That means attracting diverse candidates is key. But while one main focus is (rightfully) ethnicity, how do you recruit more LGBTQ+ applicants? How do you send a clear message that they’re welcome, and that your organisation has something to offer them?
: it’s also good for business
First things first: why should you be concerned about attracting and retaining LGBTQ+ talent? Besides the fact that equality should be a core tenet of your organisation, studies have shown that LGBTQ+-inclusive businesses have higher stock market valuations and overall profitability
What is an ‘employee value proposition’ and why does it matter?
Your employee value proposition is everything you offer to your people – from salary and perks to a sense of purpose and attractive policies. Considering your EVP is important, as it means that you’re not solely reliant on paying the highest salaries in the market. You can appeal to other motivating factors.
For LGBTQ+ workers, it’s easy to be overlooked. Their identity may not be immediately apparent, they’re bundled into a vastly varied group – with sexuality and gender identity too often conflated – and they’re at risk of discrimination from multiple angles, for multiple reasons.
Employers need to treat carefully, but purposefully, on factoring these different experiences and needs into their EVP. Or achieving true inclusion will stay a distant aspiration.
Creating an employee value proposition that appeals to LGBTQ+ employees
If you want to boost LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace, but aren’t sure where to start, here’s some ideas (but as we’ll discuss, there’s no substitute for simply listening):
- Inclusive leave: one practical step is reviewing your leave policies, and making them more inclusive. Consider offering equal parental leave for all gender identities, whether they’re birthing the child or not. And write in allowances for employees who choose to medically transition, so they don’t need to start the conversation themselves.
- Make a statement: as an organisation, you can make your commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion clear by cutting ties with customers or partners who actively work against this. You can also celebrate pride openly on your social media channels, as long as that’s backed up by practical support too.
- In-office support: setting up and facilitating Employee Resource Groups can create safe spaces for your staff – just make sure there’s no pressure to do additional work. You can also provide sponsors for career development.
- Education: don’t make educating other employees their problem. Conduct yearly ‘inclusion training’ instead, and embed LGBTQ+ inclusion into all your official policies and procedures so everyone has clarity over the behavioural standards you expect.
- Inclusive language: asking that pronouns are stated in email signatures can take away awkwardness for some employees, and generally considering inclusive language for LGBTQ+ workers can be helpful. That includes in your documentation, and avoiding phrases like ‘ladies and gentlemen’ in conversation.
Your employee value proposition workshop should start with listening
If you’re deciding what policies, perks, and practical elements to include in your EVP, these ideas may be helpful. But your first step should always be to listen to your current employees. What do they want? What are they missing? Why don’t they feel catered to?
Our platform can help with that. It’s powered by insightful listening technology, so you can understand exactly what your employees think and feel. By sending an inclusion survey – for example – you can understand who feels safe and accepted, any gaps in your EVP, and what areas you need to focus on. Maybe it’s ‘tools’, maybe it’s ‘transparency’. Whatever insights you get back, you can use them to build a better EVP. One that includes everyone.