How to help disabled employees to integrate into a business
Some employees need a little extra help to settle into your business. It’s your responsibility to make the process as easy as possible for all your employees. Employees with a disability may find it more challenging to get involved with the business. Inclusivity should be at the heart of your company – from the recruitment process to staff wages.
Here are a few things you can do to make your business more accessible and inclusive.
Provide unconscious bias training
Employees without disabilities may be unaware of what it’s like to work with a disability. It’s important to educate staff on the needs and support required for those with a disability. You could host webinars on the different kinds of disability, and how they impact the individual’s work life. For example, neurodivergent individuals may struggle to concentrate when overwhelmed by sensory input. Training workshops should encourage staff to avoid using demeaning language.
Pay workers equally
In the UK, there is still a disability pay gap of 15% (PDF) – equating to a whopping £2,730 a year. Many people with disabilities do not speak up about the pay gap, and feel grateful to have a job at all. Employers should treat all employees fairly and pay everyone equally. You should focus on building an inclusive and diverse organisation that attracts all kinds of talent.
Modify working arrangements
Everyone works differently, and yet most organisations encourage all employees to work in the same way. The 9-5 schedule and office setup doesn’t work for everyone. Those with neurodivergent conditions, like ADHD or autism, may find an office environment hinders their productivity. Have an honest conversation with your employees and ask them how you can improve their working set-up. You could offer a wheelchair accessible company vehicle, voice recognition technology or allow them to work from home. Flexible working has become more popular since the pandemic, and can greatly benefit those with disabilities.
Bust disability myths
You need to educate your team on disability and discuss the common myths. For example, a popular myth is that employees with disabilities are likely to take more time off. However, most employers report that this is not true and those with disabilities are not more likely to take time off. They may take more time to work from home if an office environment is difficult with their condition.
Embed accessibility into every process
You should consider accessibility in every process. Every presentation should have an alternative accessibility option, such as a larger print, Braille or easy to read version. Your recruitment team should think about inclusivity and offer alternative interview approaches.
There are numerous ways you can adapt your company to be more inclusive and accessible for everyone.