Employers have the opportunity to empower employees with disabilities by creating a welcoming workplace. While this may seem like an easy task, it is important that employers do everything in their power for employees who need extra support or accommodations so they feel comfortable and confident at work every day!
Find out more about disabilities
Employees who are comfortable answering questions about their health and wellbeing may be a great source of information. But don’t force the issue on them or make it seem like they have to educate you.
Talk to them if they are open to it. Avoid stereotyping and be respectful. Keep in mind that everyone is unique and will have different experiences.
Recognise strengths of employees
This is a great opportunity to show your employees that you recognise the skills they have and help them find tasks where those abilities can be used. This will give workers with disabilities more confidence, which in turn makes it easier for everyone involved.
For example, if an employee is employed by Auckland moving companies as a stocking job has excellent social skills, but has hearing impairment, they might be better suited for the packing department where there is less of an environmental noise. A worker who is organised, but not very verbal, may be able to work behind the scenes in a data entry position where there are no interruptions.
Find reasonable accommodation
Be prepared to make reasonable accommodations, depending on the disability of employees or potential employees who are participating in the interview process. It’s a legal requirement that companies make such accommodations in some areas.
While some employees may ask for accommodations in writing, others might just mention the topic in conversation. You should get all the details about the accommodation. What space will they need to accommodate their wheelchair? What flexibility will they have in their work hours? What type of adaptive software and tech will they need for the office?
What kind of equipment and laptops will an employer need to work remotely? Pay attention to what the employer is asking and make notes if needed.
Examine your workplace culture
In order to make sure that the workplace culture and policies are accessible, one must look at their rules in depth. This may require a deeper analysis of what it means for an organisation or business’ attitudes towards people with disabilities so they can be changed accordingly if needed.
Consider the policies and resources for your workplace. Do you have flexible hours and work-from-home options? Some tasks will require a presence on site or be time-sensitive. But is there more flexibility? What resources do you have to support employees with disabilities, if any? If workers require guidance, you can enlist the help of job coaches.
Consider how interpersonal interactions can make the workplace less stressful for someone with disabilities. Are you a victim of bullying at work? Are employees friendly and supportive? You should adopt a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and show the same behavior to your employees. Offer unconscious bias training programs to everyone in your office.
Be quiet and just listen. In order to make your workplace more inclusive and accessible, you should ask employees if they have any concerns about the changes that need be made. Regular meetings are a good way for workers anonymous feedback such as an app or suggestion box because it might help them voice their concern without fear of repercussions from management who could then take necessary action based on what’s heard back at headquarters. These steps won’t only benefit those with disabilities but will also improve quality overall in company environments where all staff members get along well enough already. Which we know isn’t always easy when there may exist different styles within one workforce group.