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Retention: The Fourth Pillar of Accessible Employment

In the pursuit of accessible employment, the fourth pillar in our transformative 4 Pillar Model takes center stage—Retention. As the heartbeat of organizational success, retention goes beyond the initial hiring phase, focusing on ensuring the full engagement and long-term success of diverse talent throughout the employment lifecycle. Let's delve into the key elements that make up the retention pillar and its profound impact on cultivating a workplace where everyone thrives.

A barista with Downs Syndrome stands behind the bar with a job coach and pours a latte for a customer. The graphic overlaid is three quarter circles overlapped with words overtop that read: Retention, Ensuring full engagement of diverse talent throughout lifecycle of employment.

Actively Fostering a Culture of Inclusion:

Retention begins with the active cultivation of a culture of inclusion within the workplace. It's not merely about hiring individuals with disabilities; it's about creating an environment where they feel valued, respected, and fully integrated into the organizational fabric. Organizations committed to accessible employment actively foster a culture where diversity is not only acknowledged but celebrated—a culture that recognizes the unique contributions of each individual.

Ensuring Accommodations Prior to Start Dates:

Setting the stage for retention begins before a candidate even walks through the door. Ensuring that necessary accommodations are in place prior to candidate start dates is paramount. This proactive approach sets individuals with disabilities up for continued success from day one. By having accommodations and supports in place, organizations demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and send a clear message that everyone's needs are considered and valued.

Continually Providing Support and Resources:

Retention isn't a one-time effort; it's an ongoing commitment to providing new employees with the support and resources they need to thrive. This involves a continuous assessment of individual needs, adapting to changing circumstances, and fostering an environment where employees feel comfortable seeking the assistance they require. Whether it's additional training, mentorship programs, or accessibility resources, the ongoing provision of support is integral to long-term success.

Building Internal Momentum and Capacity:

Sustainable retention is about more than individual efforts; it's about building internal momentum and capacity. Organizations committed to accessible employment invest in training programs that build the skills and awareness of all employees. By creating a workforce that understands the value of diversity and inclusion, organizations ensure that the commitment to accessible employment becomes ingrained in the organizational DNA, fostering a self-sustaining culture of inclusivity.

As we focus on the retention pillar, we recognize that accessible employment is not just about bringing diverse talent through the door but about creating an environment where they can flourish and contribute their best. By actively fostering inclusion, ensuring adjustments are in place, providing ongoing support, and building internal momentum, organizations pave the way for a workplace where everyone is not only welcomed but where their potential is continually nurtured.

In embracing the retention pillar, organizations embark on a journey toward a future where accessible employment is not a goal but a lived reality—a future where every member of the workforce is empowered to succeed and contribute to the collective success of the organization.


Need Help Building your EDI Capacity?

CAN WiN offers FREE accessible recruitment, retention, training, and consulting services for employers in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. We recruit for many different career opportunities, from entry to senior-level positions, on behalf of employers who are committed to workforce inclusion of people with disabilities.


Looking for more detailed information on workplace accommodations?

Job Accommodation Network Logo

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on job accommodations and disability employment issues. Serving customers across the United States and around the world for more than 35 years, JAN provides free practical guidance and technical assistance on job accommodation solutions, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities.

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Do you want to be a more inclusive and accessible employer?

Take this 15-minute Disability Inclusive Employer Self-Assessment to gain a deeper understanding of where you’re doing well and where there’s room to improve.

Open Door Group and Presidents Group collaborated on this tool, created from recent international research on practices that truly increase inclusion and retention of people with disabilities in the workplace.

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