We acknowledge that our LGBTQ+ colleagues are likely to be suffering more from mental health than those not from this community, and that many will have experienced verbal harassment, physical violence and/or bullying. Many may feel that they don’t have a voice, and its pointless to raise complaints. This group has been set up to provide an opportunity to express anything related to being LGBTQ+ at Tops Day Nurseries and to set up an action plan, fully supported by the Directors, in order to ensure that our LGBTQ+ colleagues are fully welcomed into our family, and that any blocks or concerns can be raised and addressed. The group will also have a function to educate everyone, even those within the community, so that working lives at least are a happy place to be for all.
The group found the following, “Steps to support in the workplace” which will also inform its actions:
1. Develop a Clear Mission for Supporting LGBT in the Workplace
Communicate a clear mission to all of your employees, including managers and senior staff, through education and diversity training about your inclusion policies and strategies for supporting LGBT employees.
2. Take LGBT Discrimination Seriously
Establish a strong anti-discrimination policy in your recruitment & promotion practices, and be sure all employees know what is not tolerated in the workplace, and in cases of homophobic bullying, promptly recognise the problem and take action.
3. Develop Support Programmes for LGBT Employees
Mentoring, employee networking groups, seminars, and conferences all go a long way in becoming a more inclusive place to work for LGBT employees. You can also support employees with measures such as climate surveys, LGBTQ competency trainings, and employee resource groups (ERG).
PRO TIP: Many successful ERGs have an executive champion, a leader in the organisation who connects an ERG to upper management, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Having open and consistent dialogue with your LGBTQ resource group will improve employee engagement, company culture and provide valuable information on ways to further innovate in the workplace.
4. Promote Allies of LGBT People
Drive initiatives to promote the allies of LGBT employees, who can act as support networks to LGBT employees and help champion the message that diversity is part of your organisation’s mission.
5. Get Support from Senior Staff
If you would like to be involved in the group, please contact Simon Evans, manager of Tops Winchester, or Sandy Kemish, Manager of the Administrators, who are leading the group and are both members of the LGBTQ+ community – as you can see the LGBTQ+ group are already supported from senior staff. Invites to the zoom meetings will go out regularly on our fb page.
If you would like to read the minutes they are on our S drive, and will be published in our Colleagues FB page also.
Actions from the inaugural meeting were:
Speak with our software programmes that we use (EYMAN and APTEM) to expand the gender options and add an orientation question so that we can collect data on numbers of LGBTQ+ colleagues in the company, should they be prepared to disclose this.
Orientation questions to be asked at the same time we ask new colleagues to complete a health survey – post recruitment – so that people don’t feel that they might be discriminated again before being appointed, and have the opportunity to be acknowledged in case they need support, during induction. Ensure that a statement such as you will not be discriminated again in this organisation, we want to support you” is addressed to LGBTQ+ colleagues HR to review the entire HR process from advertising, recruitment, induction, reviews and appraisals to ensure this attitude is consistent. Signposting to mental health first aiders to be included in welcome to staff new starter packs.
Ensure that if the word “preference” is used anywhere in our documentation to replace this with “orientation” – a commonly misapplied word – part of the education process going forward.
Gather some “Allys” in each nursery/area that mental health first aiders might call upon to support someone from the LGBTQ+ community, perhaps considering coming out or experiencing problems, who need support. Perhaps by people coming forward to attend the LBBTQ+ meetings?
Can we develop a question for the annual staff questionnaire to indicate our position support for LGBTQ+ colleagues – questionnaire is due out in October.
Many more topics to discuss and potential actions – a long term journey – watch this space.
Providing happy, nurturing childcare for the hours you need, across over 30 nursery settings in: Babbacombe, Plymouth, Bournemouth, Charminster, Copnor, Fawley, Gillingham, Corfe Mullen, Havant, Lakeside, Lymington, Taunton, Newport, Poole, Portsmouth, Salisbury,
Southsea, Wareham, Wimborne, Winchester, and Yeovil.