LGBT Training At The Workplace
Conducting LGBT training at the workplace creates awareness, communication, respect, and dignity among employees. This can encourage sexual and lifestyle diversity and contribute to the growth of organizations as well as society.
LGBT is the abbreviation used to indicate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. This is regarded as an umbrella term that includes both sexual orientation (LGB) and gender identity (T).
- Lesbian/Gay - Individuals sharing a romantic, emotional, and sexual relationship with the same sex/gender.
- Bisexual - Individuals sharing romantic, emotional, and sexual relationships with multiple sexes/genders.
Transgender - Individuals having a different gender identity/expression from that associated with their assigned sex at birth.
Benefits of LGBT Diversity Training
- A Diverse Workforce
Recruiting and employing individuals from various diverse backgrounds following different cultures can create a dynamic workforce. Diversity and inclusion training sessions can encourage staff and employees of an organization to learn and respect one another’s differences including sexual orientation and can create a sense of equality and belonging at the workplace. Furthermore, conflict can be prevented too.
- Increased Productivity
Certain inappropriate behavior such as homophobic bullying and harassment in the workplace can have a profound negative impact on the well-being and performance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual employees. LGBT diversity training can benefit such employees by including them in day-to-day activities and treating them with dignity and respect by other staff. As a result, LGBT employees can perform to the best of their abilities and have a great impact on productivity.
- Staff Retention
Promoting diversity and inclusion by conducting harassment and LGBT training can lead to increased staff retention and improve the safety and comfort of the workplace. No employer would want to terminate employees due to their sexual differences. Providing training can help to promote discipline among the employees.
- Improve Services
The frontline staff is required to understand the needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual customers to deliver the required services appropriately. This can be achieved by the provision of in-depth sexual orientation equality training by the organization and can ultimately contribute to the improvement of customer satisfaction.
- Compliance with Law
The laws framed by the government strictly state that employers are legally responsible for the conduct of their employees. This means that any harassment or discrimination against lesbians, gays, or bisexual colleagues would be punishable and their employers are liable and answerable. This is why training programs are important to ensure compliance and acceptable behaviors.
Topics Covered under LGBT Training
- Organizational policies and legislation
- The Equality Act of 2010
- Focus on language, stereotypes, and assumptions
- Challenging and confronting inappropriate behavior
- Reporting instances of discrimination, bullying, and harassment
- Supporting LGBT staffs
- Role modeling of good behavior
- Conflict management
- Business benefits of LGBT equality
- Reverse mentoring
- Organizational benefits
- Unconscious bias
For Frontline Staff
- Practical skills for working with LGBT customers
- Sector-specific inequalities experienced by LGBT
Creating an LGBT Diversity Training Program
Creating, developing, and executing an LGBT diversity training program is composed of several layers and needs to be undertaken with a clear plan and objective in mind. The training pathways may differ from business to business, but there are some key steps that every business or company needs to carry out.
- Gathering Resources
The initial step to execute a plan is to gather the appropriate resources required to achieve it. Therefore, companies and organizations need to make sure that they are using up-to-date and verified resources. Usage of out-of-date resources can greatly impact the training program being provided. Researching and gathering the required resources also provides an opportunity to learn new training methods and compare them with the ones already used by other companies.
- Evaluating Existing Policies
Once the appropriate resources are collected and gathered, the current policies on LGBT inclusion can be evaluated. A wide range of policies needs to be considered for this process that includes gender-neutral dress codes, unisex toilets, incorporating gender-neutral language, and support networks for providing LGBT-specific medical care. Going through such policies can give an idea of policies that require to be added or excluded and for making adjustments wherever necessary.
- Working Beyond
Companies and businesses need to actively work towards the betterment of all people at the workplace by seeking new perspectives, different opinions, and changes that are required. Simple steps and usual policy updates do not impact LGBT training programs in any way so all possible steps need to be taken for going beyond the usual training scenario. Some examples for developing impact are by celebrating certain historical days such as Trans Day of Visibility within the community and workplace. Such celebrations can serve to raise awareness regarding LGBT and receive active support from the community.
- Involving LGBT Employees
One vital purpose for the conduct of such training programs is to include LGBT employees without any diversity. They can further assist the program by providing their personal opinions, insight, and experiences to ensure that the training covers all necessary aspects. The employees need to be compensated for their time and effort for such different initiatives. Also, there is always the possibility of employees not being willing to be involved in the process. Such cases should not be pressured to contribute and they need to be allowed to make their own decisions.
- Focusing on Genuine Inclusion
Companies need to genuinely act for LGBT training programs at the workplace and actively include anybody willing to participate or lend a helping hand, irrespective of their sexual identity and diverse cultures. Active inclusion can help to put forward diverse opinions, beliefs, and ways of working which go beyond superficial lip service. This can also act as a tool to confront unconscious bias and eliminate creating a division among people unfamiliar with each other. Such acts can promote deeper understanding and better interactions among the employees.
- Delivering Effective Training
The training sessions conducted have to be of a high standard with valuable regard to genuine inclusion. Thorough employee training for diversity and inclusion has to be organized. It should be made available to everyone within a particular business or company and cover all levels of employment. Providing company-wide changes that involve the benefits of packages, dress codes, employee protections against discrimination and harassment, and various other policies to support and contribute to LGBT and the society.
LGBT diversity training can provide employees with tools and guidance on acting in accordance with the law and the policies based on discriminatory behavior, bullying, and harassment. Inequality and insecurities can be eliminated by providing equality training in innovative and accessible ways by both private and public organizations.