14 Ways to Support LGBT Employees - Dennis Velco - OutBuro - Employee Engagement Satisfaction Talent Acquisition Recriuting Recruitment Marketing Job Seeker Canidate Attraction Profressional Community

14 Ways to Support LGBT Employees (2021)

Over the past 16 years or so, companies and organizations in all industries have moved towards embracing, supporting, and championing LGBTQ workplace equality. Focusing on creating a safe and welcoming workplace for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, heteroflexible, and questioning (LGBTQIA+) employees have many benefits beyond just being the right thing to do. Many studies have clearly demonstrated that companies that truly support diversity and inclusion as part of their corporate DNA thrive in many areas such as but limited to:

  • Innovation
  • Employee satisfaction and engagement
  • Increased employee retention
  • Higher qualified talent acquisition pool
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved team collaboration
  • Improved employee mental health
  • Reduction of absentee/sick days
  • Increased brand positive LGBTQ and ally perception
  • Client/customer satisfaction
  • Increase in financial performance
  • Shareholder value

So, supporting LGBTQIA+ employees is not just the right thing to do, it is good for business too. Here are some steps toward supporting your LGBT employees and attracting great talent candidates. Your LGBTQ employees and your clients/customers are tightly linked check out the LGBTQ Consumer and Employer Branding are Commingled article for more on that.

US Supreme Court Decision: Great Step But Still Work Remains

In July 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled that sexual orientation and gender identity are now covered under the US Equal Opportunity Employment Act for Non-Discrimination. That is cause for celebration, yet does not automatically transform all employers into workplaces that respect diversity, embrace inclusion, or have a work culture that is welcoming. In just the United States, based on other issues such as gender equality, racial equality, and sexual harassment, one can without much effort extrapolate that it may be decades before LGBT employees are fully and openly accepted in all workplaces, in all industries, and in all locations – if ever. We believe firmly in being the change and benefiting from it. Also, please keep in mind that in over 50% of the states in the US it is still legal to discriminate against LGBTQ persons in housing, finance, hate crime against LGBT persons is not criminalized, and many other issues that devalue and dehumanize the LGBT citizens. There is much work to do in the United States and countries around the world.

Your efforts to create a safe and welcoming workplace where all are treated equally with the same opportunities to contribute, grow and thrive are greatly appreciated.

Diversity, Inclusion & Welcoming

Diversity is about ensuring you have people of different backgrounds and experiences represented in the workplace. Inclusiveness takes it a step further by creating an environment where people’s differences of thought and experience are actually appreciated. Welcoming enables employees to be their authentic selves where their uniqueness may shine adding perspectives that are respected and potentially individually or collectively a business advantage.

A simple analogy is:

  • Diversity is being invited to a party.
  • Inclusive is while at the party, a cute person asks you to dance.
  • Welcoming is dancing like you have no cares in the world and no one is watching. Dang, check out those moves!
  • World-class is you inspire everyone to jump up to dance just as openly and boldly.
  • Everyone raves what an amazing party it is. Selfies are snapped and shared. It goes viral on social media. Your brand becomes the hottest epic party.

Ok, in this example eventually the neighbors may call the cops to shut the party down, but in business, it attracts top talent, employee satisfaction is high, employee retention is high, customer attraction and retention are high. You and your amazing team are crushing it.

So, how to get there?

Strategic Talent Acquisition Support LGBT employees workplace Equality Corporate employer branding recruiting lgbtq candidates gay lesbian bisexual transgender queer

1. Authenticity and Clear Mission

Being authentic in all aspects is critical. All too often we have heard of reports by employees that their employer launched a drive to obtain an LGBT Corporate Equality rating and once obtained management support nearly vanished and previous funding dissipated to a fraction. It makes the employees feel disenfranchised and like used pawns in the corporate goal to receive external publicity. Understand that true D&I can lead to great financial rewards, but if not deeply rooted in respect, value, and authenticity, you can do harm to your brand, employee morale, and customer perception. If issues arise it can leave a damaging scare that can take years to recover from, if ever. Don’t be that kind of organization. It is not necessary. As linked above, being authentic in supporting diversity and inclusion is proven to improve the company’s financial performance for many reasons. But why is a mission necessary? Because diversity alone does not necessarily mean there is the inclusion or a welcoming work culture. A clear mission will outline the objective and measurements. The LGBT community is very savvy so if striving to attract the LGBT customer market, they care about how you treat your LGBT employees and your authentic engagement in the community.

2. Top-level support

Ensure that LGBT employee support is a priority at the top senior management level. Have a top management staff person take the lead on LGBT employee inclusion. That person may not be LGBT themself, but an ally. This senior manager should be the LGBT employee resource group (ERG) executive sponsor. This person may be from any department. Indicate who your most senior-level employee who identifies as LGBT is on your OutBüro employer listing.

3. Take LGBT Reports of Discrimination and Harassment Seriously

Yes, in the United States it is now illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Is that enough? Do you feel that now covers you so there is no need for a company/organization non-discrimination policy based on sexual orientation or gender identity? If so, I bet your company/organization has policies covering gender, race, and religion. This is the same. I am also 99.9% sure you have a sexual harassment policy too, along with required annual training. This is no different. Your organization should have a strong non-discrimination policy in place, ensure it clearly states that it covers your recruitment and promotions. Create a communication plan to be sure all employees know what is not tolerated in the workplace. Not if, but when, homophobic bullying, discrimination, or harassment happens to acknowledge the validity of the concern raised, promptly follow procedures to investigate and take appropriate action. Ensure employees feel safe in making reports.

Have all reports reviewed by a team to reduce biases from even the HR staff. Do not assume that all human resources staff lack biases. Research and court case prove otherwise. Many discrimination lawsuits are based on the lack of action by the HR department. So take extra steps in training all HR staff and put teams in place with checks and balances instead of relying on just one gatekeeper. On your OutBüro employer listing link to your sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination policy. Make it easy for candidates to find it when researching you as a potential employer.

4. LGBT Employee Resource Group

Having an organized formal Employee Resource Group can go a long way in fostering an inclusive and welcoming work culture. It provides an opportunity to network and builds a sense of camaraderie. Many ERGs meet up during normal work hours to discuss work-related topics as well as off-hours social events to further the personal bonds that will translate into great working relationships. It is a great way to foster career development through mentoring. Encourage senior employees to mentor junior employees. If you support employee volunteering, the LGBT ERG could expand the organization’s LGBTQ community involvement by using their corporate volunteer hours in helping local LGBTQ charity nonprofit organizations and events. Encourage and support LGBT employees to participate in seminars and conferences. Encourage and support employees to participate in industry networking groups, LGBT professional associations, and to participate in content and groups on www.OutBuro.com – the LGBT professional and entrepreneur platform.

Having open and consistent dialogue with your LGBTQ employee resource group will improve employee engagement, company culture, and provide valuable information on ways to further innovate in the workplace. Create a company/Organization group on OutBüro where employees from around the globe can interact off company resources. Be an open group where prospective candidates may also join to connect with current employees, ask question, and get a great sense of you as an employer. Ask key ERG members to join the ERG Connections group on OutBüro. This is meant to be a Super Group for cross organization networking, sharing, learning and growing an LGBTQ ERG.

5. Support the Local LGBT Community

Show your support to the local LGBT community where you operate by providing information to employees about local events, groups, and resources. Sponsor a Pride Party, or even sponsor your LGBT ERG to participate in local Gay Pride events, have a corporate booth, use it for customer leads, and talent recruiting. Celebrate National Coming Out Day. Create a video series of employees sharing their stories of coming out personally and yet again professionally. Encourage volunteering at LGBT events throughout the year. Sponsor local organizations, from general support agencies, to those that provide needed services to the homeless, youth, seniors, persons living with compromised immune systems, students, and more. Sponsor local or national sporting leagues or teams. Sponsor the local gay men’s chorus or other cultural groups/events. Invite LGBT speakers to share their experiences with your team. There are also national and international organizations that support equality and human rights. The LGBT nonprofit sector operates on shoestring budgets and desperately could use your in-kind and financial support.

List and link to all the LGBTQ organizations and non-profits you support in whatever manner on your OutBüro Employer listing. So many companies do great things yet no one other than the benefiting organization has any clue. Show it. Tout it. It makes LGBT employees proud to work for you and it demonstrates to LGBT candidates, as well as customers, that you are involved in the community and therefore likely a super fantastic place to go to work or as a customer spend their money with.

6. Support LGBT Entrepreneurs

Sponsor the local LGBT chamber of commerce. Encourage LGBTQ employees to get involved to represent the company in the LGBTQ Chamber. If and where possible allow the employee to mentor small business owners. Sponsor LGBT founded startups – with funds, product/services discount or as in-kind sponsorship to help the small business grow. Add LGBT friendly procurement policies and actively seek products and services by LGBTQ owned businesses. Consider providing a workshop on how to do business with your company, the steps to becoming an approved small business vendor, if NGLCC certification is required or what other factors may help them secure a vendor agreement with you. The NGLCC has an LGBT certified business accreditation. That is great, but it is far from representing all LGBTQ business due to many factors. In your supplier diversity program certainly include NGLCC accredited LGBTQ suppliers, but be open to non-accredited ones too who as a startup not yet meet some of the accreditation requirements such as years in business with positive cash flow. Consider the merits of the business and found and advise them on how best to move forward.

List and link to all the organizations you support of LGBTQ owned business in whatever manner on your OutBüro Employer listing. So many companies do great things yet no one other than the benefiting organization has any clue. Show it. Tout it. It makes LGBT employees proud to work for you and it demonstrates to LGBT candidates that you are involved in the community and therefore likely a super fantastic place to go to work.

7. LGBT Inclusive Employee Surveys

On your periodic employee surveys allow the option for employees to anonymously identify as LGBTQ and ask specific questions regarding their experiences and feedback. Do not assume everyone will be open. Did you know that a recent study found that a whopping 29% of Americans under 30 years old identify as “heteroflexible”? So how you treat you open full out loud and proud LGBTQ employees has a much larger base than most assume and more than you will like ever truly exactly know.

8. LGBT Employer Rating/Reviews

Just like the employer reviews on Glassdoor.com, Indeed.com, Monster.com, and others, OutBüro (https://www.OutBuro.com) offers LGBTQ employees the ability to anonymously rate/review the current and recent past employers. Employers are strongly advised to claim their listing if already present or proactively add your employer listing. It is important to engage with reviews as you would on any other platform. It is advised to make all employees aware that you are participating in OutBüro. You may use the opportunity to reinforce your open and safe reporting policy while welcoming ratings/reviews on OutBüro. Such ratings/reviews can be a great source of insights as potential candidates seek information about you as an employer before applying. Check this article out: Company Reviews – Good for Companies and Their LGBTQ Employees

OutBüro logged in users may leave comments or questions on your OutBüro Employer listing or in groups. It is an opportunity to engage with potential candidates and customer. It should not be left ignored.

9. LGBTQ Competency Training

Having ongoing LGBTQ awareness training is important to fostering an inclusive and welcoming work environment. The content should be progressive and continual. If you don’t already, consider adding corporate notable figures and society historical figures to company communications regularly. It may feature persons who helped shape the company in the past or present. Feature diverse employees. The thing about LGBTQ employees is that unlike age, race, or gender, all, for the most part, are typically apparent. Being LGBTQ is not always as apparent and therefore if your culture is welcoming and the employee is okay with it, clearly state the employee’s LGBTQ identity along with all the great stuff they are doing within and for the company/organization.

This creates awareness as well as clearly demonstrates to all employees that the company/organization values the contributions of its employees including LGBTQ employees. Depending on the size of the company, I normally recommend featuring an employee once a week. Creating a video interview or video story is most ideal. For those features that are LGBTQ employees, you now have LGBTQ employer branding content. Share all via your YouTube channel. For LGBTQ features, add them to your OutBüro Employer listing too. This is a morale booster for other LGBTQ employees as well as a clear message that discrimination and/or harassment is not tolerated here. I recommend coupling this and/or other creative ideas with traditional training. It is a message however that reinforces the training provided and I consider it to be a micro lesson.

How about regular games that could become a tournament? Foster employee engagement activity where you can use an online quiz/survey tool to create a trivia knowledge game. Be creative and make it your own. Invite all staff to submit questions to be included. Heck, you might grow it into being quarter Family Feud like shows. Live Stream it to all offices, post on social media. Show what an inclusive, wicked smart team and fun culture you have. The point here is that LGBT biases, like others, are learned from a young age and deeply engrained. Creating new habits, and un-programing those deeply held biases take effort, energy, and but it can be fun and engaging.

Do you need help? We are happy to assist you and/or make recommendations to D&I consultant around the globe.

10. Offer LGBT-Friendly Benefits

For job seekers, today, inclusive benefits packages and non-discrimination clauses are some of the most important considerations when researching potential employers. In studies, it was found that having LGBTQ benefits also is important to young heterosexual job seekers. Overall job seekers want to feel they are working for an employer who is fair, socially, and environmentally responsible. Not being so can cost you in by reducing your chances of attracting top talent.

Be sure not to unintentionally exclude LGBTQ families and transgender individuals. Offer equal benefits to all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation, including parental leave, adoption leave, and time off to take care of dependants. Gendered language can cause parental benefits to unintentionally exclude LGBTQ families. Make your benefits inclusive of all employees by being conscious of what words you use in your coverage and favoring gender-neutral terms. it is the right thing to do for all employees as it is gender equality focused too. Today, in opposite-gender relationships, it is not uncommon for the male to be the child care provider while the female works.

  • Sexual orientation non-discrimination
  • Gender Identity non-discrimination
  • Domestic partner benefits
  • Transgender inclusive health benefits

11. Foster a Gender-Neutral Environment

Create a gender-neutral environment by making some simple changes such as establishing unisex toilets and using gender-neutral language, like ‘partner’ instead of husband or wife, and asking all employees to list their preferred pronouns on email sinatur blocks and employee directory listings.

12. Keep Track, Evaluate, & Improve

Celebrate your successes and monitor your progress by tracking things such as the number of employee grievances naturally with details of the type, persons involved, location, department, and such. No matter how small or outcome, track it. This could lead to identifying trends over time that need to be addressed. Of course, as in all employee training, track D&I training by course completed inclusive of LGBT competency training. If legally able track who is an out self-identified LGBTQ employee and when they publically came out. The more that comes out is a direct relation to the success of the organization in creating a safe and welcoming space. Tract ERG involvement likewise. If active participation falls or doesn’t attract employees to participate, why? Do they not feel safe? Is the ERG doing things that are attractive to employees? How does it compare with other company ERGs? Have you networked with other company LGBT ERG leaders with strong employee participation to gain insights on how to be effective?

13. Support Transgender Employees

As transgender visibility within the LGBTQ community has increased over the past few years, it has become clear that transgender people face a unique set of experiences and challenges. Learn what steps to take after an employee comes out as transgender to create a supportive and encouraging environment. Human Resource is an important player in assisting transgender employees during the complex and lengthy process of transitioning. We recommend special training from trainers who are themselves, transgender. We are happy to connect your organization with outstanding transgender coaches.

14. Post your own LGBT focused company and employee content

Increase your employer brand awareness with LGBTQ professionals. With an OutBüro Employer Listing subscription, the organization may post content directly to our blog as an author. We’d strongly recommend the content be LGBT professional life-related in some way. Perhaps it’s articles about what local, regional or national LGBT related events the organization has sponsored. Or maybe articles and videos featuring LGBT employees or customers. The article will list the authorized person/person as the author in an author bio box that will link all other past submissions posted.

If there have been negative reviews/ratings, an article might address what the organization is doing or has done to improve. It’s also a great way to feature what activities and such the organization’s LGBTQ employee resource group is doing on a monthly or quarterly basis. So many possibilities for your organization to be proactive. Some of this may be in the form of press releases. All submissions will be reviewed for approval before going live to ensure it’s appropriate for our audience and in line with the goals of OutBüro.

15. Bonus Tip – Strategic Talent Acquition: Recruiting LGBTQ Candidates

This topic has been mentioned in numerous articles here on OutBüro. It is a topic that wide and deep thus we have dedicated a full article to it. Please refer to the Strategic Talent Acquisition: Recruiting LGBTQ Candidates article for more. Will link once completed later this week.

Be sure to check out these additional resources and search OutBüro for other related topics of interest to you. Please place questions and desired article/video suggestions in the comments. We are happy to add suggested topics to our content calendar that fit our broad focus. You are also welcome to post via the activity stream, articles, and more. This is your community. Jump in.

Conclusion

OutBüro is a growing valuable tool for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer professionals for networking and as passive or active job seekers. OutBüro is here to help you to demonstrate all the great things you do to support your LGBTQ employees and attract LGBT talent as candidates to join your team.

Dennis Velco Employer Brandin Reaching LGBTQ candidates lgbt professionals gay lesbian queer community (1)

Employer Branding: Reaching LGBTQ Candidates

Let’s face it. To attract and retain top talent today you and your organization must adapt, expand, and grow. Today, candidates, and we’ll say in particular LGBTQ candidates, evaluate your organization as a potentially good fit for them personally and professionally. The LGBTQ community in particular will often prefer an employer with great LGBTQ welcoming policies, benefits, and business practices over a competitor with less but a sexier role. They want to know that the prospective employer values them, their skills and the unique perspective they hold. It has been proven time and again that companies that whole embrace diversity financially thrive.Sure, they want to be valued and have a great career path, but when push comes to shove being valued authentically wins hand down. This means that no matter the size of the organization, or the roles you offer, building your culture matched with supporting policies and benefit is key to attracting and creating top LGBTQ talent.

You are Awesome. Are Candidates Aware?

In the 14 Ways to Support LGBT Employees article I described the differences between diversity, inclusion and being welcoming as:

A simple analogy is:

  • Diversity is being invited to a party.
  • Inclusive is while at the party, a cute person asks you to dance.
  • Welcoming is dancing like you have no cares in the world and no one is watching. Dang, check out those moves!
  • World-class is you inspire everyone to jump up to dance just as openly and boldly.
  • Everyone raves what an amazing party it is. Selfies are snapped and shared. It goes viral on social media. Your brand becomes the hottest epic party.

What is Employer Branding

Employer branding is the company’s reputation in the job market. It influences whether candidates view the employer as a “preferred employer”. This will ultimately make them decide whether to apply to the job position, or not. The right employee value proposition can thus make or break a hiring situation. Employee value proposition (EVP) is nothing but what you are offering your potential future employees—good culture, LGBTQ friendly policies, benefit and practices (which can include inclusive supplier diversity, inclusive marketing, political donations a d more), emploer perks (tuition reimbursement, etc), competitive compensation, work-life balance, community I volvement(sponsoring LGBTQ no -profits and businesses, if there is an LGBTQ employee resource group and it’s activities (such as outtings, mentorship, participation in Pride, etc) and more.

What OutBüro has found is that even those employer who are generally know as great employers for LGBTQ have extremely poor visibility of all their activity and efforts. Meaning they have poor Employer Branding targeting LGBTQ canidates. We searched and searched for Company X plus LGBT and many variations seeking employer positive content as a candidate might and usually found very little and in most cases nothing at all. So, how are candidates supposed to know? Effective employer branding speaks to and reaches the target candidates. For LGBTQ candidates, OutBüro is your best choice. Although a fairly new company the founder of OutBüro, Dennis Velco, has over 12 years serving, reaching, and building the LGBTQ professional community. The OutBüro site is your tool to consolidate your employer branding message, demonstrate all you do today while on your path to maturity as an employer. Communicate your messages, engage with business owners, industry professionals and potential candidates. We are here to help and guide through our professional consulting services directly or as needed through our approved network.

Getting the right people to apply not only optimizes recruiters’ efforts and hiring costs but also improves later-on new hire engagement. But this process begins much before the recruiter even sees the candidate profile or meets him or her. It starts at the employer branding stage.

Continuing with the party analogy, Employer Branding is:

  • The idea to have a party
  • The planning, and preparation, cooking the food on the grill, getting the drink station set up, setting up the sound system and getting the music linned up (will there be a live DJ or streaming music), cleaning the house and pool, ensuring enough supplies all around (plates, cups, utensils, ice, napkins, toilet paper, garbage bags, etc), setting up additional seating, dramatic lighting, and depending on your party the list could continue.
  • Plan for parking, clean up, and more.
  • Inviting all the guests, extending it to their choice of plus one or more. You might want to notify the neighbors.
  • Being ready to ask a rude part guest to leave.

So let’s delve into that in case it’s not clear. Opening your doors as a business and choosing to focus on being conscious of your efforts to be an employer that embraces diversity is the idea to have the party.

For planning it, checkout these articles:

Get Started

At OutBüro, we don’t expect you to be perfect. Showing up and starting is what is important. Mistakes happen, it’s how you grow from them that defines you. No matter where you are in your openly embracing LGBTQ equality, OutBüro is for you and ready to help. The important thing is to begin. Any current or recent past employees may add your organization. Meaning your organization may start receiving rating/reviews even if you aren’t officially present. The best approach is to be proactive, control what is on your employer listing, receive customer and candidate inquiries, and engage on the platform.

  • Register for your individual professional membership.
  • Begin checking out the site.
  • Add your organization with a 45-day free trial.
  • Schedule a conversation with our team so we may get to know each other and answer questions you might have and get you started out on the right track.
LGBTQ Consumer and Employer Branding are Commingled Corporate Equality Employer Ratings Reviews Monitoring - OutBuro - Company Employee Recruiting Marketing Diversity Inclusion

LGBTQ Consumer and Employer Branding are Commingled

In today’s marketplace, a company’s or organization’s consumer marketing to the LGBTQ community is tightly commingled with its employer branding. A recent clear example of this the backlash many companies experienced during the Pride month of June in where they altered their company logo to incorporate the rainbow – a symbol of the LGBTQ community.

It was widely reported that of those companies around 40% did not at the time have any formal LGBTQ inclusive policies and/or benefits for their own LGBTQ employees. This is coined as “pink-washing”. The LGBTQ media spread the news like wildfire. It was viewed as pandering and an ill-informed marketing ploy.

[easy-tweet tweet=”LGBTQ consumers represent an estimated $3.7 trillion US dollars globally according to LGBTQ Capital” user=”OutBuro” hashtags=”#LGBTQ Marketing #LGBTQ Branding #LGBTQ Consumer”url=”https://www.OutBuro.com”]

76% of LGBTQ Consumers said they will give companies that support LGBTQ equality more of their business this year. However, it is the responsibility of the companies to make sure the LGBTQ community is aware of their support.

According to the 2018 Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) report who focuses on the LGBTQ market
CMI-Web-Graphic-LGBTQ Consumer and Employer Branding are the same
To learn more about CMI and access the 12th Annual LGBTQ Community Survey report, visit www.communitymarketinginc.com

LGBTQ consumers are also employees

Perhaps for those 40% rainbow touting logo companies, this may have been their first attempts. Companies are made of humans and humans make mistakes. OK. It’s what you learn from it, adapt and grow that matters. For any company /organization attempting to woo the LGBTQ consumers you must also realize they are all employees too, or business owners who still care about the authenticity of the company/organization doing the marketing. Overall the LGBTQ community are a savvy lot with activists and reporters who will leave no stone unturned. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once a year rolling out a rainbow logo will yield swooning LGBTQ consumers to your products or services. In fact, without a comprehensive LGBTQ workplace corporate equality approach, quite the opposite is a high potential depending on many factors.

Sure, the LGBTQ community is well reported to be a wonderful typically high disposal income target audience. They are also an employee or business owner (that money comes from somewhere) and therefore wants to see not only general company branding messages to make them feel warm and fuzzy over a TV ad with a same-gender couple holding hands, but they also want to know the full reality of that company’s treatment of their LGBTQ employees. After all, why should the LGBTQ community support you if you don’t even support your LGBTQ employees? Pander with pink-washing and you are sure to reap negative attention as witnessed this past Pride season.

[easy-tweet tweet=”(OutBüro) is fascinating and much more aligned with the UN’s Global LGBTI Standards for Business than most indexes! – Fabrice Houbart – Human Rights Officer @UN” user=”OutBuro” hashtags=”#LGBTQ #WorkPlaceEquality #CorporateEquality” url=”https://www.OutBuro.com”]

United Nations Human Rights Officer Fabrice Houdart - In LinkedIn Group 2019-07-03 OutBuro More Aligned with UN LGBTQ Business Standards than most Corporate Equality Indexes

Want to win LGBTQ Consumers? Start with your LGBTQ employees.

Don’t pay a marketing company one cent to help you reach the LGBTQ community because it will be clear you are blind greedy panderer if you don’t first understand and support your own current and prospective employees. Your own LGBTQ employees know your products and services. They are also part of your target demographic. So doesn’t it make sense to support them with policies, benefits and business practices that demonstrate you value them? Then consider as part your LGBTQ employee resource group ask for LGBTQ customer-facing marketing ideas and feedback from that group of well-informed employees. If you do use an outside marketing consulting firm ensure they have actual experience and staff in the LGBTQ community. Don’t repeat the errors of others assuming a heterosexual male or female knows the LGBTQ community – they don’t no matter how many gay/lesbian friends they have.

Demonstrate that you value your LGBTQ employees and value your current and prospective LGBTQ customer/client by your earnest actions, even if mistakes are made. Learn from them and move forward.

OutBuro on LinkedIn - LGBTQ Employees Rate Employer Ratings Reviews Company Employee Rating Branding OutBuro - Workplace Corporate Equality Diversity Inclusion

Conduct LGBTQ brand marketing with authenticity

The LGBTQ community would love to see your brand marketing in a percentage appropriate LGBTQ inclusive manner. But prior to launching off into an ill-informed spiral sure to garner negative attention, again focus first on your own house and your own LGBTQ employees first. Do that through a top-level supported LGBTQ diversity and inclusion program that fosters an LGBTQ welcoming environment and reap the financial bottom-line benefits. Achieve it by focusing on your own internal policies, benefits, business practices and build a community involvement strategy from a place of authenticity.

Go ahead. Jump in.

I grew up in Florida with a pool in my back yard. We had lots of trees so the water even in the hot humid heat was always cold. As the youngest of three, I learned the value of the saying “why tip your toe in when you can jump and get it over with”. The slower I entered the cold water the more I pulled back onto the deck, wasted pool-time and physical shivering with purple lips. Then after being pushed in by one of my sisters enough times I realized, yes, jumping in was a shock at first, but I got use to the water temperature faster and so it allowed me more playtime in the pool having fun.

3 Month challenge

I feel that all too often employers take a super painfully slow process in allowing and creating change, no matter how much the benefits are laid out for them. Don’t be that. If you do you are missing out on so much as a company/organization and your employees are missing out on being treated fairly with dignity for who they are and what they can truly offer your company/organization if you allow them to be 100% their authentic self.

If it takes more than 3 months to lunch full workplace LGBQ corporate equality frankly that in and of its self is an issue. As a company, you have to be able to adapt or go out of business. Adding the policies are a few words added to your current policies. Health benefits are a phone call away. The training program can be a phone call away. Your inclusive recruiting can start with an OutBüro Employer listing. All that if you want can be just one week and here I’m challenging you to 3 months. It may not be 100% perfect and fully implemented/rolled out, but it can have the policies and benefit rolled out. Do not procrastinate waiting on what can be accomplished today for other action items you are working on.

If you believe all your employees and customers/client should be treated with dignity, respect, and equality please continue on.

Wait a minute aren’t gays already protected?

The simple answer is – NO. As of this writing in mid-2019 in the United States alone in over half the states LGBTQ people as a class are not protected from being fired from their job simply based on who they are. Not to mention they are also not protected from housing discrimination and more.

Even if you are based in a state and only operate in states/countries where sexual orientation and gender identity are legally protected, we still recommend having an inclusive nondiscrimination policy, because it clarifies and communicates your commitment to inclusion for all stakeholders, both internal and external. Just like as you’ll read further down, there have been US federal and state laws on sexual harassment for 40+ years and still nearly every company has a clear sexual harassment policy and training. This is no different.

Guides to terminology

A number of LGBTQ organizations offer helpful guides to terms related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Examples include PFLAG’s glossary of terms and “An Ally’s Guide to Terminology” from GLAAD and the Movement Advancement Project.

LGBTQ persons experience workplace stress

LGBTQ employees experience mental stress due to work environments and cultures that are not supportive and welcoming. One recent study places the number at 72%. Due to the hostile and discriminatory history, a recent study found that nearly half LGBTQ workers remain in the closet at work fearing to lose their job, discrimination, harassment and being fired from their job. Couple this with the fact that bisexuals are highly unlikely to reveal their sexual orientation and the number get larger. Further yet another recent study found 29% of Americans under 30 years are considered “heteroflexible” in where for the most part they might lead an otherwise heterosexual life yet open to same-gender encounters “if the mood and opportunity strike”. They do not reveal this part of their life typically in the workplace. There is also the “down-low” culture where particularly men of color (African American and Latino) are pressured to get married and raise children being oppressed and “play on the side” – who they really are. There are work immigrants that come from other geographic regions/countries where being LGBTQ is culturally or religiously governed by laws that oppress them – even with the threat of family abandonment at best and death at worse. They also will marry and have kids and also often if brave enough be on the “down-low”. It is easy for us to say, “Oh that’s morally wrong to marry a woman and have kids if you know you are gay – you are ruining their lives” But that is your lack of empathy into that person’s life assuming they had all the rights and privileges you enjoy. They felt they had no choice. For many lucky ones they flea their countries and leave their family and life friends behind in order to escape having to live a life of lies, self-hatred, environmentally or legally self-denial of being wholely happy.

Taking the numbers and situations into account and the lack of comfort self-identifying as LGBTQ or heteroflexible your actions in creating an LGBTQ friendly work environment and culture has more impact than you may have previously realized.

Transgender people face some of the highest levels of discrimination in the LGBTQ community. In the largest survey of transgender people in the U.S. conducted to date, 27 percent of those in the workforce reported being fired, denied a promotion, or not being hired because of their gender identity and expression.

Understanding deeply engrained prejudices

Your LGBTQ workplace corporate equality initiative has to start with a basic understanding that the company/organization is made up of people – humans. All those humans have a life long history of learned prejudices and beliefs, cultural, religious or agnostic, that affects their conscious and unconscious behavior. Simply observing children from infant to toddler and it is clear that we as humans are not born with these prejudices. They are learned from our environment – parents, relatives (those whom at a young age we must trust), learned religious views and in some areas laws based on religious dogma. All of which are repeatedly reinforced programming their brains deeply creating and reinforcing their own sense of self-identity early in childhood and adolescence. Sure some have a huge change/growth breaking free of most, yet a degree of that deeply-rooted programming can remain and influence consciously or subconsciously the thought, actions, and behaviors.

Creating policies is you requiring every employee to check their own “learned baggage” at the door. Coupled with other actions to foster an environment where all can thrive. Policies set the intent (and legal protection) of the employer along with the attempts to deeply understand through employee training, with an open and welcoming culture and environment approach is key.

Human Resource staff are also humans with learned prejudices

A recent study by the University of Surrey found that person in the hiring process – Human Resource personnel and departmental hiring authorities highly discriminate merely on the perception of a person being LGBTQ based on a headshot photo with the backgrounds removed and a second study took this further to include a voice sampling. The subjects had resumes/CVs and although the resumes/CV clearly had the qualifications, the perception of being LGBTQ whether true or actually heterosexual, the mere perception on those limit physical attributes would mean the job candidate was rejected at a much higher rate and if offered a position would be offered less money than someone who was perceived as heterosexual.

So, it starts with your Human Resources candidate screening and interviewing process. After all, those HR staffs are humans too with that life long learned prejudices as well. How do you help prevent one person’s, even HR staff, prejudices from undermining your ability to attract and retain great LGBTQ talent? Simple, require a diverse multi-person review committee during the full process from resume review through hiring and on-boarding.

Are laws and policies enough?

The simple and short answer is NO. But why?

I’m going to answer that question with one example – sexual harassment. I have been using that as a prime example for around a year now since launching OutBüro because sexual harassment has been a federal and state crime since the last 1970’s (note that’s 4 decades ago). Since then most companies over 50 employees also have sexual harassment policies coupled with typically annual required training and electronic or hand-signed employe acknowledgment documents to cover the company/organization should any employee step out of line and is a perpetrator of sexual harassment in the workplace. However, turn on the news and almost weekly in just the United States alone you will see high profile cases of alleged sexual harassment from sports figures, movie/TV stars, Supreme Court Justice nominees and even the current US President. Think about all the sexual harassment cases that don’t make national news. A recent NPR study found that in the United State alone 81% of women and 43% of men have been sexually harassed. The report did not include “where” the reported sexual harassment took place but it is still a pertinent analogy since most the perpetrators likely had the mentioned annual training at their place of work and generally, therefore, should know it is illegal and not acceptable anywhere.

[easy-tweet tweet=”81% of women in the United States experienced workplace sexual harassment.” user=”OutBuro” hashtags=”#LGBTQ #WorkPlaceEquality #CorporateEquality” url=”https://www.OutBuro.com”]

Therefore by the laws, training, and policies on sexual harassment, it is clear that laws and policies alone are not enough on their own when it comes to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for your LGBTQ employees whose co-workers have life long deeply engrained learned prejudices. But they are an obvious need to instill the best intentions of the employer as well as legally protect it from the actions of employees.

[easy-tweet tweet=”43% of men had experienced some form of workplace sexual harassment during their lifetime. ” user=”OutBuro” hashtags=”#LGBTQ #WorkPlaceEquality #CorporateEquality” url=”https://www.OutBuro.com”]

Diversity and Inclusion Director

If you don’t have a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion director on your team and company/organization is over 1000 employees we recommend adding a D&I professional.

LGBTQ workplace/corporate equality

Sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination policy

Having a policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression demonstrates your company/organization’s commitment to fairness and equal opportunity. Communicating your values to your shareholders, partners, the LGBTQ community, allies, current, and potential employees that the company/organization’s commitment to be inclusive and welcoming is clear internally and externally. It is crucial in LGBTQ active recruiting and LGBTQ employee retention.

Here’s an example but naturally review and edit to your company/organization requirements:

“The [Company/Organization Name] is committed to diversity and to equal opportunity employment. [Institution Name] does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, height, weight, physical or mental ability (including HIV status), veteran status, military obligations, or marital status. This policy applies to hiring, internal promotions, training, opportunities for advancement, and terminations and applies to all [Institution Name] employees, volunteers, members, clients, and contractors.”

What to avoid

Seek advice from your legal counsel, however, we recommend that your policy does not make reference to federal or state law. Many well-intentioned nondiscrimination policies are undermined by including language such as “in accordance with state and federal law,”  “to the extent prohibited by law,” or “we prohibit unlawful discrimination.” This type of reliance on laws makes your policy weaker since discrimination against LGBTQ people still is not explicitly illegal in many states, regions, and countries.

Domestic partner benefits

The term “domestic partner benefits” refers to employee benefit plans that offer to non-married couples the same or similar benefits as those provided to married couples. Some argue here in the United States that since it’s legal to marry only legally married couples should be covered. Well, my response is we as a community have had a lifetime of discrimination and oppression and use to living our lives as we choose. Legal marriage is a right, not a requirement and just because some fought hard for that equality right and choose to legally marry does not mean that now 100% of same-gender couples are going to change who society has forced them to learn to be. I personally find the “if you aren’t married then no domestic partner benefits” excuse to further discriminate. Most may have never considered the heterosexual construct of married and are fine living without the legal and tax privilege that legal marriage offers – they are comfortable being who they’ve been in the committed relationship they have and their relationship should be honored with domestic partner benefits as equally applied to all employees.

Transgender inclusive benefits

In order to truly be an equal opportunity employer, you should have at least one transgender-inclusive health insurance plan in your employee benefits package. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, protects transgender individuals from discrimination by insurance companies — assuming the insurance company receives federal aid which most do. The cost according to studies is minimum in compared to the cost of your full employee base covered under insurance. Google it, lots of info to educate yourself on this topic.

LGBTQ employee resource group

This isn’t just about touting your LGBTQ employees in Pride parades, it can be a meaningful way for LGBTQ employees and allies to connect and foster an inclusive and welcoming work culture. ERGs help employees come together, support each other, collectively raise issues and opportunities to management, and create a community within your company/organization with a feeling of belonging.

When you have employees self identify as LGBTQ during the hiring onboarding process be sure to make them aware of the ERG and let the ERG leadership aware of the new employee that both parties may reach out to one another.

Have clear requirements for ERGs such as a budget, mission, and goals. The goals should outline the ERG’s planned activities, initiatives, and campaigns along with a proposed budget. Ideally, the ERG will have an executive sponsor whether they are themselves LGBTQ or a community ally to can help navigate the company/organization politics and keep upper management informed of the actions and progress. Plan on advertising the new or reinvigoration of the ERG through all internal company/organization’s employee-wide communication channels. Place posters in common area and invite individuals. In your goals, plan to have regular meetings, in-person where you can and be sure to include remote workers through videocasts. Depending on the size, geographic spread, and budget you may also consider an annual ERG meeting bringing all participants together for networking and career development activities. Local chapters may also plan and budget for participating in local Pride parades – it is a create camaraderie building and employer branding activity. The company may even consider sponsoring a booth for consumer and employer marketing. If the company has paid volunteer time, the ERG may also consider volunteering at local charities wearing company branded clothing.

All these employee-driven marketing and community activities will expand the personal skills of those employees. According to a study, 80% of millennials value companies that promote personal growth

Publicly demonstrate support for LGBTQ equality

I can tell you in managing LinkedIn’s largest LGBTQ group for 11 years now and in my initial researching the potential of OutBüro I personally found it very difficult to find most company’s LGBTQ content – even those that have been rated 100% on the HRC Corporate Equality Index for several years.

If you take the advice here and from others and create an LGBTQ ERG (events, participate in Pride and more), do LGBTQ active recruiting (LGBTQ career fairs, including LGBTQ employee video testimonials, etc.), and have LGBTQ inclusive customer-facing marketing it should be easy to find. But it’s not. Some of those same companies don’t even have much if anything on their own company website for customers and prospective employees to access. Thus one of the primaries focuses fo OutBüro is employer branding as a platform for you to consolidate and show off all that you do in an easy to find, manage and promote in one location coupled with your LGBTQ employee ratings/review with timely and continuous feedback to help you get better and better because you want to be an awesome employer.

Support the same policies, benefits in all regions you operate

If your company/organization operates locally or regionally this is pretty easy. If you operate in a state/province or country that does not have legal protection for their citizens your supporting LGBTQ equality everywhere you operated is further creating an employer brand that LGBTQ candidate will view as a great potential company/organization to work for. Even as of today, in over half the United States LGBTQ citizens are not legally fully protected from discrimination. Again recall the sexual harassment analogy here, and even other EEO requirements that you still have in your official policies. So even if operating in areas where LGBTQ employees are legally protected it is still a good business practice to have them and state them in your policies.

If you operated in countries where it is still illegal to be LGBTQ, work with your legal team and contact the resources listed at the end of the article for guidance on how best to move forward with the highest intent of protecting your LGBTQ employees in those countries.

LGBTQ inclusion – sensitivity training

As you roll out your LGBTQ workplace corporate equality initiative, LGBTQ sensitivity training will be crucial. There are resources you may leverage. One of which is Diversity Resource’s LGBTQ Sensitivity Training. You may already have a relationship with a training source provider. Check them out to see if they already have such training to add to your training portfolio.

Require the same from vendors/contractors

In the operation of your company/organization, you have a lot of interactions with other companies/organizations. Once you have your workplace LGBTQ corporate equality duckies in a row, you then are in a position to be a leader and influence those other employers to follow your lead. At some point, you may even consider it as a requirement for doing business with you.

Indicate your LGBTQ inclusive policies, benefits, and practices

As part of your LGBTQ employer branding, show off your hard work and how you are striving to create and maintain an LGBTQ corporate equality standard through OutBüro employer branding portal along with social proof to make clear and easy to know/find. Link to your own and/or third-party sites. You may also upload PDFs, for example, a document showing at least one of your company health plans provides transgender-inclusive health coverage and more.

LGBTQ Employer Diverity and Inclustion attributes - LGBTQ Corporate Equality Ratings Branding Reviews monitoring Company OutBuro - Workplace Gay Lesbian Queer

Employer branding

LGBTQ Corporate Equality Employer Branding & Reviews Monitoring

LGBTQ Employer Listing Overview [Video]

Steps to Add an Employer Listing by Authorized Person

LGBTQ active recruiting marketing

LGBTQ active recruiting is best done once you have the above-mentioned policies and benefits in place. In involving participating in and maybe sponsoring LGBTQ focused career fairs, placing your sexual orientation and gender identity inclusive non-discrimination policy in your job postings and more. One of the issues, as mentioned that I have found, is that even though companies/employers may have these and may today do everything outlined here, it is darn difficult as a job seeker to find all the wonderful LGBTQ inclusive content.

OutBüro answers this problem as an employer branding platform geared specifically to highlight your workplace LGBTQ corporate equality efforts and activities allowing potential job seekers to easily see what a proactive, inclusive and welcoming LGBTQ employer you are. It has the most areas not only LGBTQ candidates are looking for but an attempt at demonstrating your company/organization’s full spectrum. We’ll further adapt as we get feedback.

OutBüro allows you to add the LinkedIn profiles of the HR recruiters who focus part-time or full-time on recruiting LGBTQ candidates. Also, you may link to any website, your own or others, that demonstrate your LGBTQ job seekers attraction activities such as career fairs and more. You may also link videos such as LGBTQ employee testimonials and other videos that support your LGBTQ active recruitment efforts as well as images, say photos of your table at career fairs, activities of your LGBTQ employee resource group and more.

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LGBTQ employees in management

When employees who are part of the diversity sphere including LGBTQ are in positions of management it fosters a sense of belonging for other employees. In addition to adding the total number of employees to your OutBüro LGBTQ corporate equality employer listing, we recommend adding the total number of employees in management across all diversity categories. Then further as a subset, the number of out known LGBTQ employees who are in positions of management. Additionally, you may indicate the title of the highest-ranking LGBTQ employee and please provide a link to the individual’s LinkedIn profile as social proof.

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LGBTQ community involvement

As part of your full picture, we have added the ability to link and show the LGBTQ owned businesses and non-profits/NGOs your company/organization supports/sponsors. Additionally, you may consider linking to videos, maybe LGBTQ conferences you sponsor and/or have a speaker at, webinars you are a part of and more.

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Sponsorships

If your company/organization sponsors any LGBTQ owned businesses and/or non-profits, you may indicate that is awesome. You should let the world know by adding them to your OutBüro LGBTQ employer branding listing.

We Sponsor Businesses Non-profits LGBTQ corporate equality employer reviews ratings monitoring branding Workplace - OuutBuro - diversity inclusion discrimination

They, in turn, may indicate you as a sponsor too.

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Need funding or got funding?

As a source of funding you may indicate the types of funding you have available, the amount, a description of the types of companies/organizations that are an ideal fit, link to more information and upload files such as an application or brochure.

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As an LGBTQ owned business or LGBTQ non-profits, you may indicate if you are seeking funding of any type, provide a description of what it would be for, who it will impact and the amount sought.

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LGBTQ consumer inclusive marketing

Media advertising

OutBüro provides you the option to indicate if you are currently marketing your products or services in an LGBTQ inclusive manner percentage appropriate. In addition, the months that your marketing is active. Social proving is important, you may link to sites that demonstrate your LGBTQ inclusive marketing, link to videos, upload images, and PDF documents.

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Proactively disclose policial contributions

OutBüro provides the location where your political contributions can be disclosed in a proactive manner both pro-LGBTQ and anti-LGBTQ. We added the anti-politician donations sections not to beat you up because we understand you don’t control who are in political positions that have influence over local, state/province and national laws that can benefit your company/organization. The idea is to disclose it here and make a statement and/or video about why those contributions needed to be done. This is ideal before the LGBTQ media and activist learn through other sources and frame the message. This allows you to get in front of the conversation in a positive manner alongside all the other pro-LGBTQ inclusive stuff you do setting it into context.

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LGBTQ employer ratings/reviews monitoring

OutBüro for the employee is an LGBTQ employer ratings/reviews platform. We have lots of content on that to learn more. Our goal is to help you shine. The system allows your current and recent past employers to rate/review you on many LGBTQ specific factors and also feedback in several areas in while remaining anonymous.

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Steps to Rate Your Employer as an LGBT Employee

Employer Review Guidelines

Your Voice has the Power to Create Change

Resources to assist your company/organization

GLAAD – Regarding Media

GLAAD - LGBTQ Corporate Equality Ratings Employer Branding Reviews monitoring Company OutBuro - Workplace Diversity Inclusion Gay Lesbian Queer

GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love.

United Nations: Free & Equal

United Nations Free and Equal - LGBTQ Employees Rate Employer Ratings Reviews Company Employee Rating Branding OutBuro - Workplace Corporate Equality Diversity Inclusion

In July 2013, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) launched UN Free & Equal – an unprecedented global UN public information campaign aimed at promoting equal rights and fair treatment of LGBTI people. In 2017, UN Free & Equal reached 2.4 billion social media feeds around the world and generated a stream of widely shared materials – including powerful videos, impactful graphics, and plain-language fact sheets. Several campaign videos – including a popular Bollywood-themed clip “The Welcome” – rank among the most-watched videos ever produced by the United Nations. National UN Free & Equal campaigns and events have been organized in almost 30 countries, with visible support from UN, political, community and religious leaders and from celebrities in all regions of the world.

Out & Equal

Out and Equal - LGBTQ Corporate Equality Ratings Employer Branding Reviews monitoring Company OutBuro - Workplace Diversity Inclusion Gay Lesbian Queer

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is the world’s premier nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer workplace equality.

We partner with Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies to provide executive leadership development, comprehensive training and consultation, and professional networking opportunities that build inclusive and welcoming work environments.

Pride at Work

Pride at Work - LGBTQ Corporate Equality Ratings Employer Branding Reviews monitoring Company OutBuro - Workplace Diversity Inclusion Gay Lesbian Queer

Pride At Work is a nonprofit organization that represents LGBTQ union members and their allies. We are an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations) that organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ Community to further social and economic justice. From our national office in Washington, DC, we coordinate and support more than 20 Chapters across the country.

We seek full equality for LGBTQ Workers in our workplaces and unions. We work towards creating a Labor Movement that cherishes diversity, encourages openness, and ensures safety & dignity. We aim to educate the LGBTQ community about the benefits of a union contract for LGBTQ working people and to build support and solidarity for the union movement in the LGBTQ community.

Pride at Work Canada

Pride at Work Canada - LGBTQ Corporate Equality Ratings Employer Branding Reviews monitoring Company OutBuro - Workplace Diversity Inclusion Gay Lesbian Queer

Through dialogue, education and thought leadership, Pride at Work Canada empower employers to build workplaces that celebrate all employees regardless of gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation. We help create safer, more inclusive workspaces that realize the full potential of all employees and bring down barriers to employment. Our learning, networking and community events happening across the country, celebrating and connecting the most inclusive Canadian employers.

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Stonewall UK

We work with institutions to create inclusive and accepting cultures, to ensure institutions understand and value the huge benefits brought to them by LGBT people, and to empower institutions as advocates and agents of positive change. We will work with all organizations (including employers, schools, healthcare providers, sports organizations and religious institutions) to ensure they offer inclusive, equal and inspiring environments for LGBT people, and to empower them as advocates and agents of change in wider society. We will help institutions recognize the value of different perspectives, and the benefits these bring to employees, service users and members of the community. We will collaborate with local LGBT campaigners to help UK-based multinational employers extend their LGBT inclusion work to every country they have an influence in.

Rainbow Tick – Australia

Rainbow Tick - LGBTQ Corporate Equality Ratings Employer Branding Reviews monitoring Company OutBuro - Workplace Diversity Inclusion Gay Lesbian Queer

The Rainbow Tick is a national accreditation program for organizations that are committed to safe and inclusive practice, and service delivery for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) people. Organizations wishing to receive a Rainbow Tick are required to undergo accreditation against the Rainbow Tick Standards, owned and developed by Rainbow Health Victoria (formerly GLHV).

Other resources

If you need referrals of Diversity and Inclusion consultant with a specialty focus on the LGBTQ community please contact us.

Additionally, if you are aware of other resources no matter where in the world that helps employers promote on LGBTQ corporate equality we’d love to add them to this list and/or create a separate resource guide including them with these great organizations. Contact us with their website URL if they have one and if not whatever contact information you can provide.

5 Ways You Should Be Using OutBüro as an Employer - LGBT Employees Rate Review Company Employee Branding OutBuro - Corporate Workplace Equality Gay Lesbian Queer Diversity Inclusion

5 Ways You Should Be Using OutBüro as an Employer

You likely already know that being an LGBTQ friendly employer is great for your business work culture and financial bottom line. OutBüro can be a tremendous resource to help you attract and grab top-tier gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) talent. OutBüro was launched in mid-2018 by Dennis Velco leveraging the over 10 years of founding, growing, and moderating LinkedIn’s largest LGBT professional networking group with 45,000 global members. A large focus of OutBüro is to be growing resource for candidates to use the site to research employers, write and read reviews, network with other professionals, and find new job opportunities with LGBTQ inclusive and friendly employers. As an employer, effectively managing your organization’s presence on OutBüro can help you put your best foot forward with these candidates and support your HRC Corporate Equality Index scoring if on or seeking to be on that listing.

Check out a recent article about OutBüro on Forbes.com titled, “How OutBuro.com is Leading the Way for Career-Minded Employees”.

1. Showcase your company brand

If you haven’t done so already, sign up for a free user account and complete your personal professional profile. Afterward, you may either add the company for free with limited features or for a small fee add the company with full features and control of the company content. The full-featured listing allows you to indicate the LGBTQ inclusive benefits and policies you provide no matter your company size. For companies already on the HRC Corporate Equality Index (CEI) this is another opportunity for you to demonstrate you diverse, inclusive and welcoming work environment. For companies out of HRC’s scope, this is your opportunity to publicly show your support for your LGBTQ employees no matter your company size or location worldwide.

Full company listings provide the ability for a robust company description, photos, videos, social media links, and opportunity to showcase your LGBTQ inclusive policies, your employees and more.

2. Invite LGBTQ Employees to Rate Your Company

Get the accolades you deserve for making your company an awesome place to work. After your company listing is established, invite all your employees to come to OutBüro and rate your company from their unique LGBTQ perspective. This will demonstrate that in addition to having policies, your company is an outstanding place to work as an LGBTQ employee. This will be a great insight for future potential candidates and entice them to apply for your jobs. You are free to be creative and leverage postings on our site. Or contact us for employee marketing collateral about OutBüro.

The site is self-governing meaning inappropriate postings may be flagged for review. We also have company review guidelines and community standards.

Monitor and respond to reviews and interview feedback

OutBüro is the go-to and only site for employer reviews by LGBTQ employee. Launched in mid-2018 the site is growing. As members discover and read reviews at the start of their job search prior to speaking with a company recruiter or hiring manager you have the opportunity in influence their decision to work for your company knowing it is a welcoming and safe workplace that promotes diversity and inclusion.

Make it a point to monitor and respond to reviews and feedback on reviews as they are posted. Thank people for their time spent submitting a review, whether it is positive or negative overall, and address any complaints mentioned. While some complaints may be valid opportunities for improvement, others may be a matter of culture fit—so do your best to be transparent. Most job seekers find the employer perspective useful when learning about a company, and the majority say their perception of a company improves after seeing the company respond to a review.

3. Post Jobs

To achieve and maintain a 100% score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index the 2019 scoring requirements companies must now demonstrate they are actively recruiting within the LGBTQ community (requirement 3.C.1). OutBüro can be an active part when LGBTQ candidates are researching your employer brand, make it easy for them to find relevant job opportunities right on OutBüro. Users are either promote themselves professionally through connection and blogging on OutBüro, actively looking for jobs or would consider better opportunities. Since candidates have often researched organizations before submitting an application on general sites provide them the opportunity to learn more about you LGBTQ friendly work environment on OutBüro. They tend to be higher quality than those from other job boards who “spray and pray.”

Contact us to learn about our ability to capture your job posting directly from your current company job portal or provide a data feed.

4. Launch a Company Group

Start a group on OutBüro for current, past, and prospective employees no matter the company size. For large dispersed organizations, it is a great way for employees to connect while choosing their level of being public or anonymous off the company own network. Be the first to start another group about your industry to guide and shape the dialog as a leader.

5. Post Content

Increase your brand awareness with LGBTQ professionals. With a free OutBüro user account you may post content directly to our blog from your profile. Consider posting content such as press releases, industry news, LGBTQ employee profile features, LGBTQ employee resource group news, and events.

Conclusion

OutBüro is a growing valuable tool for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer professionals for networking and as passive or active job seekers. It is also a quite valuable tool for employers. Candidates use the site to determine where they are interested in working, and your presence there can be the difference between attracting a top-tier candidate or losing them to a competitor.


Are you aware of an LGBT owned business or community non-profit we should inform our readers about?  Contact us with an LGBT owned business lead or news tip.

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3 Ways You Should Be Using OutBüro in Recruiting LGBT Candidates

With over a growing network reach of over 63 thousand gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer professionals, OutBüro is a huge resource that will assist you to attract and close top-tier diversity talent. Candidates utilize the website to research companies, compose and read testimonials, employer reviews/ratings, locate new job opportunities, and professional networking. As a company, efficiently managing your business’s existence on OutBüro will help you put your very best foot forward with those candidates validating your LGBT-friendly policies and work culture.

1. Showcase your company brand

When you add/claim your business listing you are able to:

Participating in the first and only Company Reviews/Ratings for the LGBT global community can enable you to magnify your quality candidate reach and acquisition.

2. Monitor and respond to reviews/rating feedback

OutBüro is a go-to website for LGBT employees to provide anonymous company reviews/ratings with both general work topics and LGBT related interests. Fifty-two percent of active job seekers browse employee testimonials at the onset of their job hunt before talking with a business recruiter or hiring manager.

Make it a point to track and react to reviews and opinions on interviews since they’re posted. Thank people for their time submitting a review, no matter if it is negative or positive overall, and handle any complaints noted. When some do raise a negative experience working at your company, it may be a legitimate opportunity to improve. Others might be an issue of culture match–so do everything you can to become responsive and transparent.

On average, 9 in 10 job seekers find company reviews useful when studying about a prospective new employer. Further, 70 percent state their feeling of a business is enhanced after viewing them positively respond to a negative review/rating critique. It demonstrates that the company is engaged and cares.

3. Post Jobs

When diversity LGBT candidates are exploring your company brand, make it simple for them to discover relevant job opportunities directly on OutBüro. Eighty-nine percent of OutBüro users are actively searching for new career opportunities or might be open to new opportunities if contacted. Since job seekers have likely researched the company prior to submitting their application, they are normally higher quality candidates than people from other job boards that are not focused on the LGBT working force and professional community.

OutBüro is a new site yet, founded on proven tactics to be an important instrument for applicants and, due to our focused growing member base, can be a rather valuable tool for companies like yours. Candidates utilize the website in order to investigate companies they are thinking about working at. Your active presence can go a long way in making the difference in attracting new talent and retaining your current employees, versus losing them to your rival.

 

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15 Ways to Improve Diversity LGBT Candidate Cultivation

Your talent acquisition group works hard to develop LGBT candidate pipelines for all your company’s job roles. Trying to identify gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer candidates on traditional job boards is difficult. On your own company job board candidates don’t always self-identify as LGBTQ due to past recruiting and employment issues including discrimination. You need to be out loud and proactive to attract quality LGBTQ diversity and inclusion candidates.

Diversity hiring is the most embraced recruiting trend with 78 percent of talent acquisition leaders responding that they are tackling hiring diverse talent, head on. Why? Well, 78% of companies indicated they are prioritizing diversity to improve culture, and 62% are doing so to boost financial performance.*

The LGBTQ population crosses all other demographics. Therefore a strong LGBTQ talent cultivation effort will also yield candidates fitting other top diversity categories as well. LGBTQ people all ages, all genders, all races, all ethnic backgrounds, practice all religions, in all socioeconomic category, all branches of armed services, and all levels of abilities and disabilities. One might conclude that putting forth a concentrated effort on LGBTQ recruiting can ensure you meet all your diversity recruiting goals and targets.

Biggest barriers to diversity recruiting

  • 38% of responding recruiters stated that finding diversity candidates is their toughest job.*
  • 27% stated retaining their diversity employees is a huge problem. *
  • 14% stated their biggest barrier is getting diversity applicants through the interview process.*
  • 8% indicated they have a problem getting diversity candidates to accept their offer of employment.*
  • Only 14% indicated none of these issues apply to them.*

Think about your company. How, if and where do these apply to you? What internally can be done to improve?

42% of diversity recruiting fails due to the bias of the interviewer.* Ensure all persons involved in the interview process are trained and aligned with the company mission of diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

LGBT candidates want to hear from you

40-45% of potential candidates are extremely to very interested in hearing from prospecting recruiters with another 30% somewhat interested.* That is 70-75% who are very receptive to hearing from diversity recruiters seeking to fill positions.

70% of candidates are passive and 30% active. This means that diversity recruiters must find LGBT candidates who are not actively looking for another job at this time. Talent goes online to explore new opportunities with 60% using job boards (76% of those are satisfied in their current role), 56% leveraging social networks, and 50% utilizing word of mouth. OutBüro fills all three of these areas with a focus on LGBT professionals.*

Making the calls and getting it right

The very last thing you want is to lose the very best candidates due to bad processes and interactions. You just might if your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer candidates have a bad interview experience.

No matter how well you well you pitch your open job during a phone interview, most are still unsure about the job and company until the interview. Getting the interview right win will over top talent and getting it wrong can severely hurt your recruiting effort.

83% of applicants say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a job or company they once liked. While 87% of applicants say a positive interview experience and sway them about a job or company.* Those are huge numbers that you cannot afford to ignore.

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Steps to attracting quality LGBTQ diversity candidates:

  1. Leverage the OutBüro’s Job Portal with a growing database of active and passive LGBTQ candidates.
  2. Enhance your company’s reputation in the LGBTQ community by inviting your current and recent past employees to rate/review your company on OutBüro’s Company Reviews. If your company is currently present simply claim it, and if not you may add it and claim it in one process. OutBüro’s Company Reviews are for any company or organization of any size and in any location globally. Complete your company profile including the required responses if your company as the following policies and practices in place:
    1. Sexual orientation non-discrimination policy
    2. Gender identity non-discrimination
    3. Domestic partner benefits
    4. Supports LGBTQ equality globally (if it operates in more than one country)
    5. LGBT inclusion competency
    6. Public commitment to LGBTQ equality (Tip: participating on OutBüro is one way to demonstrate this)
    7. Requires similar policies for contractors and vendors
  3. Get involved in OutBüro’s online community by connecting directly with professionals and creating relationships to woo the passive candidate
  4. Create a Group in OutBüro’s related to your company brand, industry, product, services or other topics of interest that can demonstrate your leadership in the space. Be the first on industry topic so that your competitors will forever wish they took that position of authority first and had all the privileges that come with being a group admin/owner such as being able to directly communicate with all group members even if not connects one to one.
  5. Post articles via your profile that will become part of OutBüro’s blogs and be distributed in its weekly new blog update email to all site members. Available to premium members accessed from your profile main menu under “Articles”.
  6. Join OutBüro’s LinkedIn Group – the largest LGBT professional networking group on LinkedIn.
  7. During the initial call, communicate the job requirements inquiring if it might be a good fit for the candidate.
  8. If yes, then continue to describe your company and include your diversity culture with every candidate. Include a quick rundown of the above-mentioned policies if you have them. If you do not have ones mentioned you might strongly consider being clear about that too. It will inform those that fit a diversity category and for those that don’t, it will convey the company policies and culture. Even if someone it’s a diversity candidate it’s important they know from the outset what kind of culture you have and striving to support.
  9. If things continue to go well, be sure to review the interview process. If a candidate is to come to your location be sure to include detailed instructions on access to the location such as if there are security checkpoints to go through. Your interview staff does not communicate significant logistics to applicants.
  10. Follow up with an email confirming the time, location, and logistics. It seems apparent to assume to bring multiple hard copies of their resume, but still, include that in your follow up email so it clear.
  1. On the phone and in this email describe who the applicant will be meeting with. Not being clear about the logistics can be stressful for applicants which and lead them to appear flustered or annoyed during an interview. Being clear and upfront creates an easy experience for all.
  2. Ensure people on your interview team know how to interview in a structured manner to ensure consistency from an applicant to applicant. Bear in mind, interviewing does not come naturally to everybody. Strong cooperation between your HR staff and the hiring staff can alleviate these difficulties. Hold an interviewer training to examine the way to evaluate and participate talent, such as what to not. Your team’s recruitment experience, along with your hiring team’s domain experience, will cause a much better interview experience for everybody. Also, ensure everyone understands the company’s diversity, inclusion and belonging mission since 43% of diversity recruiting fails due to interviewer bias.*
  3. Ensure your interview team is prepared. They know the process and schedule including requirements to follow up with candidate feedback in a timely manner. Boost efficiency and cooperation by sending an interview prep checklist to all important stakeholders. This can help them know what they can do to prepare for interviews so that they leave a favorable impression on the candidates. Remember that the candidate is interviewing the company as much as the company is interviewing the candidate.
  4. Provide the candidate feedback in a timely manner. On several occasions recently I have had friends tell me they received an offer from companies they interviewed with 3-4 months prior. In the meantime, they heard nothing and moved on to other opportunities. The companies on each occasion missed out on great talent. In the process, the company reputation within that circle of friends has been tarnished. Leaving your applicants hanging may turn a fantastic interview encounter sour. Do not let this happen. Collect and discuss interview comments as swiftly as possible to ensure all candidates understand where they stand. Be timely.
  5. Review all touch points you have both internally and with your candidates. Ask for honest constructive feedback to improve, from candidates that didn’t cut the mustard. Be open to new ideas. Seek to be ever evolving to be more inclusive as well as improving your processes. Candidate polls can be an excellent source of advice, as can article comments – such as the articles you submit on the OutBüro blog via your profile – Submit Articles.

Data source:

* – 2018 LinkedIn Talent Trends Report

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Company Reviews – Good for Companies and Their LGBTQ Employees

OutBüro (OutBuro.com) is filling a gap in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer working and professional community by offering a Glassdoor.com-like service. On OutBüro LGBTQ employees may review their employers on not only general employee-related areas but those specific to the employer’s LGBTQ policies, benefits, culture, work-life balance, job security, CEO performance, and more.

OutBüro’s mission is to be an altruistic resource for both employer and employee by providing an open community of visibility.  

Employer Reviews

Company Reviews include a free-form text review along with prompting for pros and cons as well as a message to the CEO. Registered members’ ratings are displayed anonymously. Reviews must adhere to our Community and Company Reviews Guidelines. Other members may indicate a rating as helpful as well as flag inappropriate content for community self-governance. OutBüro’s founder, Dennis Velco, built and moderates LinkedIn’s largest LGBT professional group with 47k global members now as a service of OutBüro.

OutBüro empowers every LGBTQ person to add their past employers, if not already present. We are open to all company sizes from the small local business to Fortune 100. OutBüro’s Company Reviews directory is world-wide. No matter where an LGBTQ person lives and works they can have a voice in praising their employer or offering constructive feedback to be a catalyst for change.

Companies may claim their listing to gain additional features and ensure their information is correctly represented including the required responses to the presence of the following policies and practices:

  • Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Policy
  • Gender Identity Non-Discrimination
  • Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Supports LGBTQ Equality Globally (if operates in more than one country)
  • LGBT Inclusion Competency
  • Public Commitment to LGBTQ Equality
  • Requires Similar Policies for Contractors and Vendors

Add/claim your company today and invite your employee to review it. 

OutBüro (OutBuro.com) is a start-up company providing the LGBTQ workforce, professional a voice in improving our future. Our platform provides the ability to connect and dialog with others one on one and via topically focused groups at all levels of career phase from entry-level, professionals through entrepreneurs.

OutBüro’s Job Portal enables employers to attract quality LGBTQ candidates while demonstrating their commitment to the LGBTQ community. Job seekers may add their resume/CV to the growing search-able repository in an active and passive job search.

Why is this important?

Does your company have the policies listed above to protect your LGBTQ staff? If so, AWESOME. You are doing the right thing to create a welcoming and safe environment to attract and retain quality staff.

However, having policies are not good enough. They are only part of the equation. For example, Sexual Harassment Policies have been in place in the United States since the late ’70s. Today it seems nearly weekly sexual harassment case news seems to break of high profile individuals. Just think how many sexual harassment cases don’t make the local or national news. Further, think about how many incidences go completely unreported to even the HR department.

We aim to be a partner with you and your company by being a place where employees can voice their praise and accolades you deserve while also being the space where opportunities to improve can be brought to your attention. Both in an anonymous manner so that employees are comfortable in being honest. As noted we have a community content policy and Compay Review guidelines. We don’t want defamatory content and to that end, anyone, including you, may flag a review, image or comment for moderation – and potential removal if justified from the system. To submit a review every person must be an authenticated person. Should a Company Review warrant an internal investigation, upon your request, we’ll contact the submitter and ask if they are comfortable in coming forward.

Touting Your OutBüro Score

Just as many companies are rightfully proud of their HRC Corporate Equality Index Score and make public announcements about reaching their 100% score, we aim to be your grassroots measurement of your LGBTQ employee satisfaction rating. We hope and believe that as your OutBüro company record gains reviews that you’ll be touting your OutBüro score too in press releases and displaying your OutBüro score on your corporate HR and Recruiting website.

It will not only demonstrate that you have LGBTQ-friendly policies but that your current and recent past LGBTQ employees LOVE WORKING at the company. This will bolster your diversity recruiting and retention.

Articles on OutBüro

With our Premium membership, you’ll have the ability to post content on OutBüro’s blog via your profile – Submit Articles. This can be company news, industry news, events, and just about anything. We’d naturally love it to be diversity/LGBTQ focused, but general info is welcomed.

Early Adopter Pricing

We are eager to work with you and build our community. We, therefore, have aggressive early adopter pricing that will remain in effect for renewals as long as you maintain uninterrupted membership. If membership laps, renewing will then be at the current rates. We value relationships and maintaining them. The cost is currently kept very low to minimize the approval process within your company. Getting started is the most important thing.

Getting Started

To register, simply visit www.OutBuro.com.

  1. Complete at least 30% o your personal professional profile.
  2. From the EmployerRatings page search for your company. 
    1. If present, choose Claim Listing.
    2. If not present choose the Add Company button. Choose the 45-dat trial if you are an authorized person, main point of contact, etc.  The free listing meant for any employee to add an employer has very limited features enabled.  
    3. Complete the listing and explore the site.  Schedule your introduction chat with the OutBüro team.

Check out the growing knowledge base under the more menu for instructions.  Contact us if you need assistance.  

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How to Hire the Right Employees for Your LGBT Owned Business

Your business has the best chance of success if you hire the right people to work for you. Skilled, enthusiastic, and flexible staff will help your business run and grow smoothly. But how do you hire the right employees?

Hiring is part of your job

As a business owner or founder, your vision for your company affects everything. It’s part of your job to find and hire employees who will share that vision and take your business forward.

Even if you intend to outsource to contractors and freelancers, this is still important. Whether you’re hiring a permanent staff member or trying to find someone to do short-term contract work for you, it pays to get the right person.

With a little thought and planning, you’ll be able to clearly determine your requirements, find candidates, and narrow down your choices. Eventually, you should find the right employee for the role you’re offering. Here are some useful tips to help you make that decision.

Plan your hiring strategy

This should be part of your business plan. Think about where you expect your business to be at various stages over the next year, and how many employees you’ll need in order to get there. For each new vacancy, consider the following points:

  • Prioritize what you or your team actually need
    Make lists of the tasks you want each new employee to take on.
  • Hire people with complementary skills
    Think about operational versus ideas people and sales skills versus creative ability.
  • Be clear about what you can afford
    Look into market rates and offer a suitably competitive salary within your budget.
  • Decide if you want a part-time or full-time employee
    There are pros and cons to both, so research this before deciding.
  • Is your business at the growth stage?
    Small, growing businesses can benefit from hiring flexible people able to take on multiple roles in the company.
  • Is experience important to you?
    Larger companies tend to require deeper, specific expertise and experience, though flexibility is still useful.

Small businesses have to budget carefully, which is why good quality cloud accounting software is so helpful. Use it to plan your budget and see if you can afford to hire someone new for a particular role. Balance the cost of employing them with the increased revenue they should bring to your business.

Consider your culture

Your company has a culture: a way of approaching business, a way of thinking and operating that’s unique. This affects the way your business operates and the way it’s seen by customers.

You, as a business owner or founder, have a big influence on your company’s culture, but so do the people you hire. So consider these points before you start hiring:

  • What is your company culture now?
    Ask your employees (perhaps anonymously) or customers how they view your business.
  • What do you want your culture to be?
    Think about successful companies and how they do business. Try to copy their good points.
  • Do you want to hire someone who will fit into your company culture?
    If your team is running smoothly you might want someone who will fit in perfectly.
  • Would you consider hiring someone who might challenge your company culture in a positive way?
    Group-think and confirmation bias can hold your business back. Someone who can challenge your business culture might get you out of a rut.
  • How will you define your culture in words when you’re recruiting?
    It can be difficult to explain your culture to someone new, so take the time to prepare.
  • How will you evaluate an individual’s suitability to your company culture?
    Think about the interview questions you might ask.

Good culture is more than just putting pool tables or a ‘relaxation zone’ in your business premises, especially if your employees are too stressed or overworked to use them! It involves helping your staff develop as individuals and also as part of their team.

Find candidates: Six recruitment agency alternatives

You could use a recruitment agency to try to find candidates for you. With their wide reach, they can locate people who might not otherwise hear about the role, but they usually charge quite a lot. For an important management-level position this might be worthwhile, but there are other options:

  1. Use your LinkedIn account
    Search for people in your location and field with the right skills. Update your profile to let people know you’re hiring.
  2. Talk to local business agencies
    Make sure you network socially in the real world. You may find yourself introduced to the ideal candidate.
  3. Add a We’re hiring! link to your website and email signatures
    Ensure it links to a page with up-to-date job vacancies and contact details.
  4. Advertise on job websites.
    These will charge, but usually not as much as recruitment agencies. You may receive some unsuitable applications from job-seekers taking the ‘scatter-gun’ approach, though.
  5. Ask your business partners and clients
    Tell them the type of person you’re looking for and see if they can refer anyone to you.
  6. Use your social media accounts to announce that you’re hiring
    The more places you advertise your requirements, the more likely you are to find candidates.

The amount you spend on advertising the role will depend on your budget. Keep track of costs in your accounting software, to make sure you don’t over-spend.

Make a short-list of applicants

Filtering applicants into a short-list can be time-consuming and requires a lot of thought. Look through each application and think about whether the person fits the criteria you’ve specified.

  • Consider their qualifications
    Are they relevant to the role? Are they up to date?
  • Look at their work experience
    Have they moved around a lot? That’s not necessarily a cause for concern but it might indicate potential problems.
  • What’s their background in your specific field?
    How much time have they spent working in environments that are similar to the role you’re offering? What relevant knowledge do they have?
  • Check their posts and behavior on social networks
    You’ll probably learn more about their background, maturity, and life skills. Don’t be too harsh here, because everyone needs to let off steam occasionally, but any recurring issues might need to be taken into account.

It’s also a good idea to check references before the interview stage, as it might save you time if something negative turns up.

Questions to ask when you interview candidates

Draw up a range of questions about each candidate’s career and skills. Include some open-ended questions so the candidates have the opportunity to talk about themselves and their goals. For example:

  • Ask them about their successes
    Encourage them to talk about their achievements, even those outside work. A well-rounded individual should be a useful addition to your team.
  • What do they think about your company?
    See if they’ve done their research about your business, as it’ll give you an idea of their commitment.
  • Enquire about hobbies and interests
    Employees with good work-life balance tend to be more productive and creative than those who are fixated on their careers. Find out what they read, what they watch, how they learn new skills.
  • Go for a walk with them
    Perhaps give them a tour of your premises or take them out for a coffee – and talk while you walk. You’ll get a better idea of their personality than you will in a formal interview environment.

Make sure you follow all legal requirements regarding privacy, discrimination, and fairness during the interview and recruitment process. Check local legislation to ensure you don’t make any costly mistakes.

What to look for so you can hire the right person

Hiring the wrong person can be expensive in terms of money and emotional stress, especially if you have to fire them soon afterward. So take the time to get it right. Some more things to consider include:

  • Personality
    Is this person going to fit into your existing team or will there be a personality clash? In a small business, this can be a critical issue.
  • Flexibility
    The ability to adapt to new and different tasks is a valuable skill.
  • Problem-solving ability
    Look for someone who uses logic and lateral thinking to overcome challenges.
  • Communication skills
    Knowledge is of little use unless it’s communicated. You need someone who’s approachable and easy to talk to.

As well as these points, try to hire someone who fits in with your strategy and core business values. And make sure it’s someone you can trust.

Above all, use your instincts

As a business owner, you sometimes have to go with what feels right, because that feeling is the reasoning of your unconscious mind.

The right person will almost certainly feel right to you, as well as ticking all the boxes for experience, qualifications, skills, and personality. If you have doubts about someone’s suitability to the role you’re offering, it’s probably best not to hire them.

Once you’ve hired the right people you can start to build them into a working team that will function efficiently and takes your business forward.

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How to Build a Great Team in Your LGBT Owned Business

Hiring the right employees is important but it’s not enough. For your business to succeed you’ll have to shape those employees into a winning team. Team building isn’t easy though, so how do you get everyone to work well together?

Understand the strengths of each individual

It’s likely that your new employees will have come from a variety of backgrounds. They’ll have different personalities and therefore different ideas about how to do their jobs. If you’re a manager, it’s important to recognize this because having a deep understanding of people is worth its weight in gold. If you can enable each employee to channel their strengths and shine in a way that benefits your business, then you’re on the right track.

Here are some tips on turning a group of individuals into a cohesive successful team that will help your business reach its full potential.

Explain your business vision

Start by setting the scene for your employees. Let them know what they’re aiming for and help them to understand the goals of your company.

  • Talk about the culture you want to build
    Plant the seeds of your business culture in your workers’ minds so it grows and flourishes. Get them excited about being part of the team and the environment.
  • Describe your future plans
    Create a vision of where your team should be, six months, a year, and two years from now. Use your accounting software to draw up realistic financial forecasts and share these with your employees.
  • Explain the environment of customers, prospects, and partners
    Use diagrams if necessary to show the interaction between all the people around your company.
  • Use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ when talking about your business
    It’s a common startup mistake to associate yourself with your business, but if you want your employees to feel like part of a team then you’ll need to include them too.

These points will help your employees feel settled and give them a feeling for the situation in which they’re working. Once that’s done, you can start to bring out the best in them.

Get your employees involved

It’s important to quickly get your employees involved in the day-to-day running of your business. Keep them active and use their strengths to help them integrate and develop.

  • Give them tasks right away
    On the first day, your new employees should already be doing useful work. Get them engaged right from the start.
  • Challenge them
    Help your employees to push themselves. Use timelines or specific goals (with their input) for them to strive for.
  • Acknowledge their successes
    Use the carrot, not just the stick. Always reward success with praise.
  • Mentor your new hires
    Partner with your new employees with someone senior on the team. The more mentoring you do, the faster your team will take shape.

Explain to your employees that the more effort they put in, the quicker the company will grow, and the better their rewards will be. This could be in terms of promotion, salary and benefits.

Define roles clearly

Everyone needs to know their job – what’s expected of them and what’s not. If you don’t make this clear, the morale of your employees will suffer, and progress and efficiency will be affected.

For example, if one person is waiting for another to finish a task, but the other person doesn’t believe that task is part of their job description, progress will grind to a halt.

So be sure to update roles and task lists frequently. Then your employees will know what they’re supposed to be doing.

Consider team-building exercises

Small businesses are often fast-paced environments. That means you need to get your team working together quickly. Team-building exercises can help, but there are some important points to consider:

  • Budget carefully
    Days off work will cost you money in terms of lost productivity, plus the cost of the team-building event itself. Good accounting software will keep your accounts up to date, so you can see at a glance what you can afford.
  • Examine all the options
    Paintballing? Go-karting? Building log bridges over rivers? Ask your employees which options they might prefer, but be prepared for many different answers.
  • Don’t forget the simple things
    Something as low key as providing drinks and snacks for the last hour of a Friday afternoon might work well. Not everyone wants to crawl through the undergrowth in camouflage clothing.

Recognize the value of diversity

Complementary skill sets can mean contrasting personalities. For example (as a general rule only), salespeople tend to be extroverts while programmers and developers tend to be more introverted. That reflects the type of person drawn to each role and also the demands of the role itself.

Trying to ‘fix’ these differences so everyone’s the same will not work. In fact, it’s likely to backfire badly. At best you’ll annoy your employees, at worst you’ll breach diversity and equality legislation.

Accept that people are different from you – may be even very different. Race, gender, sexuality, and personality differences are irrelevant. What really matters is how good people are at their jobs.

Extend your team beyond your business

Think beyond the four walls of your business premises. Your team can be more than the people you hire directly. Make the most of your outside contacts:

  • Ask guest speakers to meet with your team 
    Talks on anything from organizational psychology to technical matters can help inform your team and improve their skills.
  • Share development ideas with customers and key business partners
    If you’re gearing up for major investment, make sure your customers and business partners are ready for it. Get your staff involved with these discussions.
  • Invite customers and key partners to staff meetings
    Give them the chance to provide feedback and take questions from your team. Do this carefully to avoid giving out confidential business information.
  • Have a team coach
    Consider using the services of someone who can provide real-time feedback on how your team is working together.

Getting an outside perspective can also help prevent ‘groupthink’, where employees become subdued and unwilling to challenge the norms of your business. Keep your staff thinking positively and creatively at all times.

Let your team know that you value them

This is important and quite straightforward. You simply have to take an interest in your staff.

  • Show them you care
    Learn about things like their family, personal life, or hobbies.
  • Focus on personal growth
    Think about enhancing your employees’ skill-sets and management skills. Know their career goals and help them get there.
  • Invest in your employees
    Give them the support and tools they need to be successful. This could include things like a healthy working environment, a supportive team, or the right software or technical equipment.
  • Celebrate the little victories!
    Reward every success, no matter how small it might seem. The goodwill generated will pay you back many times over.
  • Be positive and stay positive
    Don’t lose your cool or lose control, as that will set a bad impression and affect morale.

Identify problems early

You may have people who are having (or causing) problems in your organization. The reasons for this might include issues with their home life, financial problems, or other personal hardships.

In this situation, you must tread carefully and follow all local laws, especially those relating to privacy and employment rights. Seek professional advice if necessary.

Sometimes people just won’t fit into your culture, which is again why making the right employee choice is so important. Firing people should be a last resort if you’ve tried every other option including third-party mediation services and verbal and written warnings. Be sure to follow local legislation if you’re forced to take this option.

Understand negative team dynamics

There are other influences that can prevent a team from becoming successful. These include:

  • Unwillingness to change
    A fixed mindset, for example: “But we’ve always done it this way.”
  • Inability to work together
    Usually due to personality clashes. Resolving these is one of the hardest tasks for management.
  • Too many individual projects
    People who like to excel will feel unmotivated if they have to spread their abilities widely.
  • Too much individual recognition
    Favoring some team members above others will cause resentment.
  • Competing agendas
    If there’s a lack of consensus, productivity will drop.
  • Top-down talk and micro-management
    Saying “Do this, do that” is usually less effective than setting a goal and letting the team achieve it on their own.

Be aware of the potential for these problems to arise, and do what you can to prevent them.

Use your people skills to build your team

For your team to thrive you must be approachable, friendly, authoritative and responsible. In other words, a good manager and leader.

You may need training to help you become a better manager and there’s no shame in that. Running a business is a learning process – and just like your employees, you can learn and improve.

After all, the better you are at managing people, the better your team will perform and the faster your business will grow.

 
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LGBT Entrepreneurs Hiring Your First Employee

At a startup business hiring the first employee(s) could be a rather stressful encounter. Proceeding with care a fantastic idea. Congratulations on getting to this degree that extra help is necessary. As the LGBT entrepreneur who has launched and built the business up to now on a great deal of sweat equity together with probably tears and utter dedication, to cover the income of another individual to do everything you’ve been doing could be a frightening thought.

Things the LGBT Entrepreneur should ask while hiring first employees

The very first question is, can the business afford to bring extra staff along with considering all the factors? Committing to wages and benefits is pricey any way you slice it.  Rarely can an LGBT startup manage to have even one staff person who is not functioning at full capability.  Firing a worker may mean not just severance pay but there might be litigation. What’s more, the price of the downtime, locating a replacement, and attracting the new individual along with ramping them up would be added expenses and drain any company but particularly a small startup.

The second questions LGBT entrepreneurs typically encounter when hiring your first employees are where and how to when locating excellent candidates. The following is a rundown of some basics.

What jobs/tasks to fill/delegate first will be different for every company, based on business, location, and also the abilities of the LGBT business owners.  LGBT entrepreneurs have to boil their staffing searches down to a handful of quality people who connect with the company’s mission. Frequently the early hires both include people with the ability to do many tasks across the business and be willing to be trained to perform more job junctions they may not have been hired to do. High-level executives are not usually hired before the business has experienced some substantial growth.  You typically do not require a vice president of sales or marketing before there is a customer load to warrant it. In smaller local companies like Pet Grooming, it might be just one or two individuals in the business.  Expanding in this sort of business may be adding part-time team members for customer pet pick-ups and drop-off. Be smart and strategic when hiring.

 

LGBT Entrepreneur Startup Factors

As a business founded by an LGBT person(s) hiring with a sensitivity to the built-in diversity is important.  The founder’s sexuality should not be an issue, yet in a small growing company personality fit is a key component.  Hiring persons and making it very clear up front that diversity is valued including sexual orientation and validating that there is no apparent conflict is important for both you and the new employee.

Consider Freelance Contractors for your LGBT Owned Business

Ask yourself, “Do I really need to hire someone?”  Today so many services can be outsourced or accomplished by freelance contractors. Some work that may be able to be outsourced could include manufacturing, financial/CPA work, technical support, website design, traditional marketing, graphic design, social media marketing, sales, and public relations — even administrative assistants can be hired on a “virtual” basis now online.

Deciding what activities to farm out versus hiring an LGBT friendly employee may come down to deciding if the work activity is centered on your core business strength and how much time is dedicated to the tasks on a regular basis.  There may be other LGBT businesses or community friendly vendors that have more resources, skills, and experience than a single individual you may be able to afford to hire.

LGBT Small Company Benefits

When hiring your first staff, LGBT entrepreneur business owners often do best with flexible job seekers who are familiar working in small companies. Typically, the best candidate can perform their job with a lot of independence and doesn’t need a lot of hand-holding.

You might want to consider hiring someone with a large-business background, but they are all too often not an ideal match. In a large business, the daily work process is very different than in a small company.  Small companies require each person to do a bit of everything.

On the plus side, an LGBT small business is usually less bureaucratic and so staff typically have a larger array of projects and tasks their jobs than large companies where jobs tend to be siloed. Also, LGBT small business owners typically have a closer relationship with each employee creating a family-like atmosphere.  For the prospective employee, landing a job in a small and growing LGBT owned business offers the new employee the possibility for accelerated professional growth as well as being a part of making that growth take place.

Hunting for a Great LGBT Business Employee Match

An LGBT entrepreneur’s best source for hiring your first LGBT friendly employee typically starts with professional networking. Don’t be shy about asking for referrals from your friends and industry colleagues.  Also let your professional contacts know such as your accountant, lawyer, board members, and members of any organizations (professional and non-profession) you belong to. Since these trusted people will only recommend someone they know, they have accomplished some of your new hire screening for you. LGBT start-ups typically find their first several candidates levering their personal and professional network this way.

You also enlarge your networking reach with each new employee hire.  Candidates through current employees receive an insider trusted perspective of you and your business.  Typically current staff will only suggest someone he or she believes will be a great fit for skills and culture.  Providing employee referrals bonus program is a fairly inexpensive way to incentivize current employees to offer up great candidates.

No matter how professionally networked you and your staff are this approach will eventually reach it’s maximum ability to continue to deliver the best candidates.  Therefore, you also need to consider niche online job portals such as the OutBüro LGBT Job Portal. Large job boards like ZipRecruiter.com, have advantages yet they can often drown you in a see of low quality resumes.  In a small LGBT business time is money and sorting through a large volume of candidates is costly and exhausting.  Smaller niche sites like the OutBüro LGBT Job Portal can narrow your interested applicants to LGBT friendly quality candidates.

It’s important to be active in professional groups such as the OutBüro LGBT community groups and the OutBüro LinkedIn LGBT Professional networking group.   Keep watch on popular blogs and industry websites for great talent seeking a change.

Employment agencies and headhunters can help you find employees from entry-level to executive. Recruiters do all your legwork — for a fee, of course — and are particularly useful if you are hiring a top-level executive.

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