Three young wheelchair-bound recruits, all between the ages of 22 and 26 years, joined us codelattice in the last five months.
The young woman and the two men started their first jobs with us, a Calicut based technology solutions provider while working from the comfort of their homes. We have been planning to open doors to inclusive recruitment for the last three years and in 2020, we just decided to take that leap. Being the founder & CEO I feel that the company needs to grow to that level of maturity to absorb employees who have different needs. Founded in 2009, this north-Kerala headquartered company has a promising ratio of 1:25 for inclusive recruitment and is on target to enhance this to 1:10 by the end of 2021.
Work Remotely – Work Well
People with disabilities have a different pace of learning compared to routine employees with no similar or comparable difficulties. This just means that they need extra resources and support and they are good to go. Codelattice has effectively tweaked our intranet ‘Collate.live’ and built a library of resources, with webinars and prerecorded training programs, to train the new joinees in interpersonal skills and communication.
“There is a reluctance among them to ask too many doubts to their colleagues and this can be worse during a remote working set up. That is where these resources come in handy. They just watch and learn at their own pace and approach only when they absolutely need help. This helps situate them more confidently among their peers”, – Vijith.
Even before the new joinees came in, our leadership team attended sensitization workshops on disability, equality, diversity, and inclusion training. The training has made our community more aware of the otherwise normalized nonverbal or verbal behaviors that could be deemed exclusionary or perhaps even discriminatory toward someone with a disability.
Moreover, Codelattice allows permanent remote work to employees with special abilities thus eliminating the need to commute from an office.
In Empathy, we grow
Empathy can bring about a change from within. By being inclusive of people with disabilities, our existing leadership and employees have grown as human beings and so has Codelattice as an organization.
We also feel ready to tap into the fierce drive, focus, and commitment that is by these members of our team.
The company has also walked the talk by eliminating dress codes for company gatherings, thereby avoiding gender stereotypes, and holds proactive diversity programs that require the participation of the entire organization—not just the human resources department.
It is all about being willing to try and adapt to new normals. With the right mindset and support, workplaces can welcome employees of all kinds, help them find their place, and contribute immensely. All they need is a willingness on the part of the organization to listen. As Saurabh Chaure, one of our client relations specialists living with Spina Bifida puts it, “Sometimes all we need is someone who says “Go ahead. Be fearless,”.62