In 2021, ACCP and Salesforce.org teamed up to survey the landscape of employee resources groups (ERGs), particularly as it continues to grow and evolve. The survey results offer insight into the objectives and benefits of ERGs in bolstering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
The findings show that 53% of respondents believe 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 position.
“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 two critical areas for improvement—recognition and compensation. Only 31% of ERG leaders are compensated or recognized for their work. A recent report by The Rise Journey offers additional insights into the issue of ERG compensation and recognition.
ACCP and Salesforce.org fielded the survey in Summer 2021. The 138 respondents represent corporate citizenship, human resources, and diversity, equity, and inclusion professionals.
For more details on the survey results including key takeaways, please visit our ACCP website.