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Transform Your Workplace to an Inclusive LGBTQ Environment

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Safe and Welcoming Environment

An inclusive LGBTQ environment

Most of us spend a significant portion of our days in the workplace. As a result, our work impacts our mood, health, behavior, and overall well-being. For LGBTQ people, workplace discrimination may be a significant cause of chronic stress, burnout, and other mental health issues.


Although the workplace is typically linked to some stress levels, a toxic workplace can lead LGBTQ employees to feel anxious, dejected, and stigmatized, which will negatively impact employee engagement leading to losses in production, and quality of work and lead to avoidable turnover.


According to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, about two-thirds of Americans who self-identify as LGBTQ+ face discrimination, and over half report being closeted at the workplace.


Since more than 20% of Gen Z identify as LGBTQ, it is critical for businesses to provide an environment that is safe, inclusive, and aligned with the values of their workforce. Promoting a safe and inclusive LGBTQ work environment can have numerous other benefits, such as happier workers, higher staff retention rates, increased revenue growth, and a greater chance of attracting and keeping diverse talents.


Imagine disenfranchising 1 in 5 of your applicants.


So, what is the key to creating a safe and inclusive workplace for the LGBTQ community from an HR perspective? Here are five steps businesses can take.


Create an inclusive LGBTQ policy


The first step in promoting safety and inclusion in your workplace is to develop a company policy that welcomes and includes LGBTQ people. Ensure the company’s code of conduct contains a comprehensive approach that categorically forbids discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.


Ensure the policy states your company’s commitment to nondiscrimination and inclusion in recruiting, compensation, benefits, and promotion while establishing response mechanisms for LGBTQ harassment and discrimination.

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In addition, create policies and programs to assist transitioning non-binary and transgender employees through accommodation in the workplace, legal assistance, or counseling services.


Foster inclusive language


Using inclusive language in the workplace is vital to creating a safe and inclusive LGBTQ environment, as it demonstrates respect for diversity and fosters a greater sense of belonging among LGBTQ employees. For example, your company’s inclusive language might include encouraging employees to add preferred pronouns to their email signatures to regular verbal and written workplace communication terminology.


Bring in people from all backgrounds


Making LGBTQ inclusion an essential aspect of your recruitment practice may help you stand out as a business that promotes diversity in the workplace. Implementing inclusion in your staff selection demonstrates that your business promotes an environment where all employees feel welcome and comfortable expressing themselves. In addition, this might help attract high-quality candidates from the LGBTQ community and win in the marketplace.


Make the company’s benefits programs LGBTQ inclusive


Offering parental leave to same-sex couples or establishing an employee health benefits package that covers transgender-related medical treatment and mental health support are examples of how you may make your company’s benefits and insurance plans inclusive of LGBTQ people.


Be the company that promotes LGBTQ inclusion


Be an inclusion leader in your industry and nurture an inclusive culture by organizing inclusion-promoting events. This can include anything from developing social media marketing campaigns to planning diversity celebrations. Also, make sure to plan and implement employee diversity training to raise awareness about LGBTQ workplace problems and educate your staff on appropriate language and respectful communication. To do that, consider setting up an Employee Resource Group.

But don’t stop there. Conduct an inclusion check on your website, the employee handbook, company policies and job postings to ensure your collateral projects your LGTBQ inclusive culture.


Finally, be sure to adopt ways for measuring the impact of your LGBTQ inclusion activities regularly.


Creating a safe workplace for employees who identify as LGBTQ entails creating policies, educating, and evaluating to continuously improve workplace inclusion and create a working environment that respects and values all employees.


HR.Coach can help you create an inclusive LGBTQ environment


Are you ready to ensure your company presence fits your LGBTQ-inclusive culture? Or need to train your managers and teams on how to be more inclusive? HR.Coach is ready to help; contact us.


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