HR Professional - May/June 2012 - (Page 22)
C O V E R
S T O R Y
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX:
THE BUSINESS CASE FOR CREATING AN INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE
B Y S U S A N S TA N T O N
he ability to think “outside the box” is one of the g reatest streng ths employees with disabilities can bring to a workplace, according to Sharon Myatt, employment development c on su lt a nt w ith JOIN, the Ontario Job Opportunity Information Network for Persons with Disabilities. A network of 25 community agencies, JOIN helps people with disabilities find jobs, and helps employers recruit qualified candidates. “One of the things I hear often from employers who have really made a commitment is that people with disabilities bring a fresh perspective to the workplace,” says Myatt. “They’ve had to think outside the box to be able to communicate and advocate for themselves.” It’s an asset that organizations seeking creativity and innovation value most in their employees. Ironically, thinking outside the box is also what organiza-
So, why are more organizations not embracing the concept?
tions need to do in order to reap the many beneﬁts of this virtually untapped pool of talent. “There’s a compelling business case why it’s good for your organization,” says Debbie Yip, vice-president of human resources and diversity at proLearning innovations, a leading HR consulting firm. “Employees with disabilities stay on the job longer, take fewer breaks and their performance is typically higher.” But to capture this talent and reap the benefits, organizations need to let go of preconceived ideas about hiring the disabled, fully embrace the new Integrated Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) (see sidebar) to eliminate barriers to employment, create a culture of openness, trust and opportunity in the workplace, and make a solid commitment to building an inclusive workforce.
HR P R OF E S S I ON A L
22 M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 2
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HR Professional - May/June 2012
Upfront: The latest human resources news
Thinking Outside the Box: The Business Case for Creating an Inclusive Workplace
Mergers & Acquisitions
Check out the 2012 HR Suppliers Guide
HR 101: Top 10 Mistakes Investigating Harassment Complaints
Interview with an HR Hero: Carrie Lindzon-Jacobs
Off The Self: Latest book reviews
The Last Word: 7 tips to improve etiquette
HR Professional - May/June 2012
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.