Managing LGBT Talent

147513231The recent ruling on DOMA has changed employee benefits administration for many companies. More may be considering future changes. During this conversation about best practices for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and health insurance, the human resources community may wish to discuss other ways to make their workplaces more welcoming to all workers.

LGBT workers tend to stay at a job where they can be open for a longer period of time and may be more productive without the stress that can come from staying in the closet. And according to research conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation, 52 percent of LGBT employees are out at work. Workers who are not out in the office reported they trust their bosses less, are less satisfied with their careers and are very likely to leave the position within the next three years. It is to the benefit of any company to cultivate an accepting environment in which all LGBT workers can feel free to be open about their lives.

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Talent management professionals are likely to be the origin of any such initiative in the workplace. Ideas for an LGBT-friendly office include the following:

  • Ensure sexual orientation and gender identity are specifically mentioned in the company’s non-discrimination policy. According to data from the Human Rights Campaign, the majority of Fortune 500 companies have already taken this step. This is an affirmation by a business’ leadership that they value LGBT employees and take their concerns seriously.
  • Consider an affinity group for LGBT employees and their heterosexual supporters. At enterprises that have multiple special-interest groups for their workers, the addition of one for LGBT people may be very effective. It may provide a space to air concerns and build trust. It can also allow straight people who support their LGBT co-workers to make this clear, which may improve the working environment.

MORE: How Does the ADA Apply to Contingents?

Joseph Azzata

Joseph Azzata
Joseph J. Azzata is the founder of eCareer Holdings, Inc. From 2002 to 2010, Azzata was CEO and co-founder of Medical Connections Holdings Inc.

Joseph Azzata

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  1. […] The Staffing Stream, a blog run by Staffing Industry Analysts, an article on Managing LGBT Talent makes the case that workers who are not out in the office reported they trust their bosses less, […]

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