ACCP & Survey Highlights Increased Importance of Employee Resource Groups

Findings show employee-led groups are effective in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, and employee engagement within companies
Dec 1, 2021 8:30 AM ET

WASHINGTON, December 1, 2021, /3BL Media/ - Results from a recent survey by Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP) and highlight the objectives and benefits of employee resources groups (ERGs) in bolstering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

The findings show that 53% of respondents stated that the primary objective of their ERG program is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion while 47% indicate that it is to encourage employee engagement. In terms of effectiveness, 96% of respondents feel their ERGs are “very effective” or “somewhat effective” in achieving their objectives. The findings also show employees who participate in ERGs are highly engaged in volunteer activities, both self-coordinated (84%) and company-organized (77%).

Respondents indicated that other benefits of ERGs include:

  • Boost company culture - 91%
  • Strengthen employee wellbeing and mental health - 79%
  • Support company retention efforts - 75%

“The results confirm what we’ve long suspected, ERGs have an important role in driving DEI and CSR efforts in a company,” said ACCP CEO Carolyn Berkowitz. “To fully maximize ERGs requires a multi-prong approach, strong executive support, and recognition.”

In terms of internal management of ERGs, half are started by employees at any level. 53% of respondents indicated Human Resources departments ultimately manage their company’s ERG efforts. In addition, 41% of respondents said they have a company executive leading their ERGs, with 21% saying the executives are assigned the role, and 20% saying they volunteer for the role.

“ERGs are clearly a powerful vehicle to cement a company's culture and encourage diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging organically," said Georges Smine, VP of Product Marketing at Salesforce. "Companies boost employee engagement when they pair ERGs with workplace giving and volunteering programs as part of their corporate responsibility efforts.”

The findings also indicate areas for improvement—recognition and compensation. Only 31% of ERG leaders are compensated or recognized for their work.

ACCP and fielded the survey in Summer 2021. The 138 respondents represent corporate citizenship, human resources, and diversity, equity, and inclusion professionals.

The Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP) is the membership association for purpose-driven companies and a career-long resource for purpose-driven professionals. ACCP advances the field of corporate citizenship and serves as a strategic resource for its community of impact-minded professionals so that they can do the most good—in their companies, their communities, and around the world. For more information, visit