Employers want to diversify their workplace and ensure there is plenty of support for their employees.
However, if you have an employee with a disability, it’s important to have disability training for your staff.
There are many things to keep in mind when it comes to providing a safe working environment for your employees, and there are additional considerations when it comes to sensitivity training around disabilities as well.
Here are some reasons why disability awareness and training in the workplace is important and how you can empower your team to create a psychologically safe workspace.
It creates a more level playing field for employees
While this may not be the case in all workplaces, there are many companies that only do the bare minimum for disability training and awareness. This kind of neglegence can make employees with disabilities feel overlooked or burdensome. Taking time to ask all of your staff to be aware of how to support those with disabilities allows them to create a level playing field so that no matter what a worker’s status is, they have the tools they need to succeed.
It fosters awareness and emotional intelligence
Even those with the best intentions may accidentally step out of line or say something offensive without realizing it. Proactively addressing this kind of unintentional misstep is crucial for developing a psychologically safe work environment. Not only that, it encourages workers to take a step back and consider other areas of communication that could use improvement. This kind of awareness helps build camaraderie and collaboration.
It promotes a more collaborative environment
If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” you know that effective teamwork is crucial for the success of any project or organization. When employees are aware of the strengths of their teammates, they can advocate for them, and better match them with tasks that suit their strengths. In turn, they can support one another as they work on more challenging projects. This collaborative energy will permeate throughout your workforce, helping everyone shift into a team-based mindset.
It ensures those with disabilities have proper access and accommodations
While cooperation, collaboration and psychological safety are all crucial in a healthy workplace, you also need to ensure your team knows how to support those with disabilities in a practical way. For example, a manager may not have experience with ADA compliance and may need training on how to best support a direct report with a disability.
Overall, company-wide disability training is crucial for every workplace. Not only does it promote a healthier working environment, but it also gives employees with disabilities peace of mind. When employees feel welcomed, cared for and valued, they will bring their best work to the table.
If you’re interested in providing disability training within your workplace or have questions about ADA compliance, please give The Simmons Advantage a call! We’d be happy to help you and your team learn the ins and outs of disability awareness.