Nearly half of LGBTQ staff remain closeted at work which could be for several reasons. For example, LGBTQ staff may not feel safe within their teams or company or may prefer to keep their private life separate. However, with the number of those identifying as LGBTQ+ at an all-time high, things could change.
Stonewall (an LGBTQ+ rights group) found that one in ten black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT staff members were physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year. Companies have a duty of care to their people and should do their best to protect those who may be more vulnerable or a target.
On top of this, putting workplace inclusivity at the top of your agenda has incredible benefits for your people. To illustrate, being inclusive at work leads to higher levels of wellbeing due to positive workplace positivity. Therefore, you people are likely to work more effectively and have fewer absences.
We have put together five tips to help you support LGBTQ staff who may have come out recently or in the future.
Five Ways to Support LGBTQ Staff When Coming Out
Firstly, by creating an anti-bullying policy, there will be no confusion about the ramifications if a team member is involved with any such behaviour. Therefore, your people may feel more comfortable and confident being themselves at work due to feeling safer.
2. Getting involved with pride events and supporting charities
Every year in June, people celebrate Pride month to remember the Stonewall Riots and those who fought for LGBTQ+ rights. Involving your company with Pride Events and supporting LGBTQ staff all year round will show individuals that you are serious about their wellbeing.
3. Create a specific LGBT policy
Many companies believe structured policies are a form of perks at work, which is not the case. Often these policies include fundamental rights. Instead of treating it as an addition, treat it as an essential part of your culture. Creating specific LGBTQ+ policies will allow your people to feel safe and, above all, included. Therefore, LGBTQ staff who decide to come out will feel more confident in doing so.
4. Open communication
Forming open, unbiased and accessible forms of communication can also help support LGBTQ staff who have decided to come out. Saying thank you for your hard work can be vital to forming such links. On top of this, conveying a supportive atmosphere through communication will allow your team to confide in you with any issue they may have. Consequently, addressing any problems straight away.
Make sure you have an approachable and manageable way to be contacted with such issues. Perhaps an open door policy would make it as easy as possible for those worried about speaking out.
5. Share experiences
Unsurprisingly, sharing perspective’s you may have encountered could help LGBTQ staff feel less isolated or alone. Through compelling stories, your people can feel more comfortable with any problem they may encounter. Support groups can be a powerful opportunity for members of your team to share their experiences and build strong foundations with one another.
All in all, LGBTQ staff may not always be visible, so it is essential to create an LGBTQ friendly space. Subsequently, your people will be happier and healthier during work.
To find out more about how Each Person can help create an LGBTQ friendly workplace through the right rewards and recognition, visit us at Eachperson.com. Also, follow us on social media to stay up to date with our latest blogs and resources.
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