It costs to overlook disability
Along with the other supplier processes that you need such as HR, Business Development and Sales, Disability Equality is an essential. A lot of people think that disability equality and inclusion is “a nice to have but not an imperative”. I’m going to tell you why this statement is wrong.
The HR process is essentially attracting people to the role and making sure they stay there. Disability Equality plays a MASSIVE role here: from attracting disabled candidates and ensuring that they feel engaged, welcomed and valued throughout the recruitment process. All the way through to promotion and succession to ensure your disabled employees stay in your business for a long time.
There are, clearly other areas in between; creating your inclusive culture, implementing and supporting with reasonable adjustments, etc. But get the above covered and the rest will be a lot easier to implement.
The cost of recruitment
On average a new employee will cost about £3,000 to recruit. By retaining disabled employees in your business, you’ll be saving money on recruiting new people, training them up and making sure they have got everything they need.
Not everybody is disabled when they join your business. 78% of disabled people acquire their disability later in life. Having that environment that encourages that inclusive culture tells employees, regardless of disability that they too will be supported if they were to become disabled.
Sales & the Purple Pound
The Purple Pound is the spending power of disabled people and is currently worth over £250BN per annum.
According to a recent Papworth Trust report, three quarters of disabled people have left a shop or business because of poor disability awareness or understanding.
In order for disabled people to want to spend money in your business they need to know and feel that they are welcomed. Supporting your staff to develop confidence and competence when working with disabled customers will support those customers to want to return to you again and again.
Disabled customers don’t live in silos. Disabled people have friends and family who all need to socialise, shop at and get their services from somewhere. If your business is not inclusive of disability, you are not just loosing one disabled person but everyone around them as well.
A diverse workforce nurtures growth. Disabled people bring into the workplace a wealth of the experience that may not otherwise be there. Disabled people face barriers everyday and every day, manage to overcome these barriers in order to continue their lives. This experience of problem-solving is a must have in any office environment.
Disabled people are also customers. A business that intrinsically understands the needs and barriers of disabled people and is able to confidently and competently provide solutions to these, will attract customer upon customer.
As a colleague said recently ”disability equality and inclusion is not all about ramps and rails”. It is time we change the conversation and to look beyond the obvious physical barriers to the enormous benefits of working alongside disabled people.
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Esi (pronounced SE) set up Celebrating Disability in 2017; offering training, consulting and auditing to support businesses attract, engage and retain disabled people. Having the opportunity to support businesses to see the wealth of benefits that disabled people can bring to business, either as customers or employees is a privilege. She is passionate about disability equality and inclusion and loves nothing more than that “Ah ha” moment with a client when they see what disability equality and inclusion can do for them.