Hiring People with Disabilities Improves Workplace Culture and Bottom Line

Updated: Oct 12

If you’re an employer thinking about hiring people with disabilities, you’re not alone! You’re also on a great path towards an improved workplace culture and bottom line.


Of course, offering employment to people with diverse abilities has a positive impact on that employee’s life—it offers them a sense of purpose, provides socialization, empowers them to contribute to society, and helps them earn a living.


An employee with a developmental disability happily working in a garden in Kamloops.

But the benefits of inclusive hiring are plentiful and go far beyond improving one person’s quality of life.


If you ask us here at SMART Options Supported Employment in Kamloops, building an inclusive workplace is something every employer should strive for.


Here’s why:


Hiring People with Disabilities Improves Workplace Culture


At SMART Options, we connect Kamloops employers and employees with developmental disabilities. We work carefully to get to know both the employees and the role to ensure it’s a great match and a mutually beneficial relationship.


One of the biggest pieces of feedback we get is that everyone loves working with the employee. We often hear that the employee with disabilities brightens everyone’s day with their positive attitude and strong work ethic.


Take this piece of feedback that Remi offered about our lovely client, Dawn, for example: “I am always impressed by her joy and how much she loves people and her job. How can you ask for more in a service-related employee?”


A woman who is self-employed thanks to the help of SMART Options in Kamloops cleaning a home.

We’re not the only ones. In fact, diverse hiring is often associated with positive workplace culture and improved morale.


According to a study by Deloitte and as quoted by the Government of Canada, organizations with inclusive cultures are:


  • 2x as likely to meet or exceed financial targets

  • 3x as likely to be high-performing

  • 6x more likely to be innovative and agile

  • 8x more likely to achieve better business outcomes


Hiring people with disabilities increases morale, teamwork, and innovation. On top of the generally positive attitude of employees with diverse abilities, when other employees see that their employer is putting in an effort to be more inclusive, they also feel more included and more inclusive.


Sometimes, small adjustments must be made to accommodate an employee with disabilities—but this shouldn’t be viewed as a negative thing. These accommodations often end up benefiting other employees as well, and of course customers with disabilities, too.


A woman working at the sample stand in a Kamloops grocery store, showing the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.

This is just one of the reasons why organizations that hire people with disabilities are considered more innovative. It’s this type of thinking—this openness to change and seeing things from a different point of view—that makes great things happen.


Hiring People with Disabilities is Profitable


Of course, hiring decisions also need to make good business sense—especially if you’re a smaller business without much excess capital.


Several studies have shown that hiring people with disabilities actually improves a business’ bottom line. This is due to a variety of factors, including decreased turnover and higher employee loyalty, increased productivity, and enhanced corporate image.


According to the Canadian Association for Supported Employment:


  • Employers with an accessible workplace are more likely to expand their customer base and, in turn, their bottom line. They also saw 2x higher profitability.

  • Inclusive companies saw up to 30% lower overall staff turnover.

  • When graded on the same scale as other employees, 90% of employees with a disability receive performance ratings of “meets or exceeds expectations”.

  • 92% of consumers will purchase goods and services from a business that employs people experiencing disability.


People with disabilities make up roughly 20% of Canada’s population. That’s a large pool of talent, and a significant source of buying power, especially when you also consider family and friends.


Two men in safety gear cleaning the streets, employed by the City of Kamloops thanks to SMART Options assistance with hiring people with disabilities.

When you support people with disabilities, you also support their circles. You show consumers that you are open-minded and that you care about inclusivity. And that goes a long way!


Inclusive Hiring is Win-Win!


Inclusive hiring, and building inclusive workplaces, is a win for everyone.


Inclusive hiring is a win for people with disabilities.


It’s a win for people with disabilities who deserve to be included and earn equal pay for equal work. It’s important to recognize that having a disability does not define one’s talents or abilities to contribute to the workforce. Everyone who wants employment deserves employment.

Inclusion in the workplace is a win for employers.


A young man with a disability working in the kitchen of a local Kamloops restaurant smiles while giving a thumbs up.

It reduces turnover, increases productivity and innovation, improves attendance, enhances reputation, improves market share, and ultimately increases profitability.


Inclusive workplace practices also benefit other employees. It shows that the employer values inclusion and diversity, increases morale and company culture, and creates an overall more positive workplace environment.


Lastly, hiring people with disabilities improves our community and the world. Inclusive hiring allows employers to lead by example, break down harmful stigmas, and work towards building a kinder, more accepting society.


Hiring People with Disabilities in Kamloops


Hiring in Kamloops? Supported employment can help!


You may be a Kamloops employer thinking about hiring someone with diverse abilities, but you aren’t sure where to start or what barriers you might run into.


The team at SMART Options Supported Employment in Kamloops stands in a field together.

That’s where SMART Options supported employment services come in. We have been successfully connecting employers and employees with developmental disabilities in Kamloops for over 20 years.


Our services are completely free of charge for employers and we’re there for you every step of the way.


Learn more about the benefits of inclusive hiring and our employment services, and contact the team at SMART Options if you have any questions or are ready to get started on your journey to a more inclusive workplace!


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