Hiring people with disabilities is not just about doing the right thing but also tapping their potential and cultivating a diverse workforce filled with knowledge and experiences from all walks of life.
Here’s how you can create a genuinely inclusive environment for your employees.
A Competitive Advantage: Working with Persons with Disabilities
Hiring individuals with disabilities can benefit a business in many ways, providing a better working environment that also provides solutions for company problems like retention and talent pool shortage.
1. It Can Improve Team Inclusivity and Create a More Empathetic Culture
Hiring employees with disabilities can improve the work environment by cultivating a healthier company culture. Companywide, employees will be more empathetic and better understand diverse backgrounds.
In promoting disability inclusion, assigning projects that encourage teamwork may be ideal. This will not only help team members get to know each other better and challenge each other’s way of thinking through exchanging insights and ideas, but it will also drive innovation at your company.
2. It Can Increase Employee Retention Rate
Job seekers with disabilities have more difficulty looking for employers who would hire them than employees without disabilities. This leads to them being more loyal to a business that employs them and encourages them to stay longer. This loyalty can help lessen turnover, recruitment, and training expenses and improve employee retention rates
3. You Can Gain a Wider Talent Pool with Untapped Potential
Tasks can be done creatively by experts with disabilities. Finding the right person to fit specific roles can be challenging and may take time.
People with disabilities think differently than people who are non-disabled. They can bring fresher and more unique ideas to the table because they are used to adjusting to environments that weren’t designed with their conditions in mind.
Analytics, Patterns, and Mathematics
Many adults with autism have better-than-average skills in recognizing patterns and mathematics. These skills are highly wanted in the tech industry. People like them can thrive in data analysis or other similar fields.¹
Research by the Institute for Corporate Productivity established that individuals with developmental disabilities contribute to higher workplace productivity. They are more active than most employees and can also help increase customer loyalty.²
In customer service, they can help come up with more creative solutions due to their adaptability. They can also help design services and processes that cater to people with similar conditions.³
4. Your Profit Margin Can Increase
A collaborative study by Accenture, the American Association of People with Disabilities, and Disability:IN found that hiring people with at least one disability can help you outperform others that don’t. Companies that employed persons with disabilities had 28 percent higher revenues. Their net income was also twice as much, and their profit margins were 30 percent higher.⁴
In a subsequent report, it was also established that organizations that hire experts with disabilities saw a rise in their sales by nearly three times as much as other businesses. They also grew their profits in a quarter of the time compared to others.
Hire and Engage: Creating a Comfortable Work Environment for Employees with Disabilities
With proper systems in place, creating an engaging workplace for people with disabilities is possible. Follow these steps on how you can foster a collaborative environment for your employees.
1. Discuss Accessibility Concerns
If you’re hiring employees with disabilities, make sure that you disclose any potential accessibility concerns in your postings. This may include possible noises, harsh lighting, and a lack of elevators. Helping them set workplace expectations for their needs and safety can reassure them that they are cared for.
Providing assistive technologies and facilities such as access ramps or adaptive access fixtures shows that you care for your employees. Moreover, you can ask candidates during the job offer if you can provide anything to help their productivity.
2. Train Leaders and Team Members in Accommodating Them
Training programs on awareness, accessibility, disclosure, and etiquette around inclusion should begin at the managerial or supervisory level or with people who can pass down the idea of cultivating an inclusive environment for people with disabilities. Especially for new employees, a guiding hand is crucial to ensuring they understand your company values around inclusion and supporting employees with disabilities.
Business leaders should be the ones to initiate inclusivity in the workplace. This includes engaging with people with disabilities socially and celebrating their successes to help reduce the stigma about their capabilities and health concerns.
3. Create and Support a Promising Career Path for Them
Employees with disabilities should be given the same opportunities as others, at the same time ensuring that the training programs are also accessible to them. Evaluating their performance opens doors to which they can learn new things or discover new abilities in other functions or fields based on their capabilities and experiences.
If the team is participating in training and one member has a hearing impairment, it would be ideal to ask the team member if they would prefer an interpreter, or closed captioning, so they can access and fully participate in the training.
If someone uses a wheelchair, ensure that the space is easily accessible. Prepare areas where they can sit comfortably or adjust office fixtures and furniture that might become obstacles to their access.
4. Develop Benefits Packages Focused on Inclusivity
Receiving a generous benefits package may significantly influence a candidate with a disability to accept your offer. Ideally, a comprehensive health care plan should be enough to alleviate their concerns.
Ask for feedback from them to know what they need. It may include an allowance for prescription drugs, free consultations with a mental health professional, or assistive technology at work. An employee’s wellness should be a priority.
5. Allow Flexible Work Schedules
Having a flexible schedule benefits every employee, and those with disabilities may appreciate it more. It allows them to create a schedule that better meets their needs, making them more productive. They can work at times with fewer stressors, such as noise, and they can make time for their appointments with their doctors.
It also fosters a better work-life balance, allowing your employees to spend more time with their families, hobbies or simply rest when needed. With more time allotted to their day, removing work preparations and commutes, your employees can spend more time with the people and the things they love.
Cultivate Hope and Empathy in the Workplace
By employing employees with disabilities, you not only bring capable individuals into your team but also foster an environment of hope and empathy in your team. Giving people with disabilities opportunities to succeed can lead your organization into a kinder and more productive future.
GALT FOUNDATION CAN HELP YOU BUILD A MORE INCLUSIVE TEAM
Galt Foundation is one of the largest temporary staffing organizations in the world for employees with disabilities. We have over 20 years of proven experience and will connect you with individuals whose skill sets fit what you require for your business.
1. Giannelis, Matthew. ” The Benefits Of Autism In The Technology Industry” Tech Business News, Aug. 3, 2023, https://www.techbusinessnews.com.au/blog/the-benefits-of-autism-in-the-technology-industry/.
2. “Accenture: Fueling Innovation through Inclusion.” Disability:IN, disabilityin.org/are-you-in-roadmap/accenture-fueling-innovation-through-inclusion/. Apr. 18, 2023.
3. Dublino, Jennifer. “Why Hiring People With Disabilities Is Good for Business.” Business, Mar. 24, 2023, www.business.com/articles/hire-disabled-people/.
4. Herson, Karen. “Seven Reasons Why Hiring People With Disabilities Is Good For Business.” Forbes, Dec. 3, 2021, www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/12/03/seven-reasons-why-hiring-people-with-disabilities-is-good-for-business/?sh=67d11ec41832.