How to make your business more inclusive

How to make your business more inclusive
Being an open-minded employer could actually benefit your business                   

As a society, we are constantly become more inclusive, and this can only be a good thing. The world of business reflects this, with inclusivity becoming increasingly important in small and large businesses alike. However, there is still a long way to go. Statistics show that the employment rate for people of working age with disabilities is 50.7%. This compares to an 81.1% employment rate in people without disabilities.

Inclusivity should be a key factor in any business, and employers who refuse to open their doors and their minds risk missing out on an incredible pool of talented and dedicated employees. The truly important qualities – dedication, loyalty and a drive to learn – are what employers should be looking for, regardless of personal circumstances and disability.

With that in mind, here are three key ways that you can make your business more inviting to a diverse workforce.

Keep your business flexible

Thanks to the rise of the internet, gone are the days when the workplace was the only space for employees to get the job done. Flexible working is rapidly becoming the norm, and this can make things much easier for employees with disabilities. Being flexible with your locations and hours can make your business more accessible.

Employees with mobility issues may struggle to travel to work, so the option to work from home can show them that their needs are being met. On days when you need them to come into the office, hiring an adapted car is a fantastic way of showing your employees that they are valued. This will help keep job satisfaction high and turnover low.

Use comfort and dignity to encourage diversity

Everyone has something different to bring to the table, so diversity should be welcome in any business. The best way to do this is by making it clear that your business is a place where everybody is welcome, provided they have the skills, experience and drive. A few simple changes can show that you’ve put in the effort to let the individual characteristics and qualities of your employees shine.

One example of this would be implementing ramps where necessary to allow for wheelchair access into the workplace, providing lift access alongside stairs. This will help employees with mobility issues to navigate the space comfortably and feel more welcome, providing an increased sense of dignity. And it’s not just employees who would benefit from this – full access will make it easier for any wheelchair-bound customers or clients to enter your premises. This could even help drive sales.

And of course, it isn’t just physical disabilities which employers need to be aware of. Mental health awareness is also vital for inclusivity, and the best way to deal with this effectively is by taking the time to talk to your employees about their specifics needs. Minimising strains and pressures in the environment will help reduce stress and boost moods and performances.

Plan ahead

When it comes to disability, circumstances often change over time. Depending on the condition that your employee is living with, their symptoms may become progressively worse, or they may have fluctuating periods of wellness and more severe symptoms. You should be prepared to adjust working conditions and provide extra support when necessary, allowing employees to set some of the terms about their working hours and the tasks they undertake.

By making proactive changes to your business, you can enjoy all the benefits of a diverse and dedicated workforce.

If you think your business could benefit from experienced guidance and support, don’t hesitate to contact TEDCO. We can help your business reach new heights. Get in touch today by calling 0191 516 61 02 or email us at enquire@tedco.org.