In spite of existing laws to eliminate discrimination, persons of determination often struggle with finding inclusion in the workplace. In many ways, this has been exacerbated by the pandemic. With still many employees working remotely, there’s less visibility on people who have special needs.

It’s important to realise and accept that the employer has the continual obligation to ensure the work environment is appropriate. The employer has to make any accommodations are made so that everyone can do their job.

One of the best things you can do to lay the groundwork for an inclusive workplace is raise awareness among your teams. If everyone is aware and making an effort, the workplace environment will feel more comfortable and accessible to everyone.

However, before you dive into any team building activities, you’ll first want to make sure your employees with disabilities are happy with your plan.

 

Get Permission 

Have conversations with your employees with disabilities. Let them know what you’re trying to do and ask them if they agree to it. Make sure they feel supported but not pandered to. Be open and receptive to the concerns they raise.

 

Ask for Ideas

Invite your employees with disabilities to offer suggestions and ideas for topics of discussion and activities. Offer the opportunity for them to take leadership roles on this project. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to discover some management potential amongst your employees.

 

Train your Managers and Team Leaders

Offer inclusion training to the leaders of all levels in the company. You can link it with unconscious bias and managing and developing people training. Remove any discomfort or uncertainty they have around working with people with disabilities. Leaders should see the importance of inclusion. They should not be force but freely with their own conviction support the company’s inclusion policy.

Now that you’ve prepared your company’s landscape, here are some team-building activities to support better inclusion in your workplace.

 

5 Team-Building Activities for Disability Inclusion

 

1. Lead a DEI Training

If your company hosts regular DEI trainings, give the podium to one of your employees with a disability. They’ll be able to better facilitate education and training for their personal challenges. This will help the rest of your employees see things from a new perspective and feel a sense of ownership in providing a more inclusive workplace.

 

2. Create a Photo Memory Board

Install a large bulletin board in a place where everyone is likely to see it. Encourage employees to add photos of workplace activities, team-building moments and even some personal photos. Being able to see memories of working together helps build camaraderie and normalises inclusion.

Be sure to install the board at an accessible height for all.

 

3. Workplace Happy Hour

Once a month, offer happy hour where you provide drinks – during working hours. Invite everyone to clock out, relax and get to know each other. Be sure that you host it in an accessible room and go out of your way to make sure everyone feels welcome and invited. Schedule it at a time when part-time employees can also attend it.

 

4. DEI Book Club

Choose a book to read for the whole team and host a discussion. You can have an in-person book club conversation or curate an online message board. Let everyone can share their thoughts and ideas. Be sure to monitor the discussions and offer guidance on best practices when it comes to language around disability awareness.

 

5. International Day of People with Disabilities

The IDPWD is 3rd December. You can download posters and social media graphics from the IDPWD website to create awareness in your workplace. This is a wonderful day to celebrate the accomplishments of people of determination, whether on a global scale or directly in your workplace. Share stories (with permission of course) of your employees’ accomplishments and contributions.

It’s important to understand that every team-building activity can and should be an inclusive activity. All you have to do is be cognizant of accessibility and the language surrounding how you describe your activities. Consider creating a DEI committee of employees to help develop all team-building activities. It will help your company be more inclusive. Moreover, it opens up an opportunity for developing leadership skills.

Everyone deserves to feel belonging, acceptance and pride in their work. With a little perspective and creativity, everyone in the workplace can contribute to a feeling of inclusion.

Contact us and see how we can support you building inclusive hybrid teams where trusting leaders and highly engaged employees are laser focused on achieving common goals.