The disabled can do far more for your company – and your customers – than you might think, if you just give them a chance.
By PETER ECONOMY
I have a 24-year-old son who has a developmental disability, and I know first-hand how difficult it is for these individuals to find an employer willing to give them a chance. Typically, they barely make it through the door, and the answer is “No” – simply based on how they look, act, or speak.
My son – and so many others like him – are capable of accomplishing amazing things. They are skilled, strong, eager, dedicated, ready and very anxious for full-time employment. They hope to get off government support and live independently. They dream of having an opportunity to prove themselves.
Gallup and the University of Massachusetts at Boston reported that only 34% of all individuals with disabilities are employed. This is a tremendous waste of energy and talent.
Given the opportunity, many with developmental disabilities will be extremely loyal, hardworking, punctual, peer and customer-inspiring employees, who will remain in it for the long haul.
Not convinced yet?
Here are 11 reasons why hiring developmental employees with disabilities can help your business, your customers – and your bottom line.
1. Employers love them
They win over employers’ (and customers’) hearts with their sincere smiles and willingness to do anything to help. Employers report that their employees with disability have a great propensity to remain open to new ideas and listen.
2. Increased profits
The majority of employers who have made the leap and hired an employee with disability have seen a positive impact on productivity and profitability.
3. They have staying power
Unlike their job-hopping peers, employees with developmental disabilities are grateful to have a job and do not seek new employment regularly. Think of the money saved not having to go through yet another hiring and training process.
4. They want to succeed
Employers agree that these employees are committed to their work and dedicated to the company and exhibit a very strong desire to succeed and regularly seek more responsibility.
5. They’re reliable
They were rated higher on fewer sick days, arriving on time for work daily, and returning on time from breaks than their co-workers.
6. They’re productive
Employers have enthusiastically indicated that they continually meet or exceed the performance of their peers, increasing company profitability.
7. They continue to improve
Their work performance improves steadily over time. Even those workers with more profound disabilities have shown great improvement – contributing to the bottom line.
8. They are happy to be there
No attitudes here. Employers report that they are extremely satisfied with their employees with development disabilities because they truly love their jobs, embrace the opportunity to help the company grow, and respect authority.
9. They inspire others
Employers have witnessed camaraderie and a positive effect on their entire staff. Co-workers seem much more open to teamwork when an employee with development disability is on their team. They have also witnessed other employees enthusiastically helping them be successful.
10. Customers like them
A survey conducted by the Illinois Dept. of Commerce & Economic Opportunity revealed that 93% of customers said they preferred to purchase from a company that employed individuals with disabilities.
11. They inspire a change for the better
It takes action to beget action. If more companies would hire employees with developmental disabilities, others would be inspired to do the same when they witness first-hand what an incredible asset they can be.
What better way to kick off 2017 than to hire an employee with a developmental disability?
Reposted with permission on Leaderonomics.com
Peter Economy has written more than 80 books on a variety of business and leadership topics. You can read more of his leadership articles at the website below.