The Business Case for Creating an Inclusive Workplace - The HR Reporter Magazine - June 2012
The Business Case for Creating an Inclusive Workplace - The HR Reporter Magazine - June 2012
The Business Case for Creating an Inclusive Workplace - The HR Reporter Magazine - June 2012
The Business Case for Creating an Inclusive Workplace - The HR Reporter Magazine - June 2012

The Business Case for Creating an Inclusive Workplace - The HR Reporter Magazine - June 2012

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Text of The Business Case for Creating an Inclusive Workplace - The HR Reporter Magazine - June 2012

  • 1. COVER STORY , HE BUSINESSTCASEFORCREATINGAN INCLUSIVE ORKPLACEWSo, why are more organizations not embracing the concept?BY SUSAN STANTON T I " he ability to think "out side the box" is one of the greatest strengths employees with disabilities can bring to a workplace, according tions need to do in order to reap the many benefits of this virtually untapped pool of talent. "Theres a compelling business case why its good for your organization," to Sharon Myatt, employment says Debbie Yip, vice-president development consultant with of human resources and divers JOIN, the Ontario Job Opportunity ity at proLearning innovations, Information Network for Persons a leading HR consulting firm. with Disabilities. A network of 25 "Employees with disabilities stay community agencies, JOIN helps on the job longer, take fewer people with disabilities find jobs, breaks and their performance is and helps employers recruit quali typically higher." fied candidates. But to capture this talent and "One of the things I hear often reap the benefits , organizations from employers who have really need to let go of preconceived made a commitment is that people ideas about hiring the disabled, with disabilities bring a fresh per fully embrace the new Integrated spective to the workplace ," says Accessibility Standards under Myatt. "Theyve had to think out the Accessibility for Ontarians side the box to be able to communi with Disabilities Act (AODA) (see cate and advocate for themselves." sidebar) to eliminate barriers to Its an asset that organizations employment, create a culture of seeking creativity and innovation openness, trust and opportunity value most in their employees. in the workplace, and make a solid Ironically, thinking outside commitment to building an inclu the box is also what organiza sive workforce. HR PROFESSIONAL
  • 2. PARTICIPATION organization, I still think organ 90 per cent of disabled employeesRATES TOO LOW izations can do more." did as well or better at their jobsWhile many business and organ So whats keeping organ than non-disabled co-workers.izations , public and private, in izations thinking " inside the 86 per cent rated average or bet Ontario and across Canada are box"? To some extent it s the ter in attendance.passionate about employment myths and stereotypes that still when accommodation is neces equity and diversity, many others abound about the costs and dif sary for employees with disabil still dont get it. Thats clear from ficulties of employing people with ities, 20% cost nothing, and 50%Ontario stats alone: more than 1.5 disabilities. cost less than $500.million Ontarians have a disabil The government of Newity (15.5 per cent). Of those, 49.5 EXPLODING Brunswick identifies 19 addiper cent are not working for pay THE MYTHS tional falsehoods in its publication,at a job or business, compared to Sharon Myatt enumerates some of Myths about Hiring P~rsons with24.5 per cent for people without the things organizations say when Disabilities (see sidebar below).disabilities. they think about hiring the dis Most recently engaged in This discrepancy is also appar abled: "Im too busy. This is going coaching employers and employent to people who work in the field . to cost me a lot of money. Its going ees on the implementation of theMyatt is enthusiastic about JOINs to be time-consuming, and people Customer Service Standard underBusiness Leadership Network, are going to take time off. I cant AODA, Yip says its part of her jobwhich brings together top com treat a person with a disability the to dispel the myths about peoplepanies across Canada to share same as I can their non-disabled with disabilities in the workplace.best practices, learn and strat counterpart." During workshops , Yip asksegize about AODA, promote the From Lamonts perspective , participants how they feel abouthiring of people with disabilities, "Everybody seems to be working persons with disabilities in thediscuss accommodation strategies harder, longer, with less. So employ workplace . The most commonand more. "But I have to be really ers will say, I want to hire someone response , says Yip , is that "theycandid," says Myatt. "Given the and they have to be on the ground can only be in certain roles." Yipsnumber of employers we have in running and fully productive. This response is, "Thats true, but every this country, we are now up to 40 is where the myths come in." body can only be in certain roles .BLN members. Thats great. We Deloitte Canadas 2010 report, I can only be in a certain role . Ifare delighted with that. But its not The Road to Inclusion: Integrating the requirement of the job is toenough." people with disabilities into the carry 50 pounds above my head in Anne Lamont, President and workplace, includes statistics that a warehouse, Im not qualified. SoCEO of Career Edge Organization refute some of these myths: we have to change our thinking-sees the same hesitation in employers to hire people with disabilities . Career Edge offers threepaid internship programs, one of MYIHS &FACTS: _ _ __ which-Ability Edge-connects Here are just a few of the 19 myths to be foun d in New Brunswicks publication employers with bright and talented Myth. about Hiring Person. with Oi.abiliti: graduates who have self-declared Employees with disabilities are more prone to on-the-job injuries. disabilities. Four U.S. studies found that individuals with disa bilities experience fewer These individuals "manage disabling injuries than the average amployee exposed to the same hal8rd. their disability extremely well Employeeswith disabilities can only fill entry-level positions. through accommodation ," says Almost 75 per cent of working age adults with disabjlities had a high school Lamont. Ability Edge has placed diploma or higher education. more than 450 interns with Employees with disabilities are more difficult to supervise. nearly 200 employers-a laud Employeeswith disabilities are 110 more difficult to supervise than employees able achievement. But the Ability without disabilities. Edge program is still the small Employees With disabilities cant be fired or disciplined. est of the three intern programs, Employees with disabilitiesare subject to the same performan ce sta ndards and notes Lamont, and the participa guidelines as othe r employees. tion rate is lower than shed like Source: rrr.gnb.&8/0018/CSO/POF/MYlh~lOBuSIIfS~lOEIG.,df. to see. "Regardless of the size ofHRPROMAG.com May/June 2012 23
  • 3. COVER TORY these are the requirements of the really support the concept of build She points to the success of Randyjob, what are the abilities of the per ing accessible workplaces. Once an Lewis, vice-president of the U.s.son applying for the position." organization embraces these con based Walgreens and the speake

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