Coming out in the workplace
Stonewall suggest that workplaces should have a policy to cover the eventuality of someone in your workforce transitioning while in post.
I can see why they feel that... I'm not so sure however, I do think that there needs to be a guidance in place and if nothing else a toolkit for Managers, HR professionals and the individual themselves to use to manage transition in the workplace.
As i said in my Hello World! post I work for a large and well known tech retailer, whose current aim is to help everyone enjoy amazing technology... Across that business there is nearly every setting imaginable from bijou little high st stores with a few staff, through large superstores and modest local distribution/ home delivery bases with tens to hundreds of staff and a handful of large sites with hundreds to thousands members of staff ... This means that a 'one size fits all' policy can't be used ... Yes from a HR management point of view it's one size fits all as the processes are harmonised across the entire business and the components that have agglomerated over the years to form the current group.
but in practice how you handle the transition of a staff member in a store is going to be different to one of the massive corporate sites ...
My work transition time line is relatively short, mid October 2017 i contacted by Union's Full Time Officers and we met and I made a disclosure to them of my trans status and my intention to transition, we then organised a meeting with my general manager and the relevant HRBP - in terms of legal protections under the Equality Act at this point they are definitely in place even though we were still 3 months from 'that boy's desk going from the department and being replaced by Nicola Jayne's desk ...
So we set a time line, and said mid to late January for my social transition at work, this time of year is the nadir of the lifecycle of retail logistics, so it's when we use very few if any agency staff - generally those who are still here are those who are backfilling substantive vacancies and often will which makes the communication strategy easier.
Due to the nature and number of briefings and the difficulties in me being able to present as me to deliver the briefing and then return to being 'that boy', we decided that I would be an equal participant in writing the brief but that it would be delivered by my GM and the GM of the other department that shared our bit of the site, we decided that a short briefing would be delivered and the priority of delivery was to be
- Management teams - a number of weeks in advance of my transition and then sworn to secrecy - security managers as well.
- The staff in my own (sub)department - the people who see me and interact with me 4 or 5 days a week week in week out and then security staff
- The staff in our sister (sub)department... and union reps across site (brief delivered by the convenor in a rep meeting after sitting in on both the drafting and the initial delivery of the briefs by the GMs)
- The staff in the other department that shares our part of the site...
The briefings had an agreed content and one of the key messages in the briefing was "We are telling you this because you are here now, you knew 'that boy' and now you'll know Nicola Jayne , anyone who comes to join us after this only needs to know Nicola."
The briefing also included a reminder on the Equality Act and the company's Equality and Diversity policy, there were sign in sheets and sign offs that people had a recieved an up to date copy of the Equality and Diversity policy.
the HR stuff is pretty straightforward, you need to see what the best way to change the records and secure stuff in 'that boy's' name, bearign in mind that outing someone can fall foul of the Equality act and once someone has a GRC is a specific offence
IT wise as there was little of consequence attached to my old accounts, that had to be moved over - historical records of stock i had processed were exactly that ) we had new ones created.
new name badge/ access pass created and then that was that ...
some more resources