4 Tips on Creating an LGBT+ Inclusive Work Environment
Creating a safe and inclusive environment for employees is an important aspect of any workplace. An inclusive environment not only benefits employees, but it can also have a positive impact on company culture, productivity and employee retention.
Creating an LGBT+-friendly work environment can be challenging in any type of business; however, with the right steps, you can create a supportive space for staff members and visitors from the LGBTQ community.
In this blog post, you will discover helpful advice on how to create an inclusive workplace for employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Implementing the following tips will not only positively impact your staff but also make your business stand out from others as a progressive and forward-thinking organisation.
#1 - Create a LGBT+ Inclusive Environment From the Start
Creating and maintaining an inclusive environment for LGBT+ employees cannot start once an employee joins the company and a complaint is made about their treatment. It must be a priority from the get-go and become an inherent part of your culture. By creating an LGBT+-friendly work environment from the start, you are sending the message to prospective employees and staff members that the company is welcoming, safe and open to all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Ensure you have policies in place that address topics such as sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination.
Also, make sure you are following best practices when it comes to onboarding and hiring. Ask questions during interviews that help you determine whether a candidate is the right fit for your company culture.
#2 - Ensure Staff is Trained and Confident in Dealing With LGBT+ Issues
It’s important that all staff members feel equipped to handle LGBT+ issues. If a staff member feels uncomfortable or unsure about what to do, they may be afraid to report an incident. If a staff member is unprepared to discuss or handle LGBT+ issues, they may unintentionally contribute to the problem.
When a new staff member joins the company, make sure they are aware of the company’s LGBT+ policies and that they have been trained on how to enforce them.
New staff members should also be prepared to discuss their experiences with LGBT+ issues and how they navigate them.
#3 - Implement an Inclusion Policy
If your business has a human resources department, an inclusion policy can help to create an LGBT+-friendly work environment. An inclusion policy outlines the company’s mission and values, which can make it easier to hire employees who are a good fit for the company culture. An inclusion policy can include a section outlining LGBT+ rights and protections for employees, such as protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the use of inclusive language and the availability of benefits such as health coverage for partners.
If your business doesn’t have a human resources department, you can still implement an inclusion policy. You can use a mission statement, a vision statement or any other type of broad business policy that outlines your commitment to creating an LGBT+-friendly environment.
#5 - Offer Trainings on LGBT+ Issues and Culture
Not only should your business be inclusive to employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, it should be inclusive to anyone who falls under the LGBTQ+ acronym. Trainings on topics such as sexual harassment, discrimination and inclusion can help to create an LGBT+-friendly work environment. Trainings can cover topics such as how to use inclusive language, how to navigate a sexual harassment report or how to recognise and avoid discrimination. Whether you choose to host an in-person training or an online course, these trainings can be an excellent resource for all employees. They can be beneficial for employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, but they can also be helpful for employees who don’t, like those who are allies.
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Creating an inclusive work environment is not an easy task, but it is an important step towards creating a positive company culture. When creating an LGBT+-friendly work environment, it is important to take a collaborative approach. By incorporating the following tips, you can make your workplace a welcoming and safe space for employees of all sexual orientations and gender identities.