How to Help LGBTQ+ Employees at Your Business
There is a moral and ethical reason to go out of our way to help LGBTQ+ employees at your business. All employees should be treated equally. Great strides have been made over the recent years when it comes to diversity. But the LGTBQ+ community still faces some hurdles.
Offer Modern Skills-Based Training
According to one survey, 33% of LGTBQ+ students were bullied or sexually harassed over their four years in college. Because of this, 25% considered dropping out, and some did. As a result, some may not have the required skills for a modern job through no fault of their own. You can help your LGBTQ+ employees by offering advanced training for Outlook, spreadsheet apps, and other essential office tools that modern companies need for official day-to-day business.
Help LGBTQ+ Employees with Work Benefits
Many companies have a complete lack of support when it comes to workplace benefits for the LGBTQ+ community. A survey by the TUC found that 20% of businesses don’t have facilities for support with the same benefits that others may get. One of the main failings is that LGBTQ+ employees often don’t apply for fear of having their sexual orientation exposed. Therefore, it is necessary to provide a confidential approach to offering these employees equal benefits.
Promote Genuine Support for Rights
Every workplace has employees that are part of the LGBTQ+ community. And they deserve as much support for their rights and pride as any other group. And that means ongoing support that’s available all the time, not just when Pride events are taking place. Additionally, showing support for employees means retaining hard-working LGBTQ+ staff. One survey by Harvard found that a huge 84% of LGBTQ+ employees would work harder for a company with support.
How to Have an Inclusive Work Environment
Inclusivity at work can be a touchy subject. And many companies simply aren’t aware of how to implement it correctly. Of course, there is no blanket approach, and you should be careful about how you go about it. For a good start with inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community, try these:
- Instill a zero-tolerance approach to the abuse of anyone.
- Adapt your brand awareness and policies to use inclusive language, such as pronouns.
- Provide safe spaces where LGBTQ+ employees can speak freely about issues.
- Include LGBTQ+ holidays in the calendar, similar to cultural/religious holidays.
- Offer diversity training to all employees to help garner a better understanding.
- Make it easier for complaints to be made, and followed up in a timely manner.
- Offer minority employees somewhere to talk freely about harassment.
Diversity and inclusivity in the workplace don’t only relate to the LGTBQ+ community. Yet, with this community being one of the most marginalized and ignored at work, you can make a statement by making some of these changes. But also extend changes to other minorities too.
Have an Open-Door Policy for Complaints
Most companies have excellent complaints procedures. Yet there remains a bit of inaction when it comes to processing complaints from the 70% of LGBTQ+ employees that have been harassed, bullied, and abused at work. Many harassment complaints are often written off as not worth the time or overlooked completely. So taking these complaints as seriously as anything else will help your LGBTQ+ employees feel safe, secure, and above all, acknowledged.
Provide Initiatives to Help LGBTQ+ Employees
Most companies offer support, sponsorships, and training initiatives. Yet there remains a blanket approach to some of these. As a result, minority employees can feel even more left out in the cold. However, you can address these issues pretty easily. Like software giant Adobe, you could hold annual summits that give the LGBTQ+ community at your business a voice. Hear their concerns and make plans for immediate action that becomes integrated into your company.
Make Inclusion Part of Company Culture
Employers who are fair beat their competitors because they value each team member’s specific needs, points of view, and possibilities. Because of this, employees trust and care more about workplaces that are diverse and welcoming. There is no reason you cannot do the same. You can work towards modern progression, and help make inclusion a part of your company culture by embracing different backgrounds, equality for all, and stronger community engagement.
As a company owner, director, or manager, you can help develop a rich and diverse culture if you help LGBTQ+ employees and those of other minority backgrounds at your business. You could offer relevant training, develop an inclusive workplace and offer a safe space for issues.