Did you know that hiring professionals with Down Syndrome is beneficial to any business? A global study, led by McKinsey, with HR leaders, supporting institutions and more than 1,800 professionals with colleagues with DS concluded that “companies that employ people with Down syndrome often report significant improvements in their organizational health.” And what means organizational health? According to McKinsey, is the ability of an organization to align, execute and renew itself faster than its competitors in order to sustain exceptional performance over time. Now see other benefits, tips to adapt the company’s task control to receive these professionals and three cases of success:
1. The talents of professionals with DS
Professionals with Down syndrome, in general, are a gift for a company, mainly because:
1. Have an objective, transparent and simple communication;
2. Feel what others are feeling and show empathy;
3. They bind to other affectionately, especially to their direct supervisors;
4. Lead the company’s conflict management to be improved;
5. Inspire patience, compassion, tolerance and empathy;
6. Stimulate maturity and emotional stability of the team at work in days of pressure.
The McKinsey study revealed that the simple and straightforward way of professionals with DS communicate and show empathy is noticed by customers. In a survey with managers of Raia Drogasil (a Brazilian drugstore group), over 80% of respondents agreed with the positive impact caused and told they had received emails from customers praising the program that includes people with disabilities in the workplace.
It was also clear that a person with a disability in the workplace, performing tasks and facing challenges, makes the rest of the team reconsider how they can overcome their own limitations and exceed expectations. 78% of respondents believe that the inclusion of people with Down syndrome in the workplace has improved their own motivation at work.
The new situations that arise when working with people with disabilities, such as questioning a supervisor while meeting a client, helps professionals acquire a resilience they had not before. 86% of respondents agreed that there was a positive impact on conflict resolution and 88% reported that colleagues with the syndrome in the company made the relationship more reliable and transparent within the team. Even nicer to hear, respondents said they missed their colleagues with DS while they were on vacation.
2. Prepare the company to receive them
It is important that you are aware of some responsibilities to make the inclusion of these professionals the better possible. There is no formula to ensure full benefits. However, you can increase the chances of success:
• Be aware of the limited capacity of these professionals to store recent learnings;
• Take into account that they are not familiar with professional rules of conduct and that may have been overprotected by their families, which explains their insecurity;
• So, train them, and train their supervisors to set basic rules of behavior;
• Create opportunities for growth, like a career path. This encourages any professional;
• Without losing sight of their individuality, direct them to perform work more compatible with the activities they do best;
• Consider the inclusion model to be adopted. Your company can develop this model as well as you can seek help from support institutions,
• Finally, make sure the culture and company policies address the professionals with DS, and ensure they know whom to visit in the HR department.
3. The great examples
In 2007, Citibank Brasil created Project SOMAR, one of the more successful
diversity measures ever taken by the financial industry in Brazil. The goal of the project was to integrate people with intellectual disabilities into administrative positions and customer service. By late 2013, there were 43 people in the program, which covers all of its branches in the greater São Paulo area. SOMAR was designed by the bank itself, with the support of specialized institutions. Participant retention is 96%. SOMAR has since become a reference for similar Citibank initiatives in other countries.
The survey found over 300 people with intellectual disabilities employed in almost all Raia stores, working in direct contact with the end consumer. Something else that stands out is the significant inclusion of people with Down Syndrome. Currently about 40 people with Down Syndrome work at Raia drugstores. A McKinsey survey of over 20 companies and institutions in Latin America, North America and Europe reveals this is a reference. Employees with Down Syndrome recognize that work is an important source of happiness and achievement. They develop capabilities and become more independent. In addition, employees and managers have developed their leadership, motivation, coordination and control skills. The aim of Raia Drogasil is to have at least 1 person with a disability at each of its 900 stores.
Currently more than 500 people with disabilities work in McDonald’s restaurants, 80% of them with intellectual order. Woods Staton, CEO of the multinational in Latin America, makes a valuable statement: “Their sensitivity, willingness to help, and enthusiasm as well as the good feelings they elicit in their “normal” work companions are amazing. Above all, they teach us that we are all different and that we need to make do with the talents and abilities that we have, as best we can, and that it is through teamwork that we get things done. Also, and as importantly, working in areas where our customers can see them being productive and functioning like any other employee gives the broader society a deeper sense of tolerance for differences in humankind.”
Runrun.it express deep admiration for the companies that took the initiative to include in their teams professionals with Down Syndrome and other disabilities. We also believe that there must have been not so easy to modify their task control to receive them. We are a task management software that makes that mission more simple. Try it for free and have a good day of work: http://runrun.it
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