What does it mean for workplaces to be diverse? Does it always have to do with race? The answer is no.
“Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.” – Malcom Forbes
To be diverse you must be open to hiring everyone regardless of their skin color, religion, mental or physical disabilities, sexual preferences OR the gender they identify with. A more recent term that has become popular in our society is gender non-binary. Gender non-binary is defined as a, “catch-all category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine” by Wikipedia. With the world constantly changing, employers must keep up and learn to adapt to evolving cultures.
Employee onboarding can differ depending on age group of the intended employees but how can these onboarding methods be adjusted to cater to gender non-binary? Millennials and GenZ make up a majority of the non-binary population, so some of these methods can work in conjunction with each other. It is important to treat them the same as anyone else but also learn to understand their situation, so you can create the most effective onboarding plan. Here are some useful ways to welcome gender non-binary employees to your team:
Educate Your Staff
Before the new employee is introduced and begins the employee onboarding process, educate your staff on their circumstances and allow them to ask questions. You need them to know everything they can, so they don’t say or do anything inappropriate. Remind them that they shouldn’t be treated differently but know how to address them in the right way. Open the floor to conversation and concerns so everything is clarified before the new hire arrives.
Have Open Communications with the New Employee
Some employers may not feel comfortable getting involved in a new employee’s personal life but when it comes to these instances, open communication is key. On the first day of employee onboarding make sure you allow a private session before introducing them to the rest of the staff. Ask the necessary questions like what pronouns they prefer to be called. Show them that you are supportive and have an open-door policy when they need to discuss any issues within the workplace. When you show that you are open minded and willing to not just be their boss but their support system, they will appreciate that and will work hard to stay with your company because there are many companies that wouldn’t show as much support, and it’s likely that your new employee has encountered some unwelcome corporate cultures on their journey to your office.
Keep an Open Mind
Understand that this is a learning process and will take time to get used to. Think of different ways to include them and make them feel like themselves. If they identify with the male gender, make sure you include them on a guy’s night out or an activity that includes the gender they specifically identify with. Ask them to work as a liaison for any future hires non-binary or not! They will appreciate that you want them to share their message of diversity and it will help maintain a diverse corporate culture.
A new hire of any kind can be challenging. They must learn company policy and processes, but they also must learn to adapt to the workplace environment. When it comes to unique cases like non-binary employees, the most important factor of employee onboarding is understanding on both ends. Educating your staff thoroughly, having open communication with your new employee and keeping an open mind are three major ways to create an ideal workforce for the new, gender non-binary employee. Once we enforce these methods, everyone will feel more comfortable, creating a stronger team as a whole!