Page 6 - HGR 2016
P. 6

4 NEWSLINE

Disability Inclusion in
the Retail Sector?

Within the context of the                      implementing inclusion strategies, it is    Scorecards and reporting), however it
  South African Labour                         possible to overcome these hurdles with     is not the only avenue, nor is it sus-
    legislation, and its                       greater awareness and the application of    tainable from a retention perspective.
 attempts to encourage                         creative practices. Common denomina-        Management also have the important
      a more diverse                           tors to success include Leadership com-     role of applying flexibility to processes
   working population,                         mitment, Management accountability,         and procedures on an individual basis
  there is no doubt that                       and employee empowerment.                   for each employee with a disability – as
    Disability inclusion                                                                   there exists no “one size fits all” model
   in the workplace has                          Leadership commitment, like any           for disability integration.
   become rather a hot                         transformation process, involves a com-
 topic amongst Human                           mitment to a well considered inclusion       ”Leadership
 Resource Practitioners                        strategy. It also includes ensuring that     commitment,
   tasked to drive this                        the necessary resources are available        like any
          process.                             to promote a disability inclusive culture,   transformation
                                               including training, reasonable accom-        process, involves
  However the principal motivating             modation measures, facilities planning,      a commitment
factor seems to be driven by compliance        empowerment programmes, and com-             to a well
rather than by a belief that incorporat-       munication strategies which promote          considered
ing disability in all diversity and inclusion  the normalisation of disability as just      inclusion
practices impacts positively the compa-        another form of diversity. Full inclusion    strategy...”
nies’ bottom line. Within the retail sector,   of employees with a disability is only
this is particularly true, as not only does    sustainably achieved through a multi-         Employee empowerment programmes
it allow for a greater understanding of        dimensional approach to ensure equal        become key to retention when employ-
the needs of this part of our population       treatment in all aspects of employment.     ing people with a disability within the
as customers, and create positive brand                                                    retail sector. Supporting employees with
recognition, but it makes good business          Management accountability involves        a disability, where necessary, in terms of
sense if one considers the cost benefits       creating an empowered management            training on how to manage their disabil-
of recruiting and retaining the best talent    team who understand disability integra-     ity within the workplace should form part
regardless of disability.                      tion from both a legal and a business       of the company’s induction process. This
                                               value-add perspective, and who are          is particularly relevant to new entrants
  A common concern amongst retail              supported in terms of ensuring that         to work, or to those employees who have
sector employers is the conditions and         performance standards are maintained        acquired a disability and are returning to
nature of work common to the envi-             through empowerment, development
ronment. Whilst there are undoubt-             and effective reasonable accommodation                                   PAGE 5 4
edly some challenges presented when            measures. These include increasing the
                                               number of individuals with a disability
                                               employed in all positions—professional,
                                               administrative, technical, clerical, and
                                               other categories, and providing op-
                                               portunities for promotion of employees
                                               with a disability through training, career
                                               development, and leadership programs.
                                               Bringing employees with a disability into
                                               the organisation at entry level positions
                                               is one avenue for achieving demographic
                                               representation (important for BBBEE

HOME GOODS RETAILER | OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2016
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