Today’s workforce is very diverse. Employees have a variety of personal characteristics, including national origin, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. When employers have a very diverse group of employees, the business can improve. Also, costs can be lowered and revenues can be increased. More and more employers are considering the economic benefits of creating support systems for hay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. These policies include sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination policies and benefits for same-sex married couples and domestic partners.

The best way for a business to be successful is for them to have highly motivated employees who are willing to work hard. When a company has a supportive workplace with policies set up to improve employee relationships, increase commitment to the job, they find that it improves overall job satisfaction and improves the overall productivity and health of LGBT employees. These policies can also lower discrimination among all of the employees and LGBT openness.

Over the years, there has been a great deal of pressure put on lawmakers, unions, and LGBT employees that have pushed many employers to stop practices that discriminate against LBGT workers. The most socially responsible thing that a business owner can do is to voluntarily enact benefits for domestic partners. There should also be sexual orientation and gender identity policies in place to enforce nondiscrimination. Transition related health benefits and other LGBT benefits are also excellent business decisions.

Companies who have adopted LGBT-friendly policies have found them to be highly successful. Many of these companies are going beyond including sexual orientation nondiscrimination policies. They also understand the importance of including gender identity issues in their policies. One example occurred in 1999 when nearly 72 percent of the Fortune 500 companies created and implemented policies to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation, however, only a few of these companies also created a policy regarding gender identity. In 2009, 10 years later, 87 percent of these companies have included sexual orientation policies and 41 percent have policies for gender identity. During the same period, the number of Fortune 500 companies who were offering benefits for domestic partners increased from 14 percent to over 59 percent.

LGBT Diversity Enhancing Policies Equal Business Benefits

When a business owner encourages business diversity and adopts policies to support LGBT employees, there can be a variety of benefits that can have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line. One way that the company can benefit is by improving employee recruitment and by hiring talented employees. When a company’s workforce is diverse, they will have a wide variety of employees working for them who have different characteristics and have had different experiences. This can help new, more innovated ideas to be generated, which can improve the business. Also, productivity can increase, not just for LGBT employees, but all of them. When a company responds well to union or employee requests, employee morale, and relations are boosted. These policies can also aid in attracting a more diverse customer base. These policies can improve the company’s profits by lowering costs and increasing revenue.

The healthiest environment for employees is one who is accepting to a diverse work climate. The healthier the environment, the lower the cost for the health insurance. Also, the less discrimination there is in the workplace, the less need there would be for legal resources for discrimination issues. There are some public sector entities that require any company that they hire to already have nondiscrimination policies in place or at least offer benefits to domestic partners. This means that a business will have more access to new customers or clients when they enact nondiscrimination policies. There are many consumers who are hoping to do business with companies that are socially responsible, which means that these policies will create more business and more profits. When these policies are in place, more people will look for work with the companies because most people want to work for diverse companies. This can increase the overall atmosphere, leading to more innovative ideas. When this happens, there will be more demand for stock, which will increase when it becomes known that the company will be experiencing all of the benefits that are associated with diversity employees.

Effects on the Employees

When nondiscrimination policies go into effect, it will be noticed by all employees. LGBT employees are less likely to experience any type of discrimination for their sexual orientation or their gender identity. This is also true with employers who offer benefits for domestic partners. When companies create nondiscrimination policies, it will allow all employees to feel comfortable, and they will not feel the need to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity. These polices can be especially beneficial because workplace climate is often measured by the employer’s actions, views, nondiscrimination policies, and benefits for same-sex married couples and domestic partners.

Studies have shown that employees who work for a company who has policies in place that support LGBT employees are psychologically healthier than those who don’t work in such an environment. They are less likely to be depressed, distracted, and tired. When an LGBT employee feels that their employer is supportive, they will feel less job-related stress. When they feel that they can be open about their gender identity and sexual orientation, they can also be physically healthier than those who are forced to hide who they are. When an employee can come out at work, they will have a higher self-esteem and less anxiety due to keeping their secret. When LGBT employees work for a company who has supportive policies in place, their overall job performance will improve. Also, their relationship with supervisors and business owners are also improved. The better the relationship, the better the employee’s job performance will be. These employees will also be more engaged while at work if their employer has a nondiscrimination policy in place.