Advice you can use in your team right now as a public sector manager.
1. Offer support and make it happen
Health crises such as the coronavirus, can put a lot of pressure on employees with disability.
Disruptions to services, like education and care services, mean your employee may need to change how they work.
To support them, ask your employees what they need to work remotely and help them make it happen.
You may have employees who haven’t shared their disability or health information, so let your team know they can talk with you in private.
Your support will go a long way to help your team at work and home and reduce any added pressure.
2. Continue workplace adjustments
Workplace adjustments make it possible for employees with disability to work effectively.
Check in with your employees to see if they can transfer their current workplace adjustments to their remote work environments.
Find out if they need anything else to perform at their best. And if they need new adjustments, act fast.
Always follow up with your employees to check they’re happy with the new adjustments.
If you need advice, go to Job Access’ creating flexible workplaces, who can also cover the cost of many workplace adjustments.
3. Keep in touch
With physical distancing, some employees with disability will feel isolated.
Schedule regular catch-ups with your employees during long periods of remote working.
If you normally have informal coffee breaks or catch-ups, find a way to keep doing them.
Think creatively, like taking a break for a virtual coffee using a video chat tool. But check the tool has good accessibility features, like Skype for Business.
4. Encourage training and development
Working remotely can mean employees with disability have to learn how to use a lot of new technology.
So let your employees know they don’t have to figure things out alone.
Set up ways to help them knowledge-share.
Ask more tech-savvy employees to coach others. Or even run a training session over video chat.
Create how-to guides or tip sheets and send around the IT help desk number.
5. Resolve issues fast
Working remotely can mean employees with disability may raise new issues you need to resolve.
Listen and work with them to find a solution.
Don’t let the issue linger. And keep your employee informed on progress.
If you need advice about the issue, speak with your People and Culture or Diversity and Inclusion teams.
This advice supports Getting to work: Victoria’s public sector employment plan for people with disability.