5 Ways Employees With Disabilities Help Maximize a Company's Growth When you have a resourceful team, your company will be more prepared and efficient.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
When running your own business, the people you hire play a vital role in the growth of the company. And if you have an employee or potential hire with a disability, the benefits are exponentially increased, as that person has a skillset the general workforce does not.
These five traits that disabled employees have will give your business consistent growth potential.
1. They are resourceful and go above and beyond
People with limitations are always looking for ways to improve. Whether it is by researching lower-cost aids or pushing themselves to do daily tasks on their own rather than with the help of a caregiver, they are naturally resourceful. They will always be searching for a faster method to accomplish a task, which includes ways a company would not usually conceptualize.
When faced with a challenge, employees with disabilities come equipped with the assets to go above and beyond expectations to solve it. They are well acquainted with having to look out for themselves when managing their ailments, perhaps by bringing their own materials to assist with reading or waking early to have enough time to dress in the morning. Regardless of the specificities of their disabilities, these employees are truly workhorses, always ready to plow through any roadblocks with their innovative solutions. When you have someone with this resourcefulness on your team, your organization will have the ability to grow.
2. They bring fierce loyalty
The best way you can support employees with limitations is by understanding their needs and providing space for them to perform tasks in their own way. This shows that you will support them, and in return, they will reward that respect with loyalty. People with ailments have felt the anxiety of losing independence, friends or professional aspirations because of their conditions. They have gone through overwhelming doubts and questionings of who will stay by their side or what kind of job they can do. When people with disabilities feel encouraged and recognized in the work environment, they will never forget it. They will want to give back and help the business that has helped them.
Staff members with disabilities will also strive to put forth their best work because they want to make the boss who has uplifted them along the way proud. They want to demonstrate that despite any disadvantages they have, that they can deliver measurable results. As a business leader, surrounding yourself with team members who bring this level of devotion will maximize your company's potential.
3. Their tenacity leads to efficiency
An important key to building a business that has the potential to thrive is never giving up. Therefore, having employees with disabilities who are instinctually tenacious on your team is very valuable. People with limitations are accustomed to hearing bad news, relying on a caregiver or taking longer to perform daily tasks. They are not discouraged when a meeting doesn't go as planned or projects fall through. Instead, they become stronger and work harder. Negative feedback that might rattle someone else doesn't shake a worker with an ailment in the same way. Rather than feeling defeated, he or she pushes forward with more determination and urgency to accomplish what needs to be done.
Disabled employees also make great team players. They are inspirational and encouraging because they know how it feels to be reassured by others in their personal life. They will bring the words of support that they have heard throughout their years of living with a health condition into the business and foster an uplifting community. This will motivate everyone in your company to keep going even after a setback, which will result in more productivity.
4. They radiate positivity
Employees with disabilities can put a positive spin on anything thrown at them. This is because they have been through the grief and sadness that comes with their condition but have bounced back, ready to show that there is more to life than their disability. They want to prove that they are the exception and can overcome any obstacles they face. In work, these people will always see the glass as half full. They will take constructive feedback and use it to improve themselves instead of feeling resentful. When these team members don't get the results they hoped for, they won't hesitate to try again. They can become your go-to person for assistance on a project that might be taking longer than expected, and they will stay optimistic and bring enthusiastic energy.
When it comes to the growth potential of a business, you want people who will represent the vision of the company in a positive light and contribute in a beneficial way. Someone with a limitation who is instinctively spirited will speak highly of your organization and welcome new learning and advancement opportunities.
5. They are natural planners and stay prepared
If you are managing your own business, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by what seems like a never-ending to-do list. As the leader, you are required to stay on top of what your team members need and which tasks will be assigned to them. It is valuable to have someone who is naturally organized and prepared, which are the characteristics of a worker with a limitation. In life, these people have to plan for medications to be refilled, doctor's appointments, and they might even call restaurants or venues ahead of time to ask about accommodations. In work, this makes them great at hitting deadlines because they have an outline of what needs to be done before the work has even begun.
Employees with disabilites often work outside of normal work hours because they are contemplating how they might be more efficient for the next day's tasks. They know that they need to come in early or stay late. They know the deadline and rarely procrastinate in the face of such adversity. Disabled team members can take a load off of your shoulders with their intuitive ability to plan, which, in turn, allows a company to flourish.
Being resourceful, loyal, tenacious, positive and organized are all qualities that come naturally to many people living with disabilities. These people will always do more than the bare minimum. They demonstrate loyalty by giving their all to whatever is assigned to them. Their tenacity inspires others to accomplish more. They bring positive energy to nurture a company so that it can succeed. Their organizational skills allow projects to run smoothly. When you hire disabled employees who exhibit these five traits, you will find that your business has greater growth potential than ever before.