Making the Workplace LGBT Friendly

  1. Jill Andrews
  2. January 22, 2018 10:37 am

Making the Workplace LGBT Friendly

Workplaces are still struggling with LGBT rights issues despite achievements made towards LGBT inclusion globally. There are better strides with the society accepting LGBT individuals living among them. However, most LGBT individuals still express the fear of losing their jobs in a variety of workplaces. LGBT individuals confess to facing discrimination, mistreatment as well as harassment by their bosses and fellow employees within their places of work. There being no federal law protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination at work, makes it extremely difficult for the majority of the affected LGBT individuals, so they sometimes have no choice but to lose their jobs.

Reasons Why LGBT Individuals Remain Closeted

Majority of the LGBT employees also confess to remaining closeted at work to protect their Jobs. They cite the following reasons:

1.Facing bias in everyday conversations
2.Fear of making people uncomfortable around them
3.Fear of being stereotyped
4.Losing a friendship or connection with colleagues
5.Fear of not accessing career advancement opportunities

Having an environment in the workplace that encourages LGBT unemployment and closeting hinders the organization from growth due to untapped potential. Remember, individuals, effectively perform when they feel they have enough support and are working in an open and free environment. Most studies on LGBT recommend that having an LGBT friendly work environment increase a firms profit from the acceleration of the firm’s productivity from supported employees. It is therefore for the workplace to embrace the presence of LGBT individuals to create a healthy workplace culture while bridging communication gaps among the employees.

Inclusive Environment

Firms should strive to create an inclusive environment for their employees, that is, accommodative of the LGBT workforce as well by creating forums through which LGBT employees should share their concerns and fears as well as share experiences that make them feel supported towards making better decisions for the firm. The firm should provide equal opportunities, for all workers including the LGBT employees that make the LGBT feel part of the organization and enable them to engage fully in the firm’s activities while enabling the firm to retain much of its talents.

Clear Hiring Guidelines

Clear guidelines should guide the hiring process that will help to alleviate any forms of bias. For instance, writing the job specifications and requirements in such a way that will ensure that during the job position advertisement, there is no discrimination in particular employment. Similarly, during interviews, avoid using discriminatory questions when interrogating job applicants to ensure that the questions are specific to the talent that the firm will require of the employee. The firm’s HR department should ensure fair and equal treatment of all employees on issues such as discipline, promotion, retrenchment, and firing of employees etc. despite an employee’s sexual orientation or identity. Encouraging an LGBT inclusive workplace environment enables a firm to thrive. The firm sustains growth momentum especially during moments of uncertainty such as worrying global trends, and uncertain markets. LGBT friendly culture fosters a positive and productive work environment because employees working in a comfortable environment have consistent, productive levels, improved performance efficiency and improved employee engagement in firm policymaking and implementation, which results in profitable outcomes.

Anti-discrimination Policies

The firm through the HR department should develop and enforce firm anti-discrimination policies that should include clauses on the protection of the rights of LGBT employees. The written policies should be clear and specific to retaliation, bullying, harassment and the specific punitive measure of individuals found infringing such policies. The workplace environment should have provision for a room for reporting such infringements where everyone will be free to speak up. The HR department should organize training to their employees and supervisors on the anti-discrimination policies with specific emphasis on prohibited practices such as the use of derogatory remarks, offensive language, stereotype jokes etc.

Employee Satisfaction

Inclusive LGBT policies have a positive influence on the employee’s job satisfaction because employees will be satisfied with their job progress and will give their talent fully to the better of the organization. Most of these employees feel secure and inclusive hence work towards ensuring the financial performance of the firm. Young talent getting into the workforce are now calling for more LGBT inclusion policies to enhance the workplace and make the workforce more productive.