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How to Retain Staff With Disabilities

By 9th March 2016June 22nd, 2017Disability, Diversity, Inclusion
Retaining staff with disabilities is important

Retaining staff with disabilities is important

In business, the cost of recruitment can be a huge burden on your budget. Smart companies know that it pays to retain knowledge and cut back on staff churn. Apart from anything else, finding the right talent is challenging, and nobody wants to lose valued members of staff who could be supported.

In general, disabled people tend to stay in jobs for longer. And keeping a disabled person in their role could result in cost benefits of up to 2.5 times the investment required. Remember: every member of your staff could develop a disability, so it pays to be informed about best practice

Physical disabilities

The business needs to provide for people with disabilities so they don’t have obstacles in their way. For someone with vision impairment, this may mean covering extra transport costs or ensuring company memos are provided in appropriate formats. Some staff may need support for day-to-day activities, and it’s important that this is prioritised in your budget.

Training other staff can also be a very good way of helping people with physical disabilities at work. If their colleagues can support them with mobility, and bear their needs in mind, it can ensure a more welcoming and informed approach throughout the whole business.

Mental health conditions

The Mental Health Foundation says that 1 in 4 people struggle with mental health conditions each year. Sometimes, the pressure of work can aggravate anxiety conditions, and stress can exacerbate depression. If your member of staff is struggling to cope, they may have to eventually quit their job to regain control.

A supportive environment is essential, and provision for mental health support should be part of the company culture. Team leaders should be encouraged to look for the signs of mental health and respond proactively if a staff member approaches them for help.

Even something small, like a different shift pattern, can be enough to lighten the load. That’s why we support the move towards agile work patterns, which often involve the provision to work from home. We have heard of some creative employers allowing people to bring their dogs to work from time to time, which can be a great stress buster, if it’s appropriate in your workplace.

Focusing on your people

Every member of your staff is an individual with individual needs, and those needs may change over time. Disabled people have the ability to work as productively as anyone else, and should always be provided with the tools they need to do so.

When disabled people are properly supported, studies show that they are the most committed, punctual and dedicated staff in the entire workforce. Legally, no business can discriminate against a disabled person, and employers must make reasonable changes to policy so they can do their job. The law applies to any person who has a physical or mental impairment, regardless of whether it’s invisible or visible, as long as it has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.

It’s up to you to put measures in place so that your workplace is welcoming and supportive.