Staff groups is an informal term often used to describe networks of people in a workplace who have similar interests, backgrounds, and so on. A staff group is a community which has been identified as needing or wanting a voice. Practical examples of staff groups may be black and ethnic minorities, those experiencing menopause symptoms or working parents' networks. Regardless of remit, as an employer you need to understand the group. By creating a supportive environment and feedback loop for staff groups, employers can build valuable mechanisms of staff enablement and retention.  

There are two main types of staff group:   

  • an employee resource group (ERG) that provides a safe space for people who share a particular characteristic, often connected with equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)  
  • a staff network that seeks to share interests and/or influence organisational policy.   

Both ERGs and staff networks can share similar aims and objectives, however an ERG may focus on providing a voice for one under-represented group, whereas a staff network may act as a channel for the workforce as a whole. 

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