Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Which way? No need to choose: Communicating gender neutral bathrooms in the workplace - HR.BLR

by Laura MacLeod, LMSW 
Originally published: 
Publisher: June 14, 2016

Bathrooms in the workplace may soon be undergoing a huge change, and Human Resources professionals will be expected to manage the transition seamlessly. Gender neutral bathrooms (open to all) may be introduced in many organizations to ease the burden of choice: Do I decide where to go based on biology or identification? No need to answer this question with gender neutral bathrooms.

Introducing this change and managing the transition with little disruption will not be easy. Religious beliefs, personal values, and privacy concerns all come into play; these issues need to be acknowledged and addressed. It is not enough to make an official announcement and a revise the employee handbook. To successfully implement gender neutral bathrooms, HR must communicate in a more personal way with employees.

Here’s how to get started:

Be straightforward and clear

The most effective way to combat discomfort and anxiety in workers is to provide information and answer all questions. There is great comfort and security in knowing exactly what will happen and what is expected going forward. Stick to the facts and state them succinctly. Be prepared to answer WHY.