December '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 2 • G R A P H I C S P R O 4 3 with disabilities may have excellent prob- lem-solving abilities as they've been deal- ing with challenges and figuring out how to solve them in their own lives. They may also have extraordinary tenacity for the same reason. Having disabled people on staff may also open you to new markets, as people with specific disabilities can give you insight into market segments you oth- erwise would not have been able to pene- trate. Employing a diverse group of people also allows your workforce to learn how to practice compassion and collaborate, which may result in a kinder workplace and more productivity overall. Finally, don't forget that not all disabili- ties can be seen or easily perceived. People with depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses are also considered disabled, as are people with chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and other physical issues which may have no outward symp- toms. People with hidden disabilities may be reluctant to disclose any issues they may deal with because of cultural condi- tioning or stigma. In those cases, having an open and accepting corporate culture may ease the way. If your company aspires to employ the widest range of people pos- sible, the best way to accomplish that goal is to be ready to accommodate the needs of all employees and to be open and recep- tive when they ask for accommodation. Don't make assumptions about what an employee needs, and don't make assump- tions about their level of performance or their capabilities. In the end, the thing a company needs most if it is going to successfully employ disabled people is the willingness to try, to think outside the box about what a good employee looks like or how they work, and the ability to listen. The average employ- ee wants to be successful in their job and to produce and add to the bottom line of the company that employs them. Disabled employees are no different. While they may need help and accommodation to ac- complish those goals, the benefits are well worth any necessary cost and time. GP Kristine Shreve is the founder and CEO of Kristine Shreve Consulting, which offers writ- ing, marketing, and business development services. The company can be found at www. Kristine is also the creator and host of the Business + Women podcast and is also the Director of Marketing and Out- reach for Applique Getaway. Kristine was the Director of Marketing for Ensign Emblem and EnMart from 2006 to April 2020. A company needs the willingness to try, to think outside the box about what a good employee looks like or how they work, and the ability to listen. AWA R D S T O C H E R I S H F O R A L I F E T I M E THE BEST FOR THE BEST Your #1 source for crystal & glass recognition products

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