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Disability or differences do not define an employee’s identity or competence!

By 19/01/2024February 28th, 2024No Comments

Companies need to increase their awareness of the benefits of having diverse teams, which ultimately lead to greater productivity. It’s crucial to recognize that a disability or difference does not define an employee’s identity or competence.

It’s essential to look beyond differences, evaluating these employees based on their skills and motivations. Ensuring that the company provides necessary accessibility conditions and workstations for the effective performance of their duties is paramount.

In essence, companies and their leaders need to perceive these individuals as potential talents who, with the right tools, can be as or even more productive than any other person without a disability.

Companies often have concerns due to the invisibility of these individuals, uncertainty about the implications in terms of adaptations (physical, goals and targets, working hours, team dynamics, etc.), lack of information about the benefits of hiring, reliance on precarious contracts and a lack of career progression plans. There’s also concern about potential mismatches in qualifications and training compared to market needs, as well as a lack of oversight and evaluation measures by the government to ensure genuine inclusion and prevent abusive use of support measures.

Given the increased unemployment rate for the general population due to the pandemic, quota laws can be an excellent opportunity for these professionals with employers, turning their primary barrier in the job market – their disability – into a promoter.

Companies should establish an inclusion and diversity program with the goal of integrating employees with different characteristics, fully capable of contributing to increased productivity, just like any other employee. To achieve this, it’s crucial to raise awareness among all employees about the importance of inclusive employment, fostering the creation of an inclusive culture. Managers and direct leaders should be equipped with best practices in inclusive leadership. HR leadership, especially the recruitment and selection team, should be trained in mechanisms for implementing and monitoring the inclusive employment process.

Training allows sensitizing company employees to the benefits of an inclusive culture, imparting a set of behaviors and best practices that make employees feel welcome and integrated into the team. Normalizing these situations is fundamental, understanding that our behavior should be oriented towards inclusion, incorporating it into everyday life, teams, and the work environment as a whole. Inclusion is a current and undeniable reality, generating more business, financial opportunities, and evident competitive advantages.

Sandra Lourenço

CEO Your People

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