As an employer, what are the things that you need to understand if you have a transgender employee?
This is something that a lot of employers seem to struggle with, especially for those that have spent their entire lives in a corporate environment where they were never really forced to consider what it would be like to have a transgender employee working for them. Without a doubt, some people manage to handle the situation better than others but the truth is, all employers have to learn how to handle it because it is no different than learning how to run a corporation with employees of different genders, races or physical capabilities.
Opening Your Mind to New Possibilities
Having a transgender employee is really no different than having any other employee. Employers routinely deal with people that are in wheelchairs, are blind or that are homosexual. That is because any type of business, no matter how large or small, is a melting pot of people from all walks of life. They all have different experiences to bring to the table and they have different viewpoints and opinions on life in general. In reality, the workplace is not the proper place to bring up personal preferences, so is important to be considerate and professional at all times.
Things to Consider
The biggest concern that any employer will probably have to consider when it comes to transgender employees is how other employees will react. In an ideal world, the workplace should be completely professional and the only merits that a person should be judged on is their ability to do the work and do it well. Unfortunately, reality is often far different from an ideal world and it often becomes a source of contention for employees when anyone is different from what they consider to be acceptable. As far is the employer is concerned, the relationship between employees should remain professional at all times, regardless of personal preferences.
Lines of Communication
In any work setting it is essential to keep the lines of communication open at all times. Employees perform best when the employer has an open door policy that allows them to come in and voice their concerns without fear of repercussions. No one wants to feel like they have to fear bringing up a concern or a question. The lines of communication have to be open for everyone. Singling someone out or treating someone differently only serves to make the problem worse, not better.
Setting the Standard
As the employer, it is essential to set the standard each and every day. This begins by keeping a professional environment and refusing to allow anyone to get away with anything that is less than professional. It is essential that strict policies be set concerning the way that other employees will act toward one another from day one. Any tolerance leaves the door wide open for people to discriminate against other coworkers simply because of their personal choices and having a transgender employee only makes this more important. Unfortunately, there are people that will single that individual out if they find out that they are transgender. As a result, it is the employer’s job to ensure that this does not happen and to put a stop to it immediately any time that a problem is discovered.
Your transgender employee is just like every other employee.
It should not matter whether a person is transgender or not in the workplace, regardless of the personal feelings of either the employer or the co workers. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to make targets out of individuals that do not fit into their box, making it that much more difficult for anyone who stands out in any way. Life can be difficult for a transgender individual, especially when other people decide to treat them unfairly or to single them out because of their decision.
As more and more individuals who are transgender join the workforce, it becomes the job of the employer to help them understand that they will be judged based on their performance and that any type of harassment will simply not be tolerated. They should be treated just like every other employee is treated because in reality, they are no different than anyone else. They simply live a lifestyle that some people consider to be different. Every person must live their own life in the way that suits them. They should not be penalized in the workforce because of it.