What do McDonald’s, TSB Bank, Admiral and Bourne Leisure all have in common? They’ve all been named in the top ten Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For this week, and appreciate their employees.
They’re also all Disability Confident – a member of our scheme encouraging inclusive employment for disabled people. Both these things define an inclusive, forward thinking and reputable employer.
One of the reasons these companies were deemed to be good to work for was because they ensured the wellbeing of their employee, a crucial element of a Disability Confident employer.
Ensuring that your team feel secure and valued in the workplace is essential to productivity and morale. The health at work agenda is rightly widening to take into account issues beyond physical conditions, as one in five of us will be affected by a mental health condition at some point in our life.
Those employers that have the necessary safe guards in place are one step ahead in ensuring that support is available to prevent people being long-term sick, and disrupting the business’ productivity.
Another reason that these employers are considered good to work for is their commitment to personal growth. A crucial consideration for any employer must be supporting your staff to thrive, coaching them through their career and enabling them to expand their skills.
In my role, I’ve met so many disabled people who have had their lives transformed after securing employment, and being encouraged by their employer to be the best that they can be.
An important attribute of a good employer is giving something back – ‘the extent to which employees feel their organisation has a positive impact on society’. Over 3,600 employers have signed up to be Disability Confident so far, and they’re sending a strong message to disabled people in the UK – they value them, and see them as an opportunity rather than a risk.
Having disabled people in your workforce offers valuable insights, ensuring that your employees are reflective of your customer base. Eleven million people in the UK are disabled and if your staff are better able to think in the mind of your customers and anticipate their needs, you’re already one step ahead.
This is exactly why employers should seize the opportunity to be inclusive and supportive of disabled people. I know that, for many employers, there is a fear of the unknown, but the great thing about the Disability Confident scheme is that you can work through it at your own pace. That way, you can take small steps towards making a big difference.
If your business or your employer is not signed up, then I urge you to take action and make use of the help available through the Disability Confident scheme. Ultimately, what makes a good employer is fostering a culture of inclusion and striving to contribute meaningfully to the lives of your customers and colleagues.