Seasoned Marketer: The Positive Impact of Employee Resource Groups


With the war for talent remaining strong in the accounting field, it’s important to retain and engage your current team members while attracting new talent. Your firm’s values and culture can play a significant role in recruitment and retention. One way to achieve both goals is by creating employee resource groups (ERGs). We spoke to Wipfli’s DEI Director David Romero to understand the value and importance of ERGs.

Let’s Start by Defining Employee Resource Groups

Commonly referred to as ERGs, employee resource groups are voluntary groups led by employees that help foster diversity and inclusion within the workplace. They are often formed by team members who share a common interest or are passionate about the same cause. This can include things like gender, age, ethnicity, or lifestyle. Some examples include ERGs for women, veterans and the LGBTQ community.

Creating a Network of Understanding

Feeling a sense of belonging is important for employee morale. ERGs help form powerful connections within your organization by bringing together individuals who share common values and beliefs. They allow employees to meet others who have similar characteristics or passions while building engagement around specific causes.

Promoting Inclusivity Internally and Externally

ERGs foster inclusivity both internally and externally. Beyond engaging your existing employees, they can also play a positive role in recruitment by attracting talent that share similar values. For example, if veterans are important to someone and they see that your firm has a group dedicated to supporting veterans, they might be more likely to explore your firm and open opportunities.

Exploring Added Benefits

Although the main purpose of ERGs is to promote diversity, equity and inclusion for employees, they can also help current and prospective clients feel more connected to your firm. For example, a woman-owned business may be more likely to engage a firm that has a group dedicated to women.

Getting Started with ERGs

Now that you know more about ERGs and the potential value they can bring to your firm, you may be wondering how to get started. This can look different based on the size of your firm and available resources. The key is to start small–don’t try to create an abundance of ERGs at once. Before forming an official ERG, you can reach out to your employees and see what causes matter most to them. This can help inform what types of interests and causes your firm should align with.

Putting it into Action

Small efforts such as hosting a trivia session to celebrate International Women’s Day, giving people a safe place to talk about current events, or sharing real stories about the employees in these groups who are making a positive difference can have a real impact on your firm. These stories can be shared through internal channels like company intranets and external channels like social media sites.

Sustaining the Momentum

Don’t start an ERG just to check a box. If you want to make a real difference in your organization, you must follow through on your promises and be consistent with what you’re saying and what you’re doing. Look at how your firm operates today and determine what changes are needed to be more inclusive. ERGs can be an effective way to engage your employees with shared interests and promote a culture of inclusion.

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About Erica Reagle

Erica Reagle is an experienced marketing and communications professional specializing in content creation & management, strategic partnerships, event execution and growth strategy. In her current role at Wipfli, she creates impactful marketing campaigns to grow the firm's manufacturing, retail and distribution group.

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