Inclusive employment – why it really matters
"Incorporating inclusive working into the key values of your organisation can have a positive impact on your business, plus it’s good for your staff, and good for the community too." Clare Gray, Product Developer for SeeAbility’s new supported employment programme, Ready, Willing and Able considers the business benefits of inclusive employment practices.
There are many ways of ‘hiring diversely’ and lots out there to guide employers in terms of their recruitment practices - but unless the workplace or programme itself is inclusive then ‘diverse’ people will not be able to complete their training, settle in to the company or stay or maintain their involvement.
A fully inclusive work place (inclusive hiring practices, communications, training, accessible environments, etc.) will enable and maintain a diverse workplace - and a diverse workplace brings with it many benefits – in both a community-related way (it’s the right thing to do, amazing people should be able to use their skills or fulfil their career ambitions) and also a commercial way, because it truly unlocks people’s individual potential.
Sadly, people from the learning disability community are so often excluded from work and having a voice, that few businesses actually know what they want or need. And as a result, the ‘Purple £’ is lost by many businesses as they do not understand the whole market.
When a business is properly inclusive, it has a diverse work force that has original thoughts, ideas and which can facilitate and enable innovation and unlock untapped markets. (And let’s face it, creative thinking is key to business survival right now!) All the evidence shows that when people are supported to work in their individual styles and contribute more fully to the business, productivity is better, happiness and wellbeing scores are also higher, and this in turn impacts turnover and sick leave.
Many organisations are not aware of or don’t know how to engage with various government programmes and services such as ATW, Kickstart, internships, apprenticeships, which can all be used in collaboration with a supported employment programme, as they are intrinsically linked.
A supported employment programme such as SeeAbility’s Ready, Willing and Able can bring all this together based on each individual’s abilities and each employer’s needs. Inclusivity is at the heart and soul of programmes like this, which are the key to unlocking true inclusion in the workplace. This in turn will ultimately lead to diversity within our communities – and this can only be a good thing for everyone.
Ready Willing and Able is a supported employment programme which supports people with a learning disability, autism or sight loss to explore and enter the world of work. Please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to share your details so we can get in contact and discuss the most suitable options.