Self-identification and the ability to choose pronouns is a must-have in organizations and should be applied during the entire hiring process. Companies are advised to encourage employees to self-identify and freely choose their preferred pronouns for formal communication. This practice not only signalizes the openness of an organization, but also provides valuable insights. Building on these insights enables companies to conduct relevant surveys and successfully assess issues and challenges their LGBTQ+ employees may face. The ability to monitor the wellbeing of LGBTQ+ employees enables the successful measurement of D&I policies and the identification of needed amendments.
Establishing and implementing guidelines regarding the use of pronouns within an organization is paramount. Their consistent implementation encourages employees to question their assumptions and raises the awareness of colleagues using different pronouns for their gender. Further, companies are advised to aim at using gender-neutral language in formal communication, such as meetings, introductions, conferences, and interviews to prevent a feeling of exclusion among LGBTQ+ employees.
Measuring of Managerial Performance
Being the driving force in organizations it is the leadership team, that should have a strong foundation regarding discrimination and thus be well equipped to not only set a positive tone but also intervene in cases of cultural breakdowns. While gathering overall feedback on managerial performance is a well-established process, collecting feedback on implementing D&I policies is still rather seldom. Encouraging employees to provide their feedback on the managerial effort towards inclusion can effectively lead to an improved organizational culture as it promotes accountability among leadership.
Designating a Confidential Ombudsman
The only thing that can make facing discriminatory behavior regarding one’s identity even worse is to face a flawed reporting process afterward. Reporting such an incident and getting no relevant response is highly insulting as it implies the lack of safety within an organization.
Companies can prevent this scenario from happening by designating an ombudsman and creating a confidential reporting process coordinated by the HR department. Employees need to be consistently informed about the existence of this procedure and ensured of their confidentiality.
Allyship Programs and Training
Ally programs are crucial in spreading awareness and sharing the accountability burden throughout the organization to implement inclusion policies effectively. By providing allyship training organizations encourage their employees to question gender assumptions and promote a deeper understanding and connection. Such programs aim to educate and motivate employees to intervene and handle any challenging situations.