Employers can benefit from employees with disabilities

Various newspapers
The integration of people with disabilities meets media interest. (Photo: Rainer Sturm /pixelio.de)

How to benefit from the media effect

The public wants to see integration performances, which at the same time also interest the media. In various Swiss regions, enterprises that are engaged in integrating disabled people into the work market and therefore improving their social participation are qualified for their commitment.

The following enterprises have received an award for their engagement in social integration:

  • Bern "Social Star"
  • Professional Integration Eastern Switzerland
  • ComToAct-Award
  • Price for Professional Integration Freiburg
  • Price for Professional Integration Martigny
  • Price for Professional Integration Brig
  • Solothurn "Social Star"
  • This-Priis (Zurich)
  • Thun "Social Star"

With such an acknowledgment, enterprises gain a possibility to show their engagement and promote their marketing image. Often, such awards are combined with prize-money. With adequate PR measures, theses enterprises can also benefit from long-lasting advantages.

Two painted faces and the message: Social competences.
Dealing with disabled people can favour social competences. (Photo: Gerd Altmann / pixelio.de)

Strengthening of corporate culture

Dealing openly and without discrimination with disabled employees can contribute to improving the communication as well as the work environment. Colleagues with and without disabilities learn about each other's ways and can show more understanding towards one another.

Often, employees can find out about experiences which belong to the every day life of their disabled colleagues. They learn to accept the differences, which leads to an open atmosphere. The enterprise benefits from a better communication as well as improved social competences among the employees.

Increase in sales

In Switzerland alone, about 600'000 people between 15 and 64 years old live with a disability (FSO). Disability-friendly products represent a big potential. However, such products are not used only by people with disabilities but also from older people, who increasingly need products adapted to their needs.

In order for an enterprise to benefit from employees with disabilities, its structure should allow to represent the diversity of the target group as well. Therefore the sales team should also be as diverse as the customers are.

Corporate identity

Nowadays, due to the division of labour and to specialisation, many employees have to deal with alienation from the workplace. The lack of identification with one's own employer can be a reason for motivational difficulties. Identification arises with affinity and with concordance of one's own values and those of the organisation.

People with a particularly strong social attitude may identify themselves more with an employer who favours employing people with disabilities and applies principles of integration. Such a strong sense of identification can have as an effect that employers make the objectives of the enterprise they are working for their own objectives. They feel a commitment to the success of the enterprise end engage themselves even more.

For this reason, people also tend to stay longer with the same employer. In this time of decreasing loyalty and frequent job rotation, this is an important element. Enterprises that employ people with disabilities are still rare. However, the success of such efforts of integration will mean success for all those involved and strengthens the sense of identification to the enterprise

Text: Simon Müller - 06/2013
Translation: MyH - 06/2013
Photos: pixelio.de