It is critical to assure that the workplace is accessible for your current employees and future employees. Sometimes people think workplace accessibility is only critical to new hires but it is also critical to retain your talented employees. Replacing employees is very expensive.
A study by the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California, Berkeley evaluating the effects of the US Family Medical Leave Act found that “turnover costs for a manager average 150% of salary, including tangible costs of hiring new workers and relocation, and intangible costs such as the new worker’s inefficiency and lost productivity while the job is vacant.” The same study, incidentally, found that the cost of a temporary replacement is only 39%).
How can workplace accessibility help you retain the talented employees currently working for your firm? As employees move through the lifecycle they sometimes are impacted by temporary and permanent disabilities. It might be because of age, or a stroke, disease like cancer or diabetes or maybe an accident like a sports or car accident. However, many employees can still be productive if the workplace is accessible and accommodations are provided. Companies want their employees to be productive and do not want to lose the value assets of the employee or their intellectual capital.
What can you do to make your workplace accessible?
Assure that all HR systems are fully accessible including benefit programs, PTO, and any other internal systems.
When you hold training programs online and in-person be sure the training is fully accessible. Assure all intranets and internal service programs are fully accessible.
Train your managers, recruiters, managers, supervisors and team members about accessibility and inclusion. Be sure your employees understand that diversity is critical and part of your organizations culture.
Offer accommodations to all employees. Sometimes employees need an accommodation because they broke their arm or hurt their leg. An accommodation can be as simple as a closer parking place or a one handed key board or allowing an employee that is hard of hearing utilize and instant messenger program.
Also be sure that all videos are captioned so all employees can have access to the data.
Look at all the touch points you have with employees, clients, vendors, partners and other stake holders and assure all touch points are accessible
- Online HR Systems
- Service Centers
- Products and Services
- Promotions – Marketing & Communications
Make workplace accessibility part of your culture and blend it into your processes. Workplace accessibility will allow your employees to be more productive and creative and assure a solid ROI for all stakeholders.