June may be Pride Month, but your office should always strive for inclusivity toward your internal LGBTQ community. 70% of young LGBTQ+ employees are not out at work, and non-inclusive behavior can lead to the loss of valuable, skilled employees.
It’s easy to walk the walk for one month out of the year, but getting inclusive year-round requires effort on behalf of management and employees who want everyone in the workplace to feel comfortable and welcome.
Even if you think that your workplace is a safe space for LGBTQ+ employees, without training or policies in place, retaining your valued workers may be more challenging than you think. Based on a report from Deloitte, 42% of LGBTQ+ employees have reported experiencing non-inclusive behavior at work; and 33% continue to experience this behavior in both the office and remote working environments.
If you’re ready to make a difference in your workplace, follow our 5 ways to improve your inclusivity efforts.
Create an Internal LGBTQ+ Community
Friendship with colleagues is important for anyone. However, those in the LGBTQ+ community can often feel ignored or discriminated against by their fellow employees.
Creating an outlet for an internal LGBTQ+ community brings friendship and mentorship into the workplace which is desperately needed for added comfort in the workplace.
According to TopMBA, 90% of fortune 500 companies utilize Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to create this internal community for diverse employees.
ERGs are employee-led groups that are a voluntary effort to offer support for personal development, and career development, and generate a generally safer work environment for employees with diverse backgrounds.
ERGs build camaraderie and help you recruit diverse employees that bring productivity and value on a daily basis to your brand.
Update Your Current Policies
One way to ensure that your business remains inclusive is to update your current policies. There are many policies you can enact that will make your workspace a better place for everyone.
Some policy updates you can make are:
- Encourage staff to normalize the use of gender pronouns for everyone in the workplace
- Mandatory inclusivity workshops
- Implement diversity and Pride days
- Update your benefits packages to ensure they appropriately cover everyone
- Remove gendered language from company policies
Ask Where You Can Improve
According to the report from Deloitte, 34% of employees are out to some but not all employees. This means that it’s easy for needs to go unnoticed, making the office an uncomfortable space.
Speaking out about any issues experienced in the workplace isn’t something that most people are comfortable doing. So, as a responsibility of management, taking the first steps to initiate important conversations can help start a real change in the workplace.
Give your employees the opportunity to anonymously address any concerns about inclusivity in the workplace. When you mask the name behind the suggestion, you’re bound to gain honest, valuable feedback that highlights issues you may have never noticed otherwise.
Encourage Inclusive Conversation
Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community is a major part of a person’s sense of self, but it isn’t everything they are. Office conversation is something that most people want to be a part of. So, encourage your employees to normalize everyday conversation with their fellow employees.
Regardless of being LGBTQ+ or not, topics like kids, spouses, and everyday extracurricular activities should never be taboo in the workplace. However, remind your employees that there is a fine line between being conversational and overstepping boundaries. Ensure that all conversations in the workplace are appropriate and adhere to your company policies.
Get Your Office Involved
You should strive for inclusivity both inside and outside of the office. A great way to make an impact as an inclusive brand is to get involved with LBGTQ+ issues in the community. Whether you take an inclusive stance against a current law or encourage your employees to march in a local Pride parade, walking the walk will lead to an overall increase in inclusivity and employee retention at your workplace.
However, make sure that your activity isn’t “rainbow washing.” Don’t support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride month and send money or support political causes that are anti-LGBTQ+ the rest of the year.
Make Your Office a Safer Space With DEI Recruiting and Consulting
Improving your workplace inclusivity for LGBTQ employees is entirely possible with the help of a DEI team on your side.
DEI Recruiting and Consulting helps you get hands-on with inclusivity management and makes your office a place where everyone feels accepted. Retain a valuable portion of your workforce and reach out to us today to meet with a member of our DEI-focused team.