How can employers cultivate an inclusive workplace for LGBT+ employees?
We’re nearing the end of Pride month, a great time to reflect upon inclusivity in the workplace. As organisations we celebrate the LGBT+ community and consider how we can foster a more accepting and inclusive work environment where all employees are free to be themselves.
However, celebrating inclusivity doesn’t need to be confined to one month of the year. Organisations can make changes year-round to ensure a welcoming work environment.
Here, the HR Dept team offer advice on how to cultivate an inclusive workplace for LGBT+ employees.
Develop an anti-discrimination policy
As an employer you have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect your employees from discrimination under the Equality Act. It is therefore recommended that you have an up-to-date anti-discrimination clause in place from the moment you hire your first employee.
An anti-discrimination policy lets your employees know that unlawful discrimination against sexual orientation is forbidden. It gives you the power to properly address wrongdoing of this nature. Employees can understand that breach of this clause will result in consequences such as a disciplinary or termination of contract.
Put that policy into practice
Having a policy is one thing, but it’s cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace that can really make a difference to the day-to-day lives of your LGBT+ employees. It is fine to accept that you will not know all the answers as to how to achieve this right away. Encourage open conversations to understand what an inclusive workplace looks like to an LGBT+ employee.
With a safe and understanding environment at work, your employees can feel encouraged to bring various perspectives and abilities to the table. And with a ‘one for all and all for one’ mentality, your workforce can feel stronger than ever.
As your team grows you may want to show further support towards your LGBT+ employees by sharing relevant networking events or sponsoring an LGBT+ charity for your next company fundraiser.
As the HR Dept team notes, treating all colleagues with equal respect is a fundamental aspect of an inclusive workspace. When we consider what pride really means, it is the ability to be unashamedly oneself, and to live openly. This becomes a lot easier when the people you work with are accepting and welcoming. By implementing and practicing policies of equality, we let our LGBT+ employees know that they are welcome, just as they are.
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A version of this article was originally published on hrdept.co.uk