6 Impactful Employee Resource Group Best Practices

The Importance of Employee Resource Groups

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) bring a lot of value to companies. According to a 2023 research by data analysis and research firm Workhuman, employees who participate in ERG experience higher levels of psychological safety, which in turn leads to higher levels of engagement. Employees who actively participate in employee resource groups are also more likely to recommend their organization to a friend. Companies that invest in employee resource groups can expect to reap the rewards in several ways. In this article, you will learn six impactful employee resource groups best practices including:

  • Spreading awareness about your ERG
  • Gaining buy-in from senior leaders
  • Fostering organic growth
  • Prioritizing transparency
  • Specifying roles and responsibilities
  • Tracking impact.

But first, let’s start with some of the benefits of employee resource groups.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB)

A diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace requires employees to feel a sense of belonging. When employees feel comfortable being themselves (and their peers and superiors value them for it), they’re more likely to put their best effort forward at work, according to a report by Gartner. When companies follow employee resource group best practices they are signaling to employees that they can provide a support system for employees who share an identity, belief or issues.


Employee resource groups can also improve employee morale. When employees feel connected with one another at work, they can see how their various roles intertwine to fulfill the company’s mission and goals. They’re more likely to feel a sense of purpose in their work, which can help maintain a sense of morale even in challenging times.


ERGs also provide employees the opportunity to learn—whether it be through workshops or mentoring relationships that can develop between members who are at different stages of their careers. In addition, it can also provide an opportunity for employees with leadership aspirations to lead projects in a low-risk environment. All of these experiences can open up opportunities for advancement for the employee, which improves a company’s leadership pipeline and retention rate.

Tracking ERG impact by using employee resource groups best practices

6 Employee Resource Group Best Practices

It’s important to note that it’s not enough to form employee resource groups. To maximize the benefits, companies must invest in them and commit to the following employee resource group best practices.

Spread awareness

An employee can only join an employee resource group if they’re aware of its existence. The responsibility is on the organization to make sure that every employee knows about all employee resource groups that currently exist, and what they need to do if they wish to join. One way to do this is to include this as part of a new employee’s onboarding process, and ensure that they have access to information should they wish to join at a later date.

Buy-in from senior leaders

While it’s important to let employee resource groups have autonomy, top-down leadership support is crucial. Without it, there’s a danger that it can turn into unpaid labor for its members and organizers. The Workhuman report found that while ERG members experience greater psychological safety, they also experience higher levels of stress and burnout, which is often due to the unseen (and unrecognizable) nature of their work.

Grow organically

While companies can promote the benefits of employee resource groups, participation should always be voluntary. Rather than trying to speed up growth, companies should think about providing the right support for ERGs to grow at their own pace. This might mean starting small with just a few initiatives and making sure they’re given the appropriate resources and attention.

Prioritize transparency

Transparency is also crucial for the success of an employee resource group, particularly regarding expectations. If a company has specific goals for an ERG, they should communicate them explicitly to avoid any misunderstandings down the road. It’s also good practice to have an open line of communication between ERG leaders and company executives so that they can deal with any issues that arise in a swift and respectful manner.

Specify roles and responsibilities

It’s also vital to ensure that employee resource groups and company executives are aligned in what they hope to accomplish and how they’ll get there. Without this alignment, there can be a disconnect between the company and the ERG leader, which can lead to frustration on both sides, according to a 2022 McKinsey report. Company executives should sit down with potential ERG leaders to outline their goals and objectives and specify their roles and responsibilities with the mutual understanding that it might evolve and grow.

Integrate Mentoring

Incorporating mentoring as part of the employee resource group’s best practices can go a long way in creating a supportive environment for employees to learn and grow. Organizations can either do this formally or informally by creating opportunities for mentoring relationships to develop organically. Companies can do this by sponsoring networking events for ERG members or creating physical spaces for ERG members to connect in an informal way.

Track impact

Lastly, it’s important to track progress so company leaders can identify where they may be under (or over) investing. You can streamline this process by engaging digital tools like the Chronus ERG Software, which generates customizable surveys, giving you the feedback and data to see the impact that it’s making in your organization.

Defining ERG roles and responsibilities by using employee resource groups best practices

How to Measure the Success of Employee Resource Groups

Determining the effectiveness of employee resource groups best practices requires companies to be clear on what’s important, and decide what metrics will represent that. Having a concrete way to measure success makes it easier to determine how the company should allocate resources regarding ERG projects and initiatives.

Before You Start: DEI Analysis & Audit

Measuring success—no matter what endeavor—requires you to start by making an honest assessment of where you’re at.

DEI is no different. Before implementing any employee resource group best practices or any other ERG-related initiatives, conduct an analysis and audit of where your company is at when it comes to DEI, and where you aspire to be. The audit allows you to identify where your company might be falling short, and where you’re making improvements. You can then use this information to implement policies that actually move your company forward and do so in a way that is consistent with your employees’ needs and values.

Determining ERG KPIs

Once you’ve made the assessment, it’s time to identify how employee resource groups can support that goal. That requires company executives and ERG leaders to agree on which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be the most impactful to measure.

Measuring ERG Program Success

The following are some metrics that are worth keeping track of (for each employee resource group):

  • Amount of members—An increase in members means the group is growing. Continuing membership growth sends a signal that the ERG is serving a need.
  • Event and workshop attendance—Healthy attendance records in events and workshops illustrate that the ERGs are working on things that resonate and cater to their members. If their attendance rate is low (compared to its membership numbers), it’s worth reflecting on how they can improve that, or how they can do things that provide value to members.
  • Participation in group programs and initiatives—Initiatives like mentoring can only be effective if the participants are truly engaged. Looking at participation rates can be an effective way to assess that.
  • Member satisfaction (through regular surveys)—Honest feedback from members can bring up issues that are hard to pinpoint through numbers. Conversely, it can also highlight where ERGs are doing well.
  • Intersection of demographics—An inclusive organization is one where everyone supports each other. Having a broad intersection of demographics can illustrate the extent to which employees are willing to learn to be allies or in the case of issue-based ERGs, where they share common ground.

The next step is to aggregate that data and see how they influence company-wide initiatives and metrics, which might include the following:

  • Retention rates—This is one of the best metrics to assess company culture. If retention rates improve with ERG initiatives, it’s a good indication that inclusivity and belonging are improving.
  • Promotion numbers amongst minority/marginalized groups—A truly inclusive workplace encourages (and provides) professional development opportunities for everyone to advance. Improvements in promotion numbers among minority/marginalized groups show that the company can provide that at all levels.
  • Leadership pipeline—One of the issues that corporations have with a lack of diversity at the top level is the pool of candidates within the organization. Improving this at the junior and mid-level can solve this issue.
  • Diversity of new hires—Improving diversity at an organization begins by hiring candidates from a range of demographics. An organization that struggles with diversity can improve by paying attention to its hiring process to ensure that they’re attracting candidates of all backgrounds.
  • Employee engagement—Engaged employees are productive employees, and are often happier than their disengaged counterparts. Great relationships and opportunities to learn and grow are two factors that are closely tied to employee engagement, both of which ERGs can help with.
  • Net Promoter Score—This is a scoring system that measures satisfaction, loyalty and an employee’s willingness to recommend the company to others. An inclusive company will have a high net promoter score and have employees voluntarily recommending the company to their peers and wider professional networks.
  • Pay equity— An inclusive company rewards its employees fairly. A company with pay equity amongst employees of all demographics will experience greater loyalty and motivation from their employees in the long term.

Companies should make the above information available to employee resource group leaders, given that they’re often the first point of contact for employee resource group members when they have group-related concerns. Employee resource group leaders can then use these findings to make any tweaks to initiatives and programs so that they meet the members’ needs, determine what additional investments and resources might be necessary and ensure they are following employee resource group best practices.

Boosting workplace engagement with employee resource groups best practices

Tools to Increase ERG Effectiveness

In order for members to follow proper employee resource group best practices, ERGs need the support of organizations to do their job effectively. One of the ways that companies can support their employees and their respective ERGs is by investing in software to manage and run those ERGs. This enables companies to centralize the programs and initiatives, establish a standardized structure and guideline that ERGs can work from and reference, and reduce the administrative hours that come with managing ERGs.

The Chronus ERG software makes it easier for companies to provide the support that allows ERGs to thrive. The software automates administrative tasks and provides the necessary structure to form and scale ERGs accordingly. Some of the benefits are as follows:

  • Streamlined tool for enrolling members and organizing membership data, in addition to built-in features that allow ERG leaders to organize, coordinate, and track ERG activities and member participation.
  • A seamless communication platform that allows members to communicate with each other, contributing to a transparent company culture.
  • Tracking features that aggregate data and metrics, making it easy for organizations to track impact and progress, as well as generate ROI reports.


Following employee resource group best practices can yield many benefits for companies and employees. But to reap those rewards, companies need to be willing to put in the work to engage in best practices and create an environment conducive to supportive and successful ERGs. Investing in tools—like the Chronus ERG Software, allows companies to do just that and focus on doing the things that truly matter to their employees.

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