Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have become a significant part of the company culture at Net Health. Currently, there are six groups that aim to create an inclusive and welcoming environment, all of which are employee-led.
As part of our Net Health Workplace Health series, in this blog, we will take a deeper look at two of these ERGs: Net Healthy and Culture Club. But, first, you may be wondering what ERGs are exactly and how they can impact the workplace environment.
What are Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)?
The first ERG group was started in 1964 by Joseph Wilson, the former CEO of Xerox, in an attempt to address racial tension and workplace discrimination that gripped the nation at that time. 1
Over the years, no matter how big or small the company, ERGs have been employee-led and employee-driven by professionals everywhere. As a matter of fact, according to TopMBA, today 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies have ERG groups.2
While initiatives and activities within each group may vary, several common goals typically revolve around the following:
- Making the work environment better for everyone
- Providing a safe space for employees to come together
- Building a community of individuals who support one another
- Contributing to personal and professional development in the workplace
A Little Bit About Net Healthy
One ERG group that started more than a year and a half ago is Net Healthy. Their motto of believing that “healthy living should be inclusive, accepting and accessible for everyone” has paved the way to help all employees feel supported, regardless of where they are in their personal healthy journey.
Founded in 2020 by Maíra Oliveira, a Senior Content Strategist at NH; and Dan Hesketh, a Demand Generation Manager, Net Healthy strives to address not just the physical aspects of health, but all elements of health, such as:
- Physical health (fitness, exercise, outdoor activities, rest, sleep)
- Nutritional health (food, recipes, nutritional planning, healthy eating)
- Mental/emotional health (mindfulness, fulfillment, purpose, happiness)
- Social health (connectedness, fun, community)
The idea of starting an ERG first came to Maíra after she attended Net Health’s two-day event, CONNECT 2020. Originally, she planned to call the group Fun Fitness Foodies, however, she quickly changed her mind.
“The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted the group to encompass all things health,” she said.
Since then, Net Healthy has covered monthly topics and activities that range from self-care to decluttering to spending time outdoors, and everything in between.
Most recently, Net Healthy joined forces with The Culture Club to do a Secret Santa exchange where participants looked forward to receiving holidays gifts in the mail from a fellow colleague.
A Little Bit About the Culture Club
Around the same time Net Healthy was in development, another ERG – Culture Club – also launched. Paul Schillinger, a User Experience Designer at NH, as well as the group’s founder, explained that when he started the group, his purpose was to foster a sense of community within Net Health.
“The purpose of the group is to promote company culture, to ensure that the strong bonds created by employee events are not diminished but continue to grow in a Work From Anywhere environment,” he said.
With individuals representing a number of diverse backgrounds, Paul also believes this helps build the Net Health community. He added, “It’s super important to feel a bond with those you work with on a day-to-day basis, and it’s easier to form those bonds when you know a little more about each other and can share stories of similar experiences.”
Some popular past events the group has sponsored include Pints and Paints with our Black Experience Resource Group (BERG), Scavenger Hunt: At Home Edition and Snack Exchange. Pints and Paints has allowed participants to enjoy an evening with a good happy hour drink and eye-catching art, while Snack Exchange has incorporated elements of Secret Santa but with a food twist.
ERGs Leading the Way
Other ERGs at Net Health have also made a positive and lasting impact across the company. Whether it’s uniting working moms or providing resources and support to family caregivers, these groups allow people to build connections across all departments and locations.
In addition to Net Healthy and Culture Club, Net Health has also seen the formation of these ERGs:
- BERG (Black Experience Resource Group)
- Working Moms of Net Health
- Women in Technology
- Caregivers Collaborative
No matter who you are or where you come from, Net Health ERGs continue to offer education, support and opportunities for all employees.
1 PeopleScout, “Diversity and Inclusion: Building Employee Resource Groups and Driving Change,” 2022.
2 Great Place To Work, “What Are Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)?” 2022.