There are numerous ways in which employers can create a friendly and inclusive work environment in which their employees will feel comfortable and safe, allowing them to perform well in their roles. The Workplace Equality Index includes some of those areas and methods:
- Organisational policy and strategic level – The first step to achieving inclusivity is to truly understand why it is important to be an inclusive employer and make the decision that you want to be inclusive. This is followed by concrete steps that include the adaptation of official documents that protect the rights and prohibit discrimination of LGBTIQ persons as well as the elaboration of a strategy and concrete action plans to increase inclusivity in the workplace.
- In the elaboration of the employer’s official documents, it is important to clearly state the mechanisms for protection of employees – in this area, it is advisable for employers to appoint a person, team or department that will be in charge of the protection of human rights and the implementation of inclusive policies, and report on progress to decision makers at the highest level.
- Ensuring a safe and accepting work environment for LGBTIQ+ people can be supported through various actions within the organization, the most important of which being education and sensitivity training for your team. Some employees may feel discomfort related to these topics, and it is possible that you will find yourself the target of misunderstanding and prejudice. However, informing and educating employees is a proven way to create a positive working environment in which all employees can feel comfortable and safe, allowing them to perform well in their roles.
- You can contribute to the rights of LGBTIQ people by supporting LGBTIQ topics and activities in society, beyond your organisation. In addition to developing and strengthening cooperation in this way, you will also contribute to raising social awareness of the importance of equality in the workplace. This positive practice will contribute to the visibility of you as an employer that cares about labour rights and equality, in turn strengthening the trust of your employees and also of other business actors, in your strategies and policies in the field of human potential management.
Always remember that ensuring an inclusive work environment does not mean giving some “special rights” to certain groups of employees or “promoting certain groups over others”, but rather enabling equal conditions and work environment for all.