July 21, 2021

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An employer’s response to disability accommodation requests plays an incredibly critical role in the health of their company as well as the general workforce as a whole. How so? If employees feel comfortable making requests that will allow them to perform their job they’re less likely to suffer from undue stress and anxiety and more likely to succeed at their work. Ignoring or penalizing requests produces a toxic culture of fear and paralyzed productivity, which can stain the employee’s ability to be efficient at all future jobs.

Employer’s should approach accommodating disabilities as an opportunity for their employees to succeed as well as a chance to move workplace culture forward towards a more inclusive environment, which we know has long-term positive value. This week, we share four ways employers can make their workplace more disability-friendly.

 

An accommodating workplace

 

  1. Be welcoming to accommodation requests and RESPOND. There really isn’t anything on this list more important than being a responsive ear to an employee. Employers should take great care in creating an environment that is both a physical and emotional safe space for their employees. They should be approachable for and considerate to an employee’s request, and thoughtful in their response. This is key.
  2. Physical accommodations such as desk height, assistive technology, and modifying equipment are important tools in ensuring that employees can work efficiently. These tools are the very foundation of a productive workplace.
  3. Flexibility: think job duty restructuring, remote work, and flexible schedules. If the past year has taught employer’s anything, it’s that by thinking outside the ‘way we’ve always done it’ is an excellent way to push a productive and innovative workplace culture forward.
  4. Lastly, work with the employee. Involve the employee making a request in the decision process. This is beneficial in many ways including relationship-building, which a healthy company culture is dependent upon. We know that projects achieved as a result of collaborations are typically the most successful, and that is true with disability accommodations as well.

 

Keep in mind that while an employer is not legally obligated to accommodate an exact request, they do need to take requests seriously and should respond to them thoughtfully. And when is a workplace that simply plays solely by their legal requirements ever innovative? The workforce is comprised of a diverse group of abilities and the workplace should be representative of that. If you’re feeling hesitant on how to get started, the experienced HR team at Eos HR can help. We make sure small business teams are successful in maintaining the practices that support a productive company culture. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.

 

#hr #weareEOSHR #disabilityaccommodations #smallbusiness

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