By Brenda Wensil
The importance of a unified organizational culture is more critical than ever in today’s business environment, yet many organizations struggle to create a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace community, particularly for LGBTQ+ employees. LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the workplace is essential for fostering a positive and diverse work environment, and attracting and retaining talent. It benefits not only the employees but also the overall success of the organization. Here are some tips and strategies to help evaluate and enhance inclusivity within your organization.
Assess Your Workplace Culture
It’s important to first assess the current culture. Do a deeper dive with your assessments by using quantitative data, executive and stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and surveys. These various methods will help provide you with a more comprehensive understanding of the organization’s culture.
Ask Difficult Questions
Don’t shy away from the hard questions that might push you to examine current policies and workplace culture.
- Do your policies explicitly address LGBTQ+ protections? What is missing from those policies that might be holding back inclusivity in your workplace?
- How is your leadership helping or hindering a unified culture? What impact does this have on the organization and its employees?
- Does your current culture foster an environment where employees can bring their full selves to work? If not, what would that look like for your organization?
What are Others Doing?
Look outside your company for best practices. What are progressive organizations doing to create inclusive cultures? Examine and highlight specific examples of progressive organizations and their initiatives that have successfully created inclusive cultures.
Discussing any industry-wide benchmarks or standards that other organizations use as a guide for LGBTQ+ inclusivity can help your organization enhance its inclusivity.
Develop Your Inclusivity Plan
Gather and review all the findings from your internal and external research. Detail the key components of an effective plan for improving inclusivity. Identify the biggest opportunities for growth and develop a game plan. As you analyze and interpret your findings, discuss common themes and/or any challenges you recognize. Include a section on these potential challenges during the implementation phase and strategies for overcoming them.
Communicate with Employees
Prior to implementing the plan, communicate your intentions to employees. Establish open communication lines and be receptive to feedback. As the plan goes into action, conduct regular checks to ensure that the efforts are moving the needle and creating a culture of inclusivity and authenticity. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of your efforts will help illustrate the importance to create an inclusive and authentic workplace.
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