How can you support LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace?

June is pride month!

The acronym LGBTQ refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning individuals.

The main message during LGBTQ+ Pride Month is the importance of representation for people in the community. So why is representation so important in the workplace?

To make staff feel safe at work, it’s super valuable for business leaders to be visible allies. And it’s just as important to make sure that the recruitment process reflects your commitment to equality.

According to recent surveys, a high number of people believe that coming out at work will have a negative impact on their career and chance of promotion. That’s why it’s key to make sure your processes don’t discriminate, give everyone an equal opportunity, and that job adverts are reflective of all members of the community.

If you’re unsure about how to make your recruitment processes fair for everyone and free from discrimination, do get in touch with us.

Pride flag

Supporting LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace

A common reason why LGBTQ+ workers won’t report negative comments is that companies often don’t have the correct procedure in place. This makes employees believe their concerns will not be taken seriously and that no action will be taken even if they do choose to speak up. If you want to combat quiet quitting (the phenomenon that staff are getting less and less engaged) and retain your top talent—you need inclusive HR policies in place. Especially now!

How to create an open environment – 7 tips for employers

Creating an open environment where staff can raise issues without fear is fundamental to an inclusive workplace.

  1. Understand your staff – getting to know your staff will help ensure you effectively cater to any needs LGBT employees may have. Staff who are better understood will be happier and more productive.
  2. Learn about LGBT issues – increase your understanding and awareness of issues unique to LGBT people, such as gender reassignment. Ask your LGBT staff about issues in the workplace that they find challenging.
  3. Evaluate your business values and culture – does your business have a culture and set of values that enable diversity and equality to thrive?
  4. Look out for signs of problems or issues – deal promptly with problems at an early stage before they become more difficult to resolve or manage. As soon as you suspect bullying, harassment or discrimination in the workplace you should take action to deal with them.
  5. Outline your strategy – clearly set out how you are going to develop a more diverse workplace – e.g. by taking lawful positive action in recruitment
  6. Communicate your LGBT policies – let your staff know that your policies are LGBT inclusive with proactive internal communication
  7. Show great leadership! Ensure your business’ role models are diverse and inclusive in their approach. It is important for colleagues to see their business leading from the top; morale and culture must start with business leaders. They can help implement diversity initiatives and actively communicate their support for LGBT inclusion and other diversity activities.

The benefits of creating an open environment

  • A bigger talent pool of employees.
  • Increased employee engagement and trust.
  • Better decision-making processes.
  • Improved employee performance.
  • Stronger business results and profits.
  • Greater sense of safety and belonging.
  • Stronger resilience and ability to adapt to change.
  • More open to discuss and manage mental health issues.
  • Improved conflict resolution and problem-solving skills.

If you require any further advice on how to create an inclusive workplace, please contact us to book your free 30 minute consultation.

Other useful guides;

Suspending an employee

Preventing age discrimination in the workplace

How to chair an appeal hearing

The implications of the Workers Bill

Attendance management