“The Policy Is Nice but Not Really Written for Us”: LGBTQ+ Workplace Challenges

Abstract

This case focuses on two simultaneous problems at a fictional company: (1) The mistakes and assumptions made by an HR department concerning the policies and practices for their LGBTQ+ employees, and (2) internal communication issues that prevent feedback from frontline workers from reaching the decision makers in the organization. This case follows the Director of HR, Charlie, who discovers that despite well-intentioned changes to the organization, the HR team has “missed” on crucial needs of the LGBTQ+ employees during a time of extreme pressure: the nomination of a prestigious organization-wide diversity and inclusion award. The case outlines, in the LGBTQ+ employees’ own words, how sometimes written policy and organizational practice do not always align. This case assists leaders in examining how well-intentioned diversity initiatives can fail and what internal communication features are needed to ensure that marginalized individuals can communicate with senior decision makers.

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