The past decade has seen increasing acceptance of LGBTQ rights, both in mainstream culture and in corporate conference room. After all, it’s been more than six years since the Supreme Court struck down state bans on same-sex marriage.
Still, many companies need to do more. A report from McKinsey & Co. found that LGBTQ workers face difficult roads to promotion and often complain feelings of “onlyness,” a problem that’s even more pronounced for LGBTQ women.
These issues become even more profound for trans workers. The McKinsey study found that trans employees “face a distinct set of obstacles to performance and career progression.”
Have you done enough to make every one of your workers feel welcome and valued? Here’s a few steps you can take to make your workplace more LGBTQ inclusive:
Have a Broad Definition of Diversity
Diversity has become a goal of most employers. Even so, a majority of workers say their organizations should improve in this area. A survey conducted by Glassdoor showed that 57% of employees want their companies to take more aggressive steps to boost diversity.
Recognize this desire in your team. Make diversity – of all kinds – a goal for your organization. This will broaden the perspectives within your decision-making process and lead to a more dynamic workforce.
Listen to Employees
You want to make LGBTQ workers feel more included in your company. Who knows better than your workers themselves whether these efforts are working?
Don’t just dictate to your team. Listen to your employee as well. Be willing to make changes over time. Not only will you create better policy. The open communication itself will nurture a more inclusive environment.
It’s not enough to have an open door for people to share their views. You need to elicit responses as well. Your workers might feel shy about discussing these matters, so you might need to take the initiative.
However, you don’t want to single out your LGBTQ for conversations on this matter. Handled improperly, these well-meaning attempts to gather feedback can make people feel singled-out or create more pronounced feelings of isolation.
Instead, use tools like anonymous employee surveys to gather information about how well your efforts are performing.
Create Mentorship Programs and Other Support Networks
Build peer-to-peer connections within your workforce. Make sure everyone gets a chance to socialize with one another.
These don’t have to be focused on LGBTQ employees. It’s not required that a younger LGBTQ worker get paired with one of your LGBTQ veterans in a mentorship program, for example. The purpose is to facilitate professional growth and to create bonds between coworkers. The key is to make sure that everyone has a chance to develop.
Creating inclusive policies requires a keen understanding of what’s going on outside your company. That includes best practices for setting workplace policies. It also consists of tracking changes taking place in the wider culture.
By staying informed, you can stay sensitive to the pressures faced by your LGBTQ workers. At the same time, you ensure that you remain at the cutting edge of these issues.
Concentrate on Work
Ultimately, you have a job to do. You have products and services to produce and customers to keep happy. Creating a team dedicate to those goals will bolster your efforts to build an inclusive meritocracy.
To that end, having the right support system can help. A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can bring you the best talent. You’ll also receive the expertise you need to create a welcoming and inclusive workplace.
Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.