Building Employee Engagement through LGBTQIA+ Inclusion

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Employee engagement is a crucial aspect of any successful business, as it showcases the emotional connection employees have with their roles, teams, and the company as a whole.

When employees are engaged, they become advocates for your brand, and there is a direct correlation between high employee engagement and improved business performance. Engaged employees who feel respected and valued regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity are more likely to contribute positively to their workplace.

In this blog, we will explore the significance of embracing equality, diversity, and inclusion policies, particularly those that support LGBTQIA+ inclusivity, and will provide strategies for creating an inclusive work environment to connect with your team and boost employee engagement.

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is when your employees emotionally connect to their role, team, and company – becoming an advocate for your brand and promoting and praising their experience when asked.

There are direct links between high employee engagement and improved business performance; employees who enjoy their jobs and feel respected by their company work harder and stay longer than employees who do not feel seen, heard, or respected by their employers.

The Impact of Embracing EDI Policies

First and foremost, providing an inclusive working environment is the morally right thing to do (which should be enough to encourage you to create one, FYI!) but, secondly, it is also a smart business decision.

Research shows that companies that consistently show equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) efforts in the workplace experience significantly higher employee engagement than companies that do not, and inclusive teams are 17% more likely to report high performance.

It really is a win-win for both you and your employees! Equality, diversity, and inclusion promote fairness and ethical leadership, and embracing and implementing EDI policies, particularly those strongly supporting LGBTQIA+ inclusivity, enhances employee engagement while driving business performance and innovation.

Strategies for Effective LGBTQIA+ Inclusion

Key strategies for promoting LGBTQIA+ inclusion include developing inclusive HR policies and building an inclusive company culture.

Developing Inclusive HR Policies

Upholding strong EDI & LGBTQIA+ policies is a strong deciding factor for many of the Millennial and Gen-Z workforce. According to Forbes, 83% of Gen-Z respondents said they consider an employer’s commitment to diversity and inclusion when deciding where to work.

It is important to establish clear policies that explicitly prohibit discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. These policies should outline procedures for reporting incidents and the consequences for those who violate the policies.

To ensure your employees understand the importance of these policies, and to grasp what is appropriate and what is not, we recommend implementing training sessions that educate your employees on LGBTQIA+ issues and wider EDI topics, the importance of inclusivity, and how to unpack unconscious biases. This helps ensure that all staff understand the expectations and the value of a diverse workplace.

>> Read more: LGBTQIA+ History Month: How to be Inclusive in the Workplace <<

Building an Inclusive Company Culture

Demonstrating that inclusivity is integral to your company’s ethos shows employees that you accept them authentically and that their well-being is a priority to you.

You can organise events that celebrate LGBTQIA+ culture and history, such as Pride Month activities or panels, that educate your workforce and enhance visibility and support for the LGBTQIA+ community within your company.

Additionally, you can promote inclusive language throughout your organisation, starting with policies and documents, before encouraging employees to share their preferred pronouns and providing training on why this is important – which brings us to our next suggestion…

Implementing Inclusive Training Programmes

We touched upon the importance of implementing appropriate LGBTQIA+ & EDI training, but to ensure your training has the greatest impact, consider these:

  • Experienced Consultant

You should consider hiring an experienced consultant who specialises in LGBTQIA+ issues to ensure your training has depth and highlights current issues, and who can tailor their approach to your specific company and wider industry.

  • Engaging Content

Training programmes should cover LGBTQIA+ terminologies, the importance of empathy, challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community, and practical steps to becoming an ally and promoting inclusion.

It’s important to make this content engaging for your team, as EDI & LGBTQIA+ training shouldn’t feel like a chore – they should include interactive elements like group discussions and role-playing to enhance engagement and understanding.

  • Evaluate the Effectiveness

You should evaluate the effectiveness of the training; offer feedback surveys, observe changes in workplace behaviour over time, and monitor performance metrics.

By focusing on engaging expert consultants, comprehensive content, and measuring outcomes, your training initiatives can significantly enhance diversity and inclusion in your workplace, promoting better employee engagement and a productive and harmonious environment.

Final Thoughts

Incorporating EDI policies, with a strong emphasis on LGBTQIA+ inclusivity, is not only a matter of moral fairness and ethical leadership but also a great move to enhance employee engagement to drive business success.

By developing inclusive HR policies, building a supportive company culture, and implementing comprehensive training programmes, companies can create an environment where all employees feel valued and respected.