New Federal Survey Aims to Gauge LGBT Employee Satisfaction
May 11, 2012 by Liz Cooper, Manager of Corporate Programs, Workplace Project
The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey aims to determine how happy federal workers are at their jobs, asking a host of questions on demographics, work environment, job satisfaction and other topics.
For the first time ever, this year’s survey will include a question about LGBT employees, according to the Washington Post.
The survey, which is entirely anonymous and voluntary, will ask federal workers whether they consider themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. This year’s survey will also add questions about disability and military service.
The new question will allow the estimated 1.8 million permanent full- and part-time LGBT employees in the federal workforce to be more visible. The survey, whose results will be released this fall, will help managers gauge LGBT employee satisfaction, and present opportunities to improve work environments.
Based on the HRC Foundation’s groundbreaking findings in Degrees of Equality, 72 percent of LGBT workers would be willing to self-identify as LGBT to their employer given the option in an anonymous survey. Beyond the employees’ desire to be counted, allowing employees to self-identify as LGBT makes good business sense, as the business maxim goes: if you can’t count it, you can’t manage it.
This positive step in the federal government mirrors evolving best practices in the private sector, as 35 percent of CEI-rated employers offer employees options to voluntarily disclose their sexual orientation and gender identity on anonymous surveys or confidential HR records. Gaining a more complete picture of LGBT employees improves the bottom line, as it informs employee recruitment, retention, and productivity, while also sending a positive message to LGBT workers that they are being counted as valued employees.
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