Happy June, and Happy Pride! Pride Month is the time to celebrate and educate yourself on the LGBTQ+ community. A study done by Gallup in 2020 indicates that 18 million U.S. adults identify as LGBTQ+, and another study reported that 75% of LGBTQ+ employees have experienced negative day-to-day workplace interactions related to their LGBTQ+ identity in the past year. 75%. That’s way too big of a number. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to do what you can to minimize these interactions and reduce this statistic.
Here are some tips we’ve compiled to better support LGBTQ+ in the workplace:
- Update Policies
- Make sure you have language in your Employee Handbook reminding all incoming employees that not only is discrimination not tolerated, but neither is homophobia of any kind
- Have inclusive employee benefits and resources available to LGBTQ+ employees
- Use and be respectful of personal pronouns
- This seems like a no brainer, but check in with your employees and make sure you know their preferred name and pronouns
- Communicate with employees
- Ask your employees what they need to feel supported!
- Educate yourself and encourage others to do the same
- If you’re not a member of the community, it’s your responsibility as an ally to do this
- Be sure to have inclusive hiring practices
- Think about how your company shows up publicly
- Would your clients be surprised to learn that your company was supportive of the LGBTQ+ community? That’s not a good thing, be considerate of how your company presents itself
One of the more important things that employers need to provide for their employees is a safe work environment. Implementing some or all of the practices we mentioned above could not only help your employees feel seen, but it can also help employee retention when people in and outside of the LGBTQ+ community see that your company cares about inclusion and acknowledges that the LGBTQ+ community is a big part of the workforce.
At Medcom Benefit Solutions, we not only support our employees but also try to find ways to be better. A huge part of the LGBTQ+ community is inclusion and making sure no one feels left out just because of gender, sexuality, or anything else. As a company, it’s our responsibility to look to the community as an example and try to emulate that ourselves. Happy Pride!