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Pride Month: How HR teams can better support LGBTQ+ employees

What better time to discuss LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace than Pride Month, which takes place in June every year. Companies have come a long in supporting workplace diversity and increasing LGBT policies in the workplace over the past decade. While some organizations are conscious about creating an LGBT-friendly workplace, the reality is that many LGBTQ+ employees still do not feel included in the office.

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So if you’re wondering how companies can celebrate pride month, why not start by ensuring that employees who identify as LGBTQ are included and supported in the workplace? This Pacific Prime article discusses how HR teams can better support LGBTQ+ employees.

How companies can celebrate Pride Month and why it’s important

Research shows that employees who are comfortable expressing their LGBTQ identity at work feel safer and more productive, while those who are not may feel less motivated and are more likely to resign. According to a study, 40% of LGBTQ employees are closeted in the workplace. Similarly, 75% of the LGBTQ community experience negative workplace interactions on a daily basis because of their identity.

From a hiring perspective, there is no point in recruiting a diverse workforce if your employees are not comfortable with being their true selves at work. If you want to make sure your diversity efforts actually have an impact, then it’s imperative to create a workplace culture where all employees feel included. Celebrate pride month in the workplace by creating a culture of inclusion with the following tips.

Normalize pronouns in the workplace

One of the easiest ways to make LGBTQ employees feel comfortable is to show that the work environment is inclusive. To start, take a look at your technology stack. For example, gender boxes should include more options than male, female, and other. If those options are not available yet, let your employees know that you are working on changes.

Additionally, HR can assist non-binary staff in sharing their gender identity and pronouns by letting all staff know they can add their pronouns wherever they use their name at work, such as their email signature, company profile, and LinkedIn profile. However, be sure to encourage rather than enforce so that people have a choice when it comes to what they’re willing to share.

Offer anonymous reporting tools

Employees are supposed to be able to turn to HR with their concerns, but there can be many reasons why that’s not always easy or possible. Oftentimes, LGBTQ employees do not report harassment, bullying, and intolerance because they fear that nothing will change anyway. Many are also concerned that speaking up might affect them professionally. Employees feel this way even in ideal workplaces, so HR must go above and beyond to encourage employees to speak up and make it easy for them to do so.

Anonymous reporting tools make it clear to employees that HR leaders and professionals are ready to listen and offer support. However, reporting alone is not enough. HR departments should also implement a zero-tolerance policy and take action accordingly.

Measure LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace

If there’s one thing HR teams know how to do well it’s collect data. Productivity, engagement, and employee satisfaction are probably already being measured, and inclusion should be measured as well. One effective way to do this is to send out employee surveys and ask employees to rate inclusion efforts, including the company’s overall performance and managers’ efforts.

Even though an inclusive company culture begins at the top, managers play an important role as well. After all, they are the ones who interact closely with employees and define team behavior. They are also in the ideal position to step in if any bad behavior comes to the surface. HR should ideally train managers on ways to support inclusion and various intervention methods. Lastly, be transparent about survey results and solutions with employees.

Empower LGBTQ employees to be their authentic selves

LGBTQ employees are often familiar with microaggressions and hostility at work. So much so that many stay closeted in the workplace because they’re worried and even afraid about how others will treat them or that it will affect their career. Employees who feel they have to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity may feel worn out, demoralized, and overwhelmed.

Freedom must replace fear for a workforce to be healthy and productive. Create a workplace environment that celebrates diversity and where employees are free to show up as they are. Support and encourage employees to fly their flag proudly, whatever that flag may be.

Find the best employee benefits solutions with Pacific Prime

One of the best ways to support employees is to provide employee benefits plans that cater to their needs. However, finding the right employee benefits solutions can be tricky. That’s where Pacific Prime comes in. As a leading employee benefits specialist and insurance broker, we can help you secure the right employee benefits solutions, corporate health insurance plans, and so much more. Contact us for a free consultation today.

Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime
Jantra Jacobs is a Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime with over 10 years of writing and editing experience. She writes and edits a diverse variety of online and offline copy, including sales and marketing materials ranging from articles and advertising copy to reports, guides, RFPs, and more.

Jantra curates and reports on the results of Pacific Prime’s monthly newsletters, as well as manages Pacific Prime’s Deputy Global CEO’s LinkedIn posts. Complemented by her background in business writing, Jantra’s passion for health, insurance, and employee benefits helps her create engaging content - no matter how complex the subject is.

Growing up as a third-culture kid has given her a multicultural perspective that helps her relate to expats and their families while 8 years of working remotely have given her unique insight into hybrid work arrangements and enthusiasm for employee benefits.
Jantra Jacobs