You are currently viewing The Impact of Effective Leadership in Employee Resource Groups
Shot of group of business persons in business meeting. Three entrepreneurs on meeting in board room. Corporate business team on meeting in modern office. Female manager discussing new project with her colleagues. Company owner on a meeting with two of her employees in her office.

The Impact of Effective Leadership in Employee Resource Groups

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) play a vital role in creating workplace environments where employees thrive. These volunteer, employee-led groups foster a culture of belonging, support, and positive organizational change. However, their effectiveness varies. A McKinsey report found that 90% of Fortune 500 companies have ERGs, but only 66% of employees see them as building community. This discrepancy is due to the critical role that leadership plays in making these groups work, while delivering bottom-line business results. ERGs are much more than meet and greets in the boardroom. This blog takes a look at the critical role leadership plays in the success of an ERG.


1. Representation and Visibility:

Effective ERG leaders ensure that the groups they represent reflect the diversity of the organization, working actively to include members from all regions and sectors of the company. This approach shifts the balance of decision-making to incorporate marginalized voices, ensuring more individuals within the company are recognized and heard. By fostering an inclusive environment, ERG leaders transform the organization into a more equitable place for all employees.

2. Strategic Alignment:

High-impact ERGs align their objectives and activities with the company’s key challenges and priorities. By integrating with the goals of senior management and aligning with the company’s performance metrics, ERGs establish themselves as essential components of the organization’s operational strategy, contributing directly to the achievement of its mission and vision.

3. Mentorship and Development:

ERGs serve as vital platforms for mentorship and career advancement, where leaders initiate programs that enhance members’ professional skills and visibility within the organization. This focus on development and retention supports the professional growth of the company’s diverse talent pool, thereby enhancing overall success. The previously mentioned McKinsey report highlights that a remarkable 90% of organizations use their ERGs to assist new recruits during the onboarding process.

4. Advocacy and Impact:

ERGs act as champions for diversity, equity, and inclusion both internally and in the broader community. Through their efforts, leaders shape policies, foster cultural awareness, and support social justice initiatives, exerting a significant influence on both organizational culture and societal norms.

5. Building Bridges and Collaboration:

ERG leaders ensure their groups are interconnected within the organization and seek partnerships with other groups and departments. This emphasis on collaboration fuels innovation and shared success, leading to improved performance across the organization and fostering a culture of mutual understanding and respect.


Leadership of ERGs demands a balancing act between member engagement & business outcomes where a deep understanding of each ERG’s role, inclusive leadership, and the ability to develop and execute a strategy aligned with the organization’s business objectives is critical to that success.

Our ERG Leadership training programs are crafted to equip leaders with essential knowledge and skills for effective leadership and organizational contribution including:

  • Understanding the Critical Role of ERGs: Insights into how ERGs influence today’s workplaces by fostering inclusivity.
  • Differentiating ERGs and BRGs: Learning the distinctions between employee resource groups and business resource groups, and their unique contributions to the organization.
  • Inclusive Leadership Skills: Developing leadership qualities that encourage ERG member engagement and participation.
  • Mastering Collaboration: Techniques for effective collaboration within ERGs and with external partners to enhance the impact of initiatives.
  • Crafting Inclusivity Strategies: Strategies that align with organizational goals, ensuring ERGs contribute to the company’s mission and objectives.

Learn more about our comprehensive training offerings—and take the first step in transforming your ERGs into strong Change Agents for your organization.