June 22, 2022

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All month long we’ve been sharing the resources employers need in order to create an inclusive and safe work environment for their staff, including the terminology used in the LGBTQIA+ community (using the appropriate language is essential for demonstrating respect), and the California laws that protect against discrimination.

In our latest blog we set the stage on how to ensure a safe workplace by discussing why it’s important to do so. We discussed how it not only makes work a space that employees feel respected and valued, but that it also leads to things like a higher retention rate and improved collaboration. Ready to learn the steps to take for a positive and productive company culture? Here’s the first of our two-part series.

 

Employer-led initiatives for an employee-focused culture

 

Your overall goal as an employer is to foster an environment where the employee feels they can be themselves, for example that they do not feel at threat or unsure about revealing that they are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. If you have employees that feel safe to live authentically at work, then everyone, company and staff alike, benefits.

Here’s some steps to get started:

  1. Make sure nondiscrimination policy includes LGBTQIA+ as protected statuses. Any nondiscrimination/DEI policy needs to be completely inclusive if it is to be effective. You can (and should) have HR regularly review policies to ensure as much.
  2. What kind of language is used in the company? Is it inclusive? This can be a sneaky one, in part because implicit biases (the biases we act upon unconsciously) are so often found in the language we use. Can you create ungendered job descriptions and/or employee manuals? Do you use stereotypes when describing people and/or situations? These things are REALLY important for building a foundation of respect.
  3. Train train train. Managerial trainings are an excellent way to educate supervisors on things like implicit biases, and on how to adequately address issues that arise. They should be done on a regular basis, since to be effective it is best they are incorporated in the culture.
  4. Treat all equally, eg when recognizing achievements. Is there maybe some preferential treatment going on? Do you tend to take some employees more seriously than others (and if so, investigate the reason behind that!) It cannot be stressed enough that all employees should have equal access to resources, be uniformly considered for promotions, recognized for their efforts, and penalized on an equal basis. Really this is the key component for your employees to feel they are valued and respected.

 

Next week we’ll be sharing additional actions for employers to take when building an inclusive, and yes prosperous!, company culture. But are you ready to get started now? Eos HR can help! We make sure small business employers have the resources they need to lead a productive and inclusive workplace. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.

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