Author: Corene Summers, Wellness Coach and Reiki Master Teacher
Organizations have come a long way toward improving their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices over the years. Many companies have implemented DEI initiatives to more fully recognize and appreciate every team member, which is good for individuals and organziations alike.
According to research from Korn Ferry, inclusive organizations are 87% more likely to make good decisions and also have a tendency to make employees feel empowered to take risks. But there’s progress to be made. McKinsey & Company reveals that only 29% of employees feel positively about their employers’ inclusivity practices.
With Pride Month finally here, there’s never been a better time to focus on ways to make your LGBTQ+ team members feel even more appreciated. Watch the video below and then read on for even more ideas on how to promote Pride in the workplace.
How to celebrate Pride at work
Be mindful and practice non-judgement — Above all, practicing understanding and non-judgement is key to any Pride experience. Many people do not feel comfortable sharing information about their sexuality with others or hearing about it from others. Some people may not be “out” or may be questioning.
Avoid putting any pressure on specific employees to share about their experiences or to speak up unless they are open about it and/or volunteer to do so.
Ta-Da list team-building activity — Have everyone complete their own Ta-Da list of highlights in their life that make them proud of who they are, what qualities make them special, different or unique, and what they love most about themselves. Have everyone share a few things from their own list with the group.
Pride gratitude and recognition — Switch up the above activity by having everyone compliment and thank each other instead of themselves. Go around the room putting one person in the “Pride hot seat” at a time, and then have everyone take their turn saying one positive, kind, or appreciative thing about them before moving to the next person.
Pride parade or virtual Pride parade — Attending a Pride parade is a fantastic way to show solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate together out of the office. In 2022 and beyond, many Pride parades will be broadcast online as well, so check with your local Pride organization to see if there is an event that would work to live-stream your team.
Office Pride party or Pride happy hour — If you’re wondering how to celebrate pride at work in a truly impactful way, look no futher than a Pride party. It’s a great way to make Pride more memorable, to celebrate with the entire company, and to foster team relationship building. Get creative and have fun with planning the party and incorporating other Pride ideas from this list!
How to promote Pride at work with education
Learn about the history of pride — Learn about Pride together with your team — choose a 10- to 15-minute educational video, TED Talk, or other type of class on the topic of Pride history and watch it on a Zoom call together. Then, guide a discussion with your team about what you learned.
Here are some possible questions you could ask:
- What did you learn from this video that you weren’t aware of before?
- Did you have any perspective shifts?
- Did anything come as a surprise?
Host a Pride Month book club — A Pride Month book club is a fun option to teach your team about the LGBTQ+ community, history, and common issues they face. Have everyone vote to choose a book to read, and then get together over lunch to discuss what you’ve all learned.
Watch a Pride movie — Watching a Pride movie or documentary is another fun and simple way that you can educate, celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and create positive discussion among your team.
Here are some great movie examples:
Host a diversity, equity, and inclusion workshop — Overall, creating educational opportunities is one of the best ways to promote workplace inclusion and empower employees. As another option, you could hire an LGBTQ+ speaker to discuss LGBTQ+ issues and share their personal experiences. This will help teach employees about the importance of compassion, understanding, and inclusivity at work.
How to promote Pride at work with decorations
Switch up the dress code — Having a Pride Month dress code is an all-inclusive work activity that encourages all workers to wear Pride colors in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, either on a specific day, over a week, or all month long. This can be a great way to bring a little extra cheer and color to brighten up the workplace — or at least your background during a workplace Zoom meeting :)
Decorate your office and Zoom background — Decorating the office with traditional Pride flag colors may seem trivial; however, the rainbow flag is an easily recognized and impactful way to remind employees that your company supports the LGBTQ+ community. Remember to switch up your Zoom background as another way to show your Pride support.
Host a Pride swag contest — You can never go wrong with a contest to see which team or individual can create the best pride swag! You could compete by decorating your office(s), making creative, Pride-themed paintings or other art projects, decorating Pride t-shirts, decorating desserts like cakes or cookies, making wall hangings, etc. Get creative!
How to promote Pride at work through donations
Donate to a charity — You can show your support and raise awareness by donating to a charity that supports the LGBTQ+ community or to a worthy cause that addresses mental health, youth issues, or homelessness in the LGBTQ+ population.
Here are a few examples:
- Family Equality Council
- Point Foundation
- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
- Attic Youth Center
- It Gets Better Project
- Ali Forney Center
- Human Rights Campaign
Volunteer and donate your time — If you don’t have a corporate budget or personal budget, then you can plan a corporate volunteer day at a local LGBTQ+ organization. You could also let your team members choose the organization they are going to volunteer with individually on their own and have everyone share their experience on a Zoom call.
Donate your attention and acceptance — Sometimes, all we need is to feel heard in life. Stop and listen to someone's story. Whether it is an LGBTQ+ colleague, at an LGBTQ+ organization, or someone else, simply ask them to share what it has been like for them to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Don’t think about what to say or how you will respond: just listen. And thank them for sharing with you.
Make incorporating Pride in the workplace a priority
Hopefully, these ideas have provided you with the inspiration you need to start promoting Pride at work both now and in the future. Whether you choose one suggestion or all of them, it will make a difference in your employees’ well-being.
To learn more about my work, visit Artisan Farmacy. Eager for some personalized guidance on fostering an inclusive workplace? Meet with me or one of our other expert coaches for a Personal Coaching session to discuss strategies and set goals.