As a small business, employees are the driving force behind your success. But are you giving all your labor markets a fair chance?
In 2016, only 17.9% of people with a disability were employed, compared to 65.3% of able-bodied people. People with disabilities make up a largely untapped pool of talent.
Some companies shy away from diverse hiring practices for differently-abled individuals because of the stigma. They might look at hiring people with disabilities as a risk or a liability.
But qualified, disabled employees make dependable workers and a great addition to any business’s workforce. Given the opportunity, many disabled individuals are eager to prove their skill, dedication, and hard work.
Not only that, but hiring disabled workers can bring you a number of financial, legal, and social advantages.
Still not convinced? Here are some reasons why disabled employees can boost your business, your customers, and your bottom line.
7 Awesome Benefits of Hiring Disabled Workers
Recruiting and hiring people with disabilities is possible–and it can benefit small businesses across all industries.
Not only will you build your business’s reputation as a fair, inclusive, and non-discriminatory workplace, but you can get a number of competitive advantages too.
Check out these 7 benefits of hiring disabled workers–so you can take a confident step towards more diverse hiring practices.
1. They’re reliable :
Hiring people with disabilities can help reduce employee turnover.
Disabled workers take fewer days off and they’re likely to stay on the job longer than able-bodied workers. On average, employees with disabilities have a retention rate of 1.7 years, while their non-disabled peers have a retention rate of 0.9 years.
They’re more likely to seek a stable and long-term job, which means you’ll save money in the training and recruitment process.
2. They’re able :
Many business owners consider people with disabilities to be less able than their non-disabled counterparts.
In fact, the opposite is true. Disabled employees have been shown to meet and even exceed expectations.
As long as reasonable accommodations have been made, employers can expect a disabled worker to meet the exact same job standards as their able-bodied co-workers.
Even better, these workplace accommodations are usually low cost.
In over half the cases of workplace accommodation, there was no cost required to help the employee adjust to the working conditions. For example, dress code allowances, flexible scheduling, and telecommuting are all free adjustments that can be made around the office
3. They’re productive :
Employees with disabilities consistently rank high on surveys in work quality, engagement, motivation, teamwork, and attendance. They often outperform their peers and can increase the productivity of your business.
Not only that, but they can bring unique skills and experiences that can enhance your small business.
Many people with disabilities are excellent team players–and they’re often accustomed to working in collaboration with caregivers or physicians to achieve a goal.
4. They provide tax benefits :
For eligible businesses, there are certain tax incentives for hiring persons with disabilities.
These credits are awarded to cover the cost of making a more accessible facility–like installing ramps, removing barriers, or purchasing adaptive equipment. You might also qualify for work opportunity credit, which is available to businesses that hire employees with special needs.
The IRS offers more information about the different types of tax credits and the requirements to qualify for them.
5. They improve your image :
Hiring disabled workers can help you craft a positive, diverse image for your business.
Customers and business associates like to see that a company is inclusive and cares about having a more diverse workforce. In fact, 92% of customers said in a survey that they preferred to work with a business that employed people with disabilities.
From a public relations standpoint, this can help you establish your reputation as a caring, inclusive workforce. It may even inspire other businesses to follow in your lead.
6. They bring diversity :
Diversity isn’t all about public image.
Creating a diverse workplace can benefit both workers with and without disabilities. While working alongside their disabled coworkers, able-bodied employees will become more aware of the need for inclusivity and accessibility.
They may be pushed to think more about things they hadn’t considered before–like the challenges and barriers that their disabled coworkers face.
On top of the boost for your work team, it can help you avoid some serious legal issues too.
It’s important that you’re in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in workplace hiring, firing, and compensation.
A discrimination lawsuit could be devastating for your business–resulting in financial loss and a blow to your reputation.
7. They expand the talent pool :
If you haven’t been recruiting or considering disabled individuals up until this point, you may have been limiting your access to a vital source of qualified and talented workers.
Especially as a small business, it isn’t always easy to attract highly qualified candidates. You may not have the brand recognition or the high salary or benefits that a larger employer could offer.
In the long run, opening up your business and hiring someone with a disability can help you bring in the best workers available–which improves the chance of your business’s success.
The Bottom Line :
Whether you’re just starting a new business or improving your old one, it’s important that you include workers of all abilities.
By hiring disabled workers for your small business, you can step up to a new level of workplace diversity, increase your productivity, and improve your business’s reputation.
There’s never been a better time to bring disabled workers on board–so what are you waiting for?
Are you disabled and looking for employment? See more here about the best jobs available in your area.
Read Also :
- 10 Things Employers Need to Know About Workplace Safety
- 7 Must-Read Tips on How to Hire the Right Person for Your Business
- The Ultimate Guide to Managing Workplace Investigations