Workplace Guides: Bisexual People in the Workplace

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Evaluating Success and Continuing Progress 

In this chapter:

  • Monitor career development
  • Promote confidentiality
  • Break down monitoring data by sexual orientation
  • Feed back results to management and staff
  • Consult with bisexual staff on workplace issues


To ensure the continued success of bisexual inclusion, and to develop innovative good practice, organisations should develop robust feedback mechanisms by monitoring sexual orientation and regularly consulting bisexual staff on workplace issues.


MONITOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT:

Organisations should break down monitoring data to see if bisexual staff members are taking up career and personal development courses. If fewer bisexual staff members are taking up these opportunities than lesbians and gay men or heterosexual employees, organisations should promote them specifically to bisexual staff and consider different communication strategies.


PROMOTE CONFIDENTIALITY:

Some participants told us that they were reluctant to fill in sexual orientation monitoring forms because they thought if they indicated they were bisexual, this would be identified by their colleagues. All monitoring processes should be kept strictly confidential. Organisations should promote this and also stress that monitoring sexual orientation can help to identify particular issues that affect bisexual staff and help organisations address these issues. Over time this will increase the amount of people who declare their sexual orientation on monitoring forms.


BREAK DOWN MONITORING DATA BY SEXUAL ORIENTATION:

Participants indicated that bisexual staff members may have different perceptions of workplace satisfaction. Stonewall encourages organisations to break down sexual orientation data by lesbian, gay, bisexual and heterosexual responses to identify trends. Some organisations that have done so have found that bisexual staff members report lower rates of staff satisfaction across numerous areas of their working lives.


FEED BACK RESULTS TO MANAGEMENT AND STAFF:

Alongside promoting confidentiality it's important to disseminate information gathered by monitoring exercises. Specific trends and issues affecting bisexual staff should be highlighted to the executive board, line managers and to all staff. This will not only raise awareness of bisexual workplace issues but also demonstrate the organisation's commitment to bisexual equality.


CONSULT WITH BISEXUAL STAFF ON WORKPLACE ISSUES:

Organisations who monitor sexual orientation and have found that bisexual staff members report low staff satisfaction should explore these trends in more detail. It might be helpful to hold focus groups or other consultative meetings with bisexual staff to find out what issues are affecting them. Consultative exercises such as focus groups should also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of career development initiatives intended to boost bisexual inclusion.


In 2008 Lloyds TSB conducted a Group-wide diversity survey which focussed on sexual orientation issues. It revealed that their bisexual staff were amongst the least satisfied groups in the organisation. Focus groups were then held with bisexual staff to probe the complex issues facing this staff group and a number of initiatives were put in place, including the introduction of an email consultation list of bi staff. Following the merger with HBOS, Lloyds Banking Group is now using the research findings to build a more inclusive strategy for the whole Group. For example, the LGB network now has a bisexual  representative on the steering group, the website reflects bisexual issues and support, and the all-staff survey can now be analysed by different sexual orientations, rather than by reporting on the LGB population as one homogenous group.


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