Organization development and change doesn’t always start with formal organizational leaders. As part of a larger study, I looked at how organizational members can seek change by working together to bring policy changes in their organization. In the case study, I examined a nearly 20-year effort by employees in the University of Illinois System to attain domestic partner benefits. Throughout the effort, the group of employees used different “social organizing strategies.” In other words, they brought people together using different organization methods differing goals, and differing motivations.
In workplaces, community groups, and other settings, we oftentimes seek to make things better for people from diverse backgrounds. Sometimes we will benefit directly from those changes and sometimes we’re working with others to attain changes that will benefit society or an organization in general.
How do public sector employees successfully seek LGBT-friendly changes in their workplaces? I conducted a case study of a 20-year effort to attain domestic partner benefits in one large state university system. The public sector has always lagged behind large private sector employers in offering employee benefits and other policies that are equitable for LGBT people. Part of that study looked at how employees educated the public, state officials, other employees, administrators, and board members to support the changes. The four most relevant findings for others seeking such changes in public sector organizations… Read More
Issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in workplaces are common diversity topics today. It is widely accepted in many workplaces that LGBT employees should be made to feel as welcome and included as anyone else. Workplace inclusion, employee affinity groups, and LGBT-specific diversity initiatives are commonly addressed by U.S.-based HR and diversity practitioners.
Some individuals experience incivility at work based on others’ perceptions of whether they are different from the norm. Incivility, the often-unintentional violation of social norms, can occur as a result of perpetrators’ unconscious prejudice. Such activity can result in decreased employee satisfaction, increased likelihood of looking for another job, and decreased mental and physical health.
I just read this article in the New York Times, which describes the design of products that are friendly for older adults, but also appealing to younger consumers. The article mentions that products such as exaggerated large button phones aren’t appealing to many older adults or younger people. It’s nice to see that business needs are driving product developers to design products that are friendly to this population.