How hiring disabled workers can benefit your business
People come from different backgrounds with varied cultures, upbringings, and experiences. That’s what makes each individual unique. People with disabilities also cut across all dimensions of diversity, with disability being just a piece of who they’re. Society has buried its head in the sand for far too long about the plight of the disabled, especially regarding employment.
Misconceptions about their capabilities have led to their exclusion from the workforce, yet they carry what the job market needs. People with disabilities have been known to exceed employers’ expectations both in adaptability and resourcefulness.
Besides professional qualifications, most of them have gained life skills through organizations like dwinc.org, enabling them to have a level of economic and social independence. Even though there’s a significant increase in conversations about their fair representation in the workforce, there’s still a lot that businesses can do.
Why aren’t businesses hiring the disabled?
Some businesses shy away from hiring the disabled because they have reservations about the supposed high related costs of renovations and putting up workspaces to accommodate them. They also assume that some complicated expertise or training is required.
Thankfully, due to increased awareness, this perception is changing. If you’re looking to recruit people with disabilities and don’t know where to start, you can leverage on inclusion programs and practices developed for their diversity.
There are many ways your business can benefit from employing people with disabilities. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Expand your talent pool
The talent pool of disabled people is underutilized, yet it consists of people with a diverse range of knowledge, work experience, and education. People with disabilities have the same capabilities as those without. They also possess unique skills that others don’t.
They can think creatively and innovatively and offer a fresh perspective and an array of business ideas and solutions in a way that other people might not have considered. Their special abilities play an important role in the workplace and can provide a competitive edge to your business.
As the search for top talent increases, leading companies that have taken the step to hire disabled workers have recognized meaningful and measurable business outcomes.
Lower turnover rate
Employee replacement is costly. However, it’s becoming more difficult to retain employees. Workers move from one employer to another in search of other work. The number of people leaving their jobs has increased in recent years. Businesses witnessed this in the wave of the great resignation currently sweeping across the globe.
Due to the difficulties the disabled experience while job hunting, they tend to have a sense of loyalty toward the company they work for. Therefore, they stick around for longer. Businesses that focus on diverse hires have lower turnover rates because their employees feel a positive connection to their business practices. Hiring the disabled also helps in countering the aging and shrinking workforce.
Have a reliable workforce
People with disabilities encounter many challenges their whole lives, making them resilient, and this quality makes them reliable. Compared to the rest of the workforce, they’re rarely absent from work.
They tend to take their jobs seriously and perform to the best of their abilities. Their availability and high productivity can enhance the workforce’s morale and encourage other workers to follow suit. Disabled workers also have fewer job-related accidents. They have better safety records because they are aware of their limitations.
Create awareness and build a reputation
Having a job is a critical aspect of self-identity. No wonder many people build their lives around their jobs. It can define a person’s place in the society, therefore affecting those who are excluded.
Diversity creates a healthy work environment. A diverse organization that includes marginalized makes employees feel valued. When you hire disabled workers, you’re telling the world that you care and are part of the solution to the social issues that affect the community.
Hiring disabled workers promotes awareness in the work environment. It improves the perception of other employees about people living with disabilities and encourages empathy. It affords the disabled a chance to demonstrate their abilities as they contribute to the betterment of the business. Including the disabled when advertising for job opportunities is a way of creating awareness. It’s a way of letting people know that the disabled also qualify to fill positions.
Customers and workers alike tend to be more loyal to organizations that practice inclusivity. Hiring people with disabilities is good for your company’s image. It opens your business to new prospects by attracting investors, top talent, and a wider clientele. People with disabilities have the potential to impact the workplace significantly.
Tax credits and deductions
Unfortunately, some employers refuse to hire people with disabilities because they’re unaware of, financially constrained, or unwilling to implement the adaptive techniques and devices available to help disabled workers in their jobs.
Tax incentives are also offered to eligible organizations that hire the disabled. The incentives are awarded for expenses incurred in purchasing necessary equipment and covering costs used to make the workplace more accessible to the disabled. These incentives include the following:
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit: This is available to employers who hire individuals faced with significant employment barriers.
- Tax Deductions For Removing Architectural Barriers: This incentive is meant to encourage organizations to remove any barriers, architectural or transportation, to help the mobility of persons with disability.
- Disabled Access Credit: This is a non-refundable credit given to businesses that incur expenditure towards providing access to people with disabilities.
You shouldn’t just hire disabled workers for the tax incentives. Hire them for their capabilities. However, governments can provide your business with benefits when you bring in new talent.
A quality workforce should be inclusive. Despite their challenges, people with disabilities have capabilities beyond others’ expectations. They are equipped to do what other people without disabilities can do. They just need an opportunity to showcase their talents.
An employer bypassing such a person because of disability might miss out on a perfect match for their company. Moreover, hiring the disabled will make your business compliant with laws that are against discrimination of any form.