A 5 step plan for the leadership team
Step 1: Get buy in from all of your organisation’s leaders
To be successful senior management in your organisation you need to understand the rationale for employing disabled people and what they need to do.
Key actions include:
Develop a business case for employing disabled people.
- The section Busting the myths about disabled employees should answer any concerns you have about employing disabled people.
- Include disability as part of your diversity policy – for an example see the Ministry of Social Development’s commitment to diversity.
- Sign off for and publish an Accessibility Plan. Westpac have a great example of an Accessibility Plan.
Step 2: Understand how inclusive you are as an organisation
Identify what progress your organisation has made in creating an inclusive environment for disabled people and which areas require further development, through a checklist or focus groups. You could use this checklist to rate the organisation’s ability to attract and retain disabled people.
Step 3: Develop your action plan
Use the information from the checklist to build your action plan.
- Accessibility – make your environment accessible including facilities, information and IT.
- Disability responsiveness training – Build your understanding of disability
- Recruitment - Recruit more disabled people
- Retaining your existing employees – Keep your disabled staff, including those who acquire a disability while working for you.
- Data on the number of disabled employees – you can measure how many disabled people you already employ by conducting a confidential staff survey.
Step 4: Identify who can help
There are organisations who are able to provide support and assistance to disabled employees or can help you recruit disabled people for available positions:
Workbridge - is a not-for-profit organisation that can assist you with finding disabled employees, providing you with advice and support on recruitment and follow-up support after hiring. They also administer Support Funds which can help with additional costs. http://workbridgeincorporated.virtuozzo.co.nz/
Supported employment agencies - are organisations that can assist you with finding disabled employees, providing you with advice and support on recruitment and follow-up support after hiring. The list of Supported Employment Agencies in your region can be seen at http://www.nzdsn.org.nz/directory/
JobCafe’s Possibility website - has an ‘available now’ section where employers can view profiles of disabled people seeking employment. For a fee organisations can also become recruitment partners allowing them to advertise jobs and access a talent pool and other tools on the JobCafe website. www.jobcafe.co.nz/
ACC - can help with modifications and provide advice about how to assist employees who have acquired a disability return to work. www.acc.co.nz/
There are also other information resources available to employers, such as help from other employers. Your organisation could learn from others’ successes by:
- reading other employers’ success stories about how they have successfully employed disabled people.
- joining employer networks (such as Be.accessible) for employers who share the vision of improving the use of the resources offered by disabled people.
Step 5 Monitor how far you have come
By redoing the checklist you can identify the areas where you have made progress and where you require further development. This information can be used to update your Accessibility Plan.
One important measure in the checklist is knowing how many disabled employees are in your workforce. If you conduct a confidential staff survey, you can use the result as a benchmark. By conducting regular surveys, you can then track your progress at increasing the number of disabled employees within your organisation.