Case Study- Decor & Co -
Melanie Swartz Managing Director
Decor & Co. came to Celebrating Disability earlier in the year with a request for a workshop to develop their confidence when talking about disability. Mel, Decor & Co’s Managing Director, confided that she was concerned about her staff morale. She told Esi that she didn't have any disabled members of staff but that a lot of her team would take random sick days without any explanation as to why.
As a result of this, Decor & Co. had been suffering financially and were missing customer shipment deadlines. She said that she tried to speak to her staff members to understand if there was anything she could do to support them.
One staff member, Ben opened up to Mel and told her that he had Fibromyalgia and that as a result he struggled unexpectedly from time to time to carry out his duties due to extreme fatigue and muscle aches.
Shortly after, Ross approached Mel and disclosed that he had been suffering with anxiety and ADHD for the last few years. As a result, he found dealing with customers a challenge due to his struggle to concentrate for long periods of time on what they needed help with.
Penny Rogers HR Manager
Over the next few weeks, Mel and her HR Manager Penny were inundated with stories with how her employees had been struggling with their undisclosed disabilities. Although not every staff member that spoke to her had a disability themselves, a lot of people were supporting and caring for people who were disabled and as a result, this had an impact on their work life.
Mel and Penny decided that training was the right option for them. After understanding their needs, Esi suggested that although it was important to understand about how to talk about disability, it was more important at that time to understand a bit more about disability and how it affects different people at different times.
Decor & Co. wanted to explore how disabilities outside of work could affect in work performance and what management could do to support their employees to succeed. After a discussion with Esi about this, a training package for management was designed to explore practical solutions that could be implemented. As a follow up, Celebrating Disability also designed a workshop for general employees to develop knowledge about how to manage a disability in the workplace and the support that was available to help with disability at home.
As a result of the training, Decor & Co. now have two separate policies stating how they will support disabled staff members at work and staff members who support disabled people at home. These will also be reflected in employee job descriptions and contracts. They are also thinking about their policies surrounding how they recruit new employees and attract disabled people to apply for their roles.