Pride is a celebration and a call for joyous, inclusive, and ongoing visibility for all members of the LGBTQ+ community. However, Pride also demands an understanding of the discrimination and struggle that this community has faced, and continues to face. With the fight for equality far from over, it is crucial that employees champion this message; engaging meaningfully with each other to build a fairer workplace.
Pride is a beacon, not only to your LGBTQ+ staff, but to all employees. Your staff needs to know that they are respected and valued as individuals, and that they will be treated equally at work. Appropriately celebrating Pride in the workplace is all about how you meaningfully engage with your employees. Implementing rainbow imagery in your office and brand materials is a start. But it’s critical to go the extra mile to show your commitment to building a genuinely inclusive environment.
We explore just a few ways to meaningfully engage with your employees; celebrating all team members for who they truly are.
Introduce an employee experience survey
According to the 2018 Human Rights Campaign Foundation report, almost 50% of LGBTQ+ workers said that they are closeted at work. Moreover, 50% reported hearing jokes about lesbian or gay people at least once. Even if your workers do not want to be out at the office, you cannot have a work culture that abuses this choice. Discrimination of this nature must not go unchecked.
Empowering employees to provide fully anonymized responses is an important step towards better understanding how to support your staff. It’s equally important to make use of this information by feeding it directly into your HR strategies.
Build a ‘sharing space’ that’s representative of LGBTQ+ culture
Between movies, books and podcasts, Pride can and should be joyful as well as reflective! Giving employees the chance to share their favorite works created by and/or featuring LGBTQ+ people is a great way for the whole team to connect. However, make sure that if you’re contributing to this list, you’ve done your research. Some creators present tokenistic or problematic characterizations of this community however. Therefore, it’s important to be critically reflective about what you might be recommending. Check out the latest team recommendations, and encourage people to get talking over their breaks. Soon your office will be all a buzz!
Communicate how your organization is supporting LGBTQ+ employees
Pride month is a great time to share news about how your organization continues to support an inclusive and diverse workforce. It’s important to share this information in the right way though; you don’t want to be perceived as virtue signaling. Of course, it’s relevant that this work is being done during Pride month. But working towards greater inclusion shouldn’t be isolated to June. Make it clear that these updates are pertinent to Pride, but they are also part of a larger timeline of expected outcomes. Take the perspectives of your employees into account by including a chance for feedback and requests!
Offer resources and support for anyone who may be struggling
You may have some employees who are feeling less comfortable or outright struggling with their identity. Pride can prove a difficult time for those who feel pressure to celebrate despite not feeling confident in their personal identity. Your employees should have access to support all year, but consider sharing specific details of support you may be offering in-house, or relevant organizations and charities that specialize in LGBTQ+ issues. Let your employees know that there are people they can talk to, and that this isn’t a journey they have to take alone.
Consider organizing an allyship seminar
Bringing someone in to talk about their experiences and how to incorporate allyship into working life can be a great way to formally start this conversation. Following it up with an informal discussion can also help employees reflect on what they have heard. Again, consider making this an annual or regular part of your training and development offering. This will only help strengthen your company’s commitment to an inclusive work environment all year round.
This month is the perfect time to meaningfully engage with your employees by showing them how your organization is dedicated to driving equality and allyship. Take this chance to gather honest feedback from your employees, and be responsive. But don’t forget to share the fun stuff too! Pride is so much more than technicolor, and by working with your employees, you can find ways to celebrate knowing and loving the LGBTQ+ community.
Making HR meaningful
At ADDA Infusion, our inclusive, bespoke approach means we’re here to support you on your journey. Whether you’re a start-up requiring solutions on demand, or an SMB in need of full-service HR in-house, speak to our friendly team to see how we can help you today.