In a previous blog I began to explore some of the business benefits of employing disabled people. I like to bring this alive by using examples from real life, and will sometimes use case studies to illustrate a particular point. Today’s case study looks at the benefits from the point of view of the employer, and looks at some of the positive impact on organisational culture that a diverse workforce can bring.
Interactive Ideas Ltd is a fast-growing and successful distributor of enterprise software based in Enfield, North London. As an organisation they pride themselves in choosing the best people for the job and have an extremely diverse workforce (including employing staff from 13 different countries!). However, they realised that over the years they had struggled to attract disabled candidates through their conventional recruitment channels. They decided to take a pro-active approach to attracting candidates with disabilities (future blogs will look at a range of strategies to achieve this).
They recently recruited their first deaf employee – Emlyn, a young dynamic recent graduate who had been unable to find paid employment despite an impressive CV. The Managing Director of Interactive Ideas, Mike Trup, told me that employing Emlyn has had a very positive impact on the workforce, not just because of his excellent ability in the job but also because it has highlighted to other staff the importance of inclusion in the broadest sense. It also sends a very positive message to employees that the company recruits and promotes on the basis of merit alone.
Emlyn told me that he is grateful to Interactive Ideas for taking a chance on employing a deaf person, which some employers might see as too much hassle. So far he has been more than able to execute the tasks that were given to him, and he is still hungry for new learning. He believes it is important for his employers and colleagues to learn more about deafness – and how to behave around a deaf person – and he already feels like a valuable member of the team.
What kind of intangible, but important, benefits have you found in having a diverse team?