How to Make Your Business LGBTQ Friendly
Being an LGBTQ-friendly business should be the norm in today’s more accepting society. The numbers of LGBTQ people coming out is rising every day, with Gallup finding that the group represents a large 7.1% of the American population. With that in mind, it is important to consider that there is an increasing number of people in the workforce who identify with a sexual orientation other than heterosexual. Here we will discuss what the term LGBTQ means, why it is important to be LGBTQ friendly, and the different ways in which businesses can implement this.
What does LGBTQ mean?
LGBTQ is a term that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. However, it is not a term that is strictly used for people that identify with those sexual orientations. It can be used for people who identify as anything other than straight by adding the ‘+’ symbol after the LGBTQ acronym.
Why is it Important to be LGBTQ Friendly?
It is important to support the LGBTQ community to ensure that all colleagues feel safe and comfortable in their place of work. Making sure all colleagues are included allows them to build up confidence and courage that they may otherwise be lacking. Some people may feel intimidated at work because they identify with a sexual orientation that is different to some of their other colleagues, so encouraging inclusiveness is essential in increasing staff morale. The folk at OutCoast believe your LGBTQ business can build a strong relationship with consumers or visitors by showing that minority groups are treated fairly in the workplace.
Different Ways Your Business Can Be LGBTQ Friendly
Making your business more friendly to the LGBTQ community can be done in a number of ways. One of the things you can introduce to the workplace is staff training on LGBTQ work policies. This ensures that your staff are up to date on what is expected of them regarding specific LGBTQ issues, and it allows you to demonstrate to the staff that you regard these issues with high importance.
Additionally, you can meet with staff who are members of the LGBTQ community and get feedback on their feelings of inclusivity in the workplace. Discuss what is needed of the business to help them feel more comfortable and find out if they have experienced any discrimination from other colleagues. This allows you to build a professional connection with these staff members and shows that you will make sure they feel valued.
If you receive reports that a staff member is experiencing discrimination or harassment because of their sexual orientation, it is essential that you act fast and take the appropriate action. Bullying should not be tolerated in any form, especially because of someone’s sexual orientation, skin color, gender identity, or age. It is important to ensure that the colleague accused of bullying faces appropriate consequences. This could be anything from a warning to suspension to being fired. This demonstrates that harassment is not tolerated in your business and that everyone’s feelings should be respected.
To conclude, it is important to ensure you are an LGBTQ friendly business because of the growing numbers of people identifying with this term. LGBTQ refers to those that identify as anything other than heterosexual. Making sure your staff members are comfortable and safe in the workplace should be your top priority, no matter what they identify as. As well as this, it gives the business a good reputation by being inclusive to all. Providing the necessary training, getting feedback, and acting appropriately on LGBTQ issues, are several ways the business can implement diverse strategies to make sure everyone is included.
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