This week we had three interesting queries presented to Wave-length from employees of varies companies and in this case the three were from the voluntary and public sector but often the same issues can be raised within the private sector.
What was interesting about these three particular queries were that they were from employees contacting us following a discussion with their employer, not all received negative responses to their requests but had felt that things needed to be further followed up, considered or actioned.
The first was around accommodating people that were overweight and in particularly a request for wider seats in the workplace, a request that whilst had not necessary been ignored had been taking a while to deal with, the person pointed out that not only would she benefit from a larger seat but so would people visiting the company. So in this case improving the comfort of a member of staff would help others.
The next was around subtitles for films and how easy could they be provided. The person mentioned that they had a hearing impairment and many of the training films used in their organisation had no subtitles and whilst the company were happy to provide transcripts this employee felt that whilst this solution provided some support it would be better to follow the film as others would and so fully understand the message within it.
The later was a discussion with an employee around a situation where she found herself working in an office with a step into it and a security key to enter. With her mobility impairment she was unable to go up the step or use the key pad without support, the reasonable adjustment solution provided by her employer was the use of a member of security coming to her aid every time she arrived or left the room, on further discussion we ascertained that there were other rooms without such a challenge in the building – for us it seemed a surprising situation.
At Wave-length we found time to discuss whether in these cases by person/phone and email the above with each individual some positive actions and provide some useful advice, signposting or some research to back their requests helping both the employee and employer. None of the individuals wished to cause an issue with their employer, they just wanted someone to understand; talk it through and perhaps then work together to improve the situation.
We all know what it is like to go into work and be plagued by slow IT and to be frustrated because we could do so much more if it would just be fixed, such a situation might allow us to begin to understand what people with a reasonable adjustment not met must feel day in day out, when they know that if that situation (however small) could be fixed then they would be happier, feel valued and be able to work to full capability.
So next time someone comes to you as a manager stop and consider the situation of the individual, show understanding, set some actions and timescales to deliver as often these situations do not go away.