Posts Tagged ‘employees’
Social Research Digest – January 2013
Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2013 Corporate Equality Index is the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT employees. It provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
- Despite this patchwork of state laws, private sector employers have implemented fully inclusive non-discrimination polices at rates that are leaps and bounds ahead of lawmakers.
- 99% of CEI-rated employers provide employment protections on the basis of sexual orientation.
- 84% of CEI-rated employers provide employment protections on the basis of gender identity or expression — the highest figure to date.
- 89% of C EI-rated employers provide medical and comprehensive health benefits such as dental, vision, dependent medical and Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)-equivalent continuation coverage.
- 65% of C EI-rated employers have complete parity in spousal and partner access to “soft” benefits (when such benefits are offered at all) such as bereavement leave, employee assistance programs, employee discounts and relocation assistance.
- 69% of CEI-rated employers offer a robust set of practices (at least three efforts) to support organizational LGBT diversity competency.
Human Rights Campaign Foundation
Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace and Turn Excuses into Results
Social Research Digest – April 2012
The Human Rights Campaign’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index chronicles a decade of progress in workplace equality. The HRC’s CEI report provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
- 2012 marks the first year of new more stringent criteria regarding transgender health benefits.
- 189 participants earned the top rating of 100 percent, evidence the CEI has helped transform the American workplace for the better over the past ten years.
- In the first year of the CEI a decade ago, 13 businesses achieved a top score of 100 percent.
- In its debut year in which 319 participants were rated, the CEI noted that most of the largest U.S. employers fell within the middle of the ratings bell curve: workplace protections on the basis of sexual orientation, domestic partner health care benefits and some internal inclusion practices were becoming more common but transgender inclusion lagged.
- Year after year, participants have successfully used the CEI guideposts and HRC Foundation staff as resources to push themselves towards the gold standards captured by the CEI criteria.
- The CEI standards have most dramatically shifted the way the largest U.S. businesses have incorporated transgender protections and benefits in the workplace.
- In 2002, only 5 percent of participants included “gender identity” in their non-discrimination policy.
- Today, 80 percent of participants have implementing this basic, yet crucial, protection for employees.
- Even among non-participants, the CEI has helped create market norms where LGBT workplace equality is essential to staying relevant among competitors.
- The evolution of workplace protections among the Fortune 500 in the past decade reflects the progress seen among participating companies in the CEI, further demonstrating the improved landscape in which LGBT employees now work.
- Eighty-six percent of the Fortune 500 include “sexual orientation” in their nondiscrimination policies and 50 percent include “gender identity.”
- The majority of the total Fortune 500 — 60 percent — offer equivalent medical benefits between spouses and partners and 19 percent offer transgender-inclusive health care benefits, including surgical procedures.
Human Rights Campaign Foundation
By Andrea Grace Rannard
Employee volunteering is widely acknowledged as an integral component of a company’s CSR activity. Yet, many companies don’t integrate it into their operations by giving staff time off to volunteer. And, for those companies that do, not all staff utilise it. So, do we take employee volunteering that seriously?
According to the 2010-11 Citizenship Survey, 25% of people volunteer on a monthly basis (1). If a company is a microcosm of wider society, then regardless of the formalised mechanisms to foster a culture of volunteering, people will not always engage with it.
Some companies are concerned that establishing a policy will result in huge uptake and adverse impact on core business. However, this can be refuted on two accounts: First, for any responsible employer, community investment via employee volunteering is core business. Second, offering employees time off to volunteer is a marathon rather than a sprint. For example, the FSA, who integrate volunteering into appraisals, offer employees up to 27 days of volunteering leave a year. Yet, only 20% of the workforce is engaged (2)
The main reason cited by people for not volunteering is a lack of time (3). So, perhaps addressing this barrier by formally allowing staff time off to volunteer will go some way in demonstrating a company’s commitment to CSR and employees without the fear of 100% workforce engagement.
Browsing through a company’s CR report, it is obvious that volunteering is a useful mechanism to report employee engagement and community impact. Yet, despite the importance of capturing outputs, there appear to be mixed feelings about embedding employee volunteering into operations, for example through appraisals and volunteering leave days.
From a company perspective, adapting HR procedures to implement new volunteering policies can involve significant resource. If the demand from staff isn’t explicit, why make company-wide changes?
Of course, employee volunteering arrangements can be made on an informal basis between employees and line managers, not necessitating formal procedure. The output remains the same – employees volunteer. Also, an informal approach may make volunteering more attractive.
However, as with any activity a company takes seriously – whether it is promoting diversity or sustainable procurement – formalisation is helpful to embed a company-wide culture and demonstrate commitment. Creating formalised channels for volunteering can also ensure a more robust data capture system, supporting wider CSR reporting. This includes generating personal case studies that bring reporting to life.
Another benefit of having a policy on volunteering is that it helps reinforce the company’s brand and reputation. Allowing volunteering leave can also make the company an attractive place to work, forming part of a wider portfolio of employee benefits such as training, pension and healthcare provision.
Finally, there is significant evidence to support the engaged employer argument (Gallup 2006, CMI 2008,MacLeod and Clarke 2009) including reduced staff turnover, higher levels of productivity and profitability, fewer sick days, increased levels of innovation and improved morale. (4-6)
(1) Department for Communities and Local Government (2011) Citizenship Survey: 2010-11
(April 2010 – March 2011, England), Statistical Release Number 16
(2) Corporate Citizenship (2010) Volunteering – The Business Case: The benefits of coporate volunteering programmes in education
(3) National Centre for Social Research in partnership with the Institute for Volunteering Research (2007) A National Survey of Volunteering and Charitable Giving 2006-07 (Helping Out)
(4) Gallup (2006) Gallup Study: Feeling Good Matters in the Workplace
(5) Kumar, V. and Wilton, P. (2008) ‘Briefing note for the MacLeod Review’, Chartered Management Institute
(6) MacLeod, D. and Clarke, N. (2009) Engaging for Success: enhancing performance through employee engagement