been left isolated or alone during their onboarding

“But so many people said they loved our onboarding in the survey we sent out.” We hear you saying. 

The cause? Vanity metrics. And worse still, vanity metrics collected at the wrong time.

How are you going to work out if onboarding sets people up to perform in a role if that feedback stops before they’ve done the role?

You can’t! And this is actually one of the seven ways you can make positive changes today. If that doesn’t inspire (or scare) you to read on, what will…

1. Build better feedback cycles

Now that you’re three months into the job, do you feel your onboarding set you up for success?

If so, which parts and how?

If not, what was missing and why?

It’s not like asking people how happy they were on a scale of one to 10 is useless, it’s just that this is much more useful. You can action this, today. 

Beyond continuing the feedback collection into the role, consider the milestones when it might be worth asking for it.

For example, if sales reps start leading their own calls in week four, maybe week eight is a good time to ask questions about how well their onboarding and early weeks set them up for those conversations.

Better yet, see if you can loop in some of their performance data alongside anecdotal evidence to build a well-rounded picture.

2. Harness the power of internal influencers and experts

In a nutshell, onboarding is there to do two things: empower people to do the role well and connect them to the company mission and culture.

And there will be people internally who give you the best chance of pulling these off for each new employee.

They are your internal influencers, and your job is to facilitate connections with them.

How do I find influencers?

Remember, leaders and influencers are anyone people want to follow! Unless people with senior management titles are really the best people to give a new employee the information they need, there is no reason they should just be doing a tour of the top level.

A product marketing manager can potentially offer more positioning wisdom to new sales reps than the head of marketing.

A customer support rep might have more insights into user pain points than the person leading the team – purely because of the nature of their role.

Performance data (again) and stories from colleagues are great sign posts. Who racks up the best numbers? Who do people turn to internally when they face a problem? Who’s the social secretary and therefore a beacon of culture?

A great way to connect new hires to these people is through buddying and mentoring programs that tie into the onboarding process. Your internal influencers and experts are likely also the people acting as mentors!

3. Create situations where people are encouraged to fail

Yes, we want people to feel comfortable and confident at the end of onboarding, but not at the expense of them being competent in their roles.

That’s why we need to push people, create situations where they might ‘fail’ and then understand where they truly need our help.

Our onboarding process should create situations that feel like the real thing so we can say, if this is where you struggled in the practice environment, we need to give you more help with that before you do the real thing. 

Let’s say we’ve got customer-facing employees, and we know the goalposts are likely to shift during the job. In our practice environments, we could change the timing of the call or push back on certain ideas to ensure it feels like the real thing.

4. Hold a purpose session during onboarding

More than half of employees said the pandemic caused them to question the purpose of what they do. Meaning that employees want to do meaningful work more than at any other point in history.

How many companies are taking the time to truly explain their mission, values and purpose during onboarding, really?

It’s a quick win and a no-brainer. If people want to do meaningful things, help them understand what that means at your company.

Fiona Morgan, Director of Purpose at SailGP, explained how she uses Purpose Inductions with new employees every single month on a recent episode of HowNow’s L&D Disrupt Live podcast.

“I think it shows your commitment. You have this discussion and talk about intent: why you’ve done it, what you’re doing well and then you kind of say, ‘Go forth, you are all now purpose ambassadors…”

“Most sustainability teams should be able to do that! A monthly or quarterly workshop for new starters where you present your strategy and have an open chat. That would be a good start, even if you did that before training.”

5. Set milestones that allow you to deliver relevant content at the right times

Most of us have been there, feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information coming our way during onboarding. Which is typically a symptom of two things:

  • A failure to consider what will be relevant to that employee
  • Not thinking about when something will be relevant to a new employee

In other words, we’re not asking two simple questions: Is this relevant to that person? If yes, do they need to know it now?

But how can we work out what is and isn’t relevant? 

The magic lies in understanding the key tasks that person needs to complete, what skills and knowledge are needed to complete them and how we can structure onboarding to deliver them.

How can I establish relevant milestones and goals during onboarding?

Let’s take a new sales rep as an example. For them, the key milestones might be outreach and cold prospecting, followed by holding a kick-off call and then handing over to a more senior colleague.

These happen in order, making it easy to understand what’s relevant and when.

Anything to do with the kick-off call or handover is pretty irrelevant until they’ve nailed that outreach and prospecting.

Why? Because there is nobody to kick-off with (in the good way) or hand over until they’re driving people into the pipeline.

If you’re in the onboarding team, congratulations – you can now work smarter, not harder. The only question you have to answer is: How do we prepare this person to become proficient at outreach in the desired timeframe?

6. Provide consistent experiences for the hybrid world

Whether people are onboarding remotely or in person, they’re just crying out for consistency.

Adding a remote employee to an in-person meeting via a video call is not the same as building a meeting to work for everyone from scratch.

For example, the in-person meeting might involve a real-time presentation that it’s tricky for remote employees to engage in. But a hybrid onboarding session might mean sending the deck to everyone ahead of time and using that meeting time to discuss the content together.

The more you can create self-service, on-demand learning that’s accessible in one place when people need it, the more you’re empowering remote employees. You’re removing the variables and barriers that create varying experiences.

And remember, adding virtual mentoring and buddying to your onboarding program ticks multiple boxes at once. Cater to hybrid teams, connect people to influencers and ensure consistent, timely learning.

7. Learn from the best, even if they’re in a different industry

Would you consider Intercom a similar company to yours? Possibly not, but there’s lots you can learn from them on the onboarding front.

Such as building every onboarding experience around four key pillars to drive that consistency we spoke about. These are: core business learnings, skills and culture, support elements, and social and belonging.

This gives every employee an understanding of the company, its culture, and mission, leaving you to sprinkle in the job-specific stuff we discussed.

Whether it’s sending a party in a box to their door like they do at Happy Money or converting in-person full-day sessions into 90-minute modules people can find online and on-demand at Publicis Sapient, you should always be looking for onboarding inspiration outside your circle.

Then you can test it on a small scale and see if it fits! Get a detailed breakdown for all of these examples and more in HowNow’s employee onboarding guide for fast-growing companies.

Diversity and Inclusion

50 Diversity and Inclusion Statistics You Need to Bookmark in 2023

It’s increasingly vital to create diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. 

Organisations worldwide are not only realising the value of diverse and inclusive teams but, more and more, it’s what employees are demanding from their employers. 

So, if you’re looking to back up your case for DE&I at your organisation and show why diversity and inclusion are important, then look no further. 

Here are the key diversity and inclusion statistics you need to bookmark in 2023:

Diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace

The business case for diversity and inclusion

Let’s break diversity and inclusion in the workplace down…

Ageism in the workplace

Gender inequality in the workplace

📖 Find out more about attracting and retaining female talent in our guide 📖

Racial inequality in the workplace

📖 Find out more about boosting racial diversity in the workforce here 📖

LGBTQ+ discrimination in the workplace

Yet, diversity and inclusion in the workplace done right means:

📖 Read our guide to supporting LGBTQ+ staff through mentoring for more 📖

Disability and ableism at work

  • In the UK, there is a disability employment gap with an employment rate of 53.1% for disabled women compared to 84.2% of non-disabled women and 51.3% for disabled men compared to 77.8% of non-disabled men. 
  • There is a 47.5% point employment gap for people disabled by mental health conditions. 
  • A 2019 study showed that inclusive working environments for disabled employees generated on average 28% higher revenue than those that didn’t. 

Mental health at work

  • Following the effects of the pandemic in 2020, feelings of loneliness reached a record high in UK adults.
  • 1 in 6 people of working age in the UK experience symptoms of mental ill health. 
  • 50% of employees have experienced at least 1 symptom of burnout at work
  • Poor mental health costs UK employers approx. £56 billion each year. This has increased by 25% since 2019. 
  • For every pound spent by employers on mental health support, £5.30 is returned through reduced; absence, presenteeism, and staff turnover. 
  • Harvard Business Review conducted a study researching the positive effects of mentoring on mentors. People who served as mentors experienced lower levels of anxiety, and described their job as more meaningful, than those who did not mentor. 

📖 Read our guide to designing mentoring programs to support mental health for more 📖

Workplace social mobility

We hope that these statistics empower you and your business case for DE&I, helping to build a more equitable future for all 🙌

To find out more about how mentoring can support diversity and inclusion at your organisation, speak to our team today. 

Peer Learning

What is Peer Learning? Definition, Purpose and Benefits

Peer learning, sometimes known as peer to peer learning, draws on the expertise of colleagues and peers to accelerate employee growth in your organisation. 

Given that only 38% of learning and development professionals think they’re ready to meet the needs of tomorrow’s learners, there’s a clear need to expand learning and development with new ideas. 

This is why more and more organisations are turning to peer learning over traditional learning and development. It offers a cost-effective solution for continuous, collaborative learning that gets results. Best of all, your people may already be doing it. 

So, what is peer learning and why is it so effective? 

What is peer learning? 

You may have heard the term already. With roots in the education sector, peer learning is a tool where colleagues, peers or, in education, students, come together to teach one another.

Peer learning is essentially the act of learning with and from your colleagues. The concept isn’t new but is becoming increasingly common in the workplace as organisations seek new, innovative ways to upskill and develop their people. 

When we bring people together through peer learning everyone participating learns and develops their skills. Peer learning includes mentoring, shadowing and lunch and learn programs to name just a few examples. 

How is peer learning revolutionary?

Peer learning puts learning in the hands of people first. It draws on the expertise already in your business, creating pathways for knowledge sharing that don’t rely on external trainers or formal learning programs. 

A Degreed study showed that employees are most likely to ask their boss or mentor (69%) and their colleagues (55%) when they need to learn something new. Formalising and encouraging opportunities for peer learning means that everyone can access it across the business. It also provides a great way to foster continuous learning in your workplace

Given the amount of expertise that lies within your business already, why outsource your upskilling? 

What are the benefits of peer to peer learning? 

There are many benefits to peer learning and some of them are similar to the benefits of mentoring.

From increased knowledge retention to better skill development. Here are just some of the ways your teams can benefit:

Build trust 

When people learn together through peer learning, trust is built between colleagues and departments. This benefits your working culture and improves communication throughout the business, which ultimately improves productivity and retention. 

Draw on existing expertise

Tap into the experts that are already working in your organisation to share knowledge and upskill others. This not only means you don’t need to spend on external trainers but helps prevent knowledge from being lost when people leave the business. 

Improve knowledge retention

One of the reasons peer learning is so powerful is that when we teach others what we know, it helps that knowledge to stick. It also develops social and emotional learning at the same time. By bringing peers together to teach one another, you’re reinforcing learning for all. 

Create a learning loop 

The ‘learning loop’ is a concept that describes the 4 continuous stages of learning. These are; gaining knowledge, applying it, getting feedback and reflecting on what’s been learned. Peer learning encompasses all of these, meaning it creates a loop that provides continuous learning and growth to participants. 

📖 Find out more about how continuous learning can benefit your organisation in our guide 📖

Develop management and leadership skills 

Through peer learning, your people can practice the communication, organisation and support skills needed by good leaders and managers. What better way to gain experience helping to develop people than working with them through peer to peer learning? 

Find out more about career progression in our guide. 

The advantages of peer learning are clear. It’s a cost-effective way to create collaborative and social learning across your organisation. With benefits to the long-term knowledge retention and development of your team, it’s no wonder so many organisations are turning to peer learning to revolutionise their learning and development strategy. 

Ready to find out more? Book a call with our expert team today.