An Employer Disability Information case study on KEYSTONE PROCUREMENT
(case study written by Keystone Procurement)
Responsible Business Category: Workplace / Employees
Keystone Procurement is a specialised procurement advisory business established in 2014. Our aim is to be innovative in the solutions that we propose to clients, whether they be from the public or private sector, whether they are small or medium enterprises or even larger organisations. I would describe the sector as a looking-glass that reflects society at large; a snapshot of the policies and priorities of a State at a given time. Our ethos when it comes to inclusive employment is that we do not have a specific policy, it is just what we do. Culture is what you do every day, it is in our nature to treat staff equally and to embrace diversity.
What we do:
I view staff as assets to the team, each one bringing a unique viewpoint on projects and proposals. I would not consider hiring staff with a disability as a CSR strategy.We hire people based on their ability to do the job. The essential skills required are to analyse and assess – nothing manual or physically demanding. A physical disability wouldn’t impede someone working in our sector. I’m hiring qualified, motivated people and that’s what’s most important.
Our business lends itself well to flexible working for staff. So much of our work is done via email, videoconferencing, smart cloud-based tools and the phone. Our business is primarily dependent on internet access not access to transport or office space.
The need to be a flexible employer does not just apply to staff with disabilities. Employers are constantly proving they can be flexible when it comes to employees from looking after young children to caring for elderly parents. Accommodating someone’s disability should be no different. We value all our staff regardless of disability.
The Business Impact:
There are attitudinal barriers that workers with disabilities have lower productivity than their non-disabled peers. This stereotypical viewpoint is damaging and holding back a large pool of talented and work ready individuals who are hungry for success and bring a new viewpoint to the table.As well as the attitudinal barriers that exist, there are also structural and systematic barriers that have led to unemployment in the community. By not adapting our environment for people who need additional supports we are limiting a person’s capability to contribute meaningfully to society.
Keystone Procurement attracts entrepreneurial types of people, who are motivated and think outside of the box. They are exactly the kind of people who are used to getting things done. I would describe the staff at Keystone Procurement as innovative and adept at problem solving. When looking to the future we must start to build workplaces where people are not disabled by their environment but are instead empowered to achieve their full potential.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have a variety of supports to assist and information is available on the website of the Employer Disability Information (EDI).
Including people with disabilities in your workplace and embracing those employees who acquire a disability during their working life helps to improve your workplace and gives you a competitive advantage.