Top Ways to Create an LGBT Friendly Workplace

  1. Jill Andrews
  2. February 12, 2018 1:49 pm

Top Ways to Create an LGBT Friendly Workplace

Times are changing, and we see new scenes emerging everywhere. What used to be a good policy yesterday, no longer holds water today. Today, diversity has started to make a good business sense in the work environment. It was unacceptable a few decades back. Changing times has made the voice for equality for individuals like lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) stronger than ever. This has also reached the workplace and an increasing number of organizations are trying to make their place, a LGBT friendly one. If you are trying for the same and trying to treat all employees fairly regardless of any sexual or gender discrimination, these key tips would boost your efforts and help you achieve success.

 

Pay attention to EEO policies

EEO policies need to be well developed and strongly implemented to induce an LGBT friendly workplace. There should be zero tolerance policy strictly enforced so that no harassment, discrimination or retaliation incident takes place in the work environment due to any gender basis or sexual orientation. The employer should develop numerous channels reporting procedure and motivate his employers and supervisors to ensure to report any unlawful conduct. The policy should be included in the employee handbook as well.

 

Conduct regular training

It is the employer’s responsibility to see that employees at all levels are properly trained on discrimination, harassment, and bullying against LGBT employees. They should be comprehensively warned against using any type of offensive language, jokes, and slurs. Training on awareness and consequences would go a long way in minimizing any risk of employer liability. Communication from all corners should always be kept open regarding LGBT issues. Since the entire problem is quite fluid and dynamic, it is important to hold regular conversations with all parties involved to understand the right and wrong and do’s and don’ts of the behavior and language protocol.

 

Update hiring practices regularly

From time to time, it is important to review the organization’s recruiting and hiring process to ensure that it is discrimination-free. Any job titles, descriptions or advertisements must be scrutinized closely to evaluate and eliminate discrimination if any. Even during an interview, survey, questionnaire filling, it should be verified that there are no discriminatory questions. Additionally, it is best that employer avoids any such questions that open avenues to the candidate or employee forced to divulge private information especially about his sexual orientation or any such sensitive issue.

 

Encourage diversity and inclusion

It is critical that the employer is all charges up to create a diverse and inclusive workplace. All individual should feel welcomed and given a conducive environment to showcase their full potential. They should be confident of being judged and evaluated only on the basis of their qualification, merits, skill and work performance. The open attitude from the employer will easily permeate downstairs.

 

A sensitive stance should be adopted regarding restrooms and locker rooms

The employer must clearly state out rules for the usage of restrooms lockers and all other public facilities where only the current gender identity should be considered and not any other previous criteria like his sex at work. Proper measures should be taken such that all employees are given due privacy and are entirely comfortable with the arrangement. In case any employee has any issues with the LGBT using the facility, he should be allowed to use another facility.

 

There should be no discriminatory dress code

The dress code should always be reasonable with no unequal burden placed on any gender, be it man or woman. The LGBT individuals should also be encouraged and motivated to dress in accordance with their gender identity. It should be applicable to clothing, grooming, makeup and even jewelry.

 

Employee resource groups

Employee resource groups are extremely helpful especially for LGBT employees to network and discuss with colleagues about common workplace issues and challenges. Explaining things in a forum will also boost employee morale and foster a sense of community.

 

Provide equal benefits

Care should be taken that no benefits package should have any exclusion based on sex, gender or sexual discrimination. Other employees and LGBT employees should be given equal coverage in medical care, disability, and all other benefits.

 

Conclusion

To make a workplace truly LGBT, all management, as well as HR, should showcase a solid example for all to follow. All laws require certain compliance efforts and people in the top tier are best to lead the pack by demonstrating the right approach, attitude, and behavior. Cumulatively, this would lead to a more healthy and positive work environment with better productivity, efficiency and employee retention.