Companies and management have realised the call for employing individuals with disabilities as a step to empower and encourage them. A lot of companies are hiring individuals with special needs to a sufficient extent. But the fact is that it is still not sufficient enough because many people with disabilities are unemployed and looking for jobs.
Before you could give employment to people with disabilities, you need to build a workplace that is inclusive, where everything is accessible to disabled employees. After that, you need to look for the deserving and talented candidates and welcome them to the company.
Here are some of the tips to help you as an employer to build a disabled-friendly workplace:
Most of the times, not only employees but also managers are not aware of the needs of the specially-abled employees in the workplace. Therefore, to create a disabled-friendly environment, it is vital that all other employees are mindful of the fact that people with disabilities are also an essential part of their workforce.
Individual training sessions or classes will help other employees to understand how they can deal with their specially-abled co-workers in the best possible ways. Also, in the case of an emergency, other employees can help their co-workers who have special needs with the help of these training sessions.
The best way to make people with disability feel wanted in the company is to provide them with a workplace which is fully accessible to them. Doorways with wheelchair accessibility, ramps, and use of braille at some of the essential points or areas in the workplace are the most common ways in which you can make a workplace accessible for people with disabilities.
Not just at the workplace, you have to take the necessary steps to make all your company’s contact details, and social media support available and accessible for the specially-abled.
The next big thing after employing candidates with disabilities in your company is to provide them with the most suitable and helpful tools and equipment to make their work easy and comfortable in the workplace. Anything from a disabled-friendly parking area, to a ramp and elevator instead of a staircase, could help differently-abled people to a great extent.
Some other tips could include – fitting of plugs or sockets at such a height which is easily accessible for them, providing them with height adjustable desk and chairs, etc.
Removing of physical barriers will help the companies to encourage more employees with disabilities to join their business, and it will also raise the goodwill of the company as it is setting a great example by uplifting this section of the society, encouraging and helping them lead a better life.
Once they become an essential member of your workforce and start feeling comfortable in the workplace, the next step is to provide an unbiased working environment. I don’t it is necessary to be extra lenient with any employee, tor o show sympathy. As a great boss, one of your most important duties is to give honest feedback to all your employees without being biased.
Leniency could lead to diminishing performance and productivity. Nowadays, the mindset of specially-abled people is also changing. They don’t want others to treat them differently or offer any unnecessary extra care or sympathy. All they want is to be treated equally, just like any other employee in the workplace.
Providing necessary facilities to specially-abled people and showing extra care for them are two completely different things. In my opinion, a perfect boss is someone who expects the best results from his/her employees by giving them an honest piece of advice and feedback and also looks into solving the issues of the employees.
Lastly, just like we have committees for different problems, as a good boss, you should form a select support committee for the disabled employees in a company. The job of this selected committee will be simple, i.e. listen to the concerns of the specially-abled employees and come up with the best possible solution.
Such support groups will help them raise the issues that they face in the workplace and be honest and clear about it all. Not only will it help them but it will also help you to know what your employees feel about the workplace and then only you will be able to find a solution to the problems.
Employing specially-abled employees to your company is all in all a win-win situation for you. They will add more to the productivity and creativity quotient of your workforce. Not just that, it will build a sharp image of your company or brand in society. Many companies are already doing so much for disabled candidates by providing them with a satisfactory job and uplifting them. The time is perfect for you to adapt to this diverse workforce culture and take a step ahead to help the ones who need it the most. There are thousands of other ways to build a disabled-friendly workplace, and you as a leader can set an example, the choice is always yours!