How to Align your Team to Remove Barriers to Disability Inclusion

Getting Hired recently participated in Disability:IN’s conference (previously USBLN) where our very own Sarah Pullano, Sr. Account Manager for Getting Hired, led a panel on how to remove internal barriers for inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the workforce.

The panel had leaders from Lockheed Martin, AT&T, PNC and Ernst & Young, share best practices in identifying internal business partners that organizations need in order to achieve disability inclusion results.

Below we share a recap of one of the biggest challenges businesses face with removing barriers to disability inclusion: aligning your internal departments with the desired outcome.

How to bring various internal departments to the table

Bringing a variety of internal departments to the table can create challenging environments but there are ways to proactively navigate these conversations.

Any time you’re bringing a variety of departments together,   there is a potential for conflicts to arise. Each team may have their own processes or desired results, which is why it’s essential for the leader to level set and ensure the team understands the business case and expected outcomes.

The earlier those potential conflicts can be addressed, the greater the chances are for a cohesive team to be established and successful project achieved.   In particular, Lockheed Martin shared their   5-step method below that has proven to be extremely advantageous for leaders in managing challenging environments and ensuring a common ground is reached.

Steps to encourage leaders to proactively think about how to solve group challenges

1.      Communicating - Consider how to effectively engage with your colleagues in other departments with different objectives.

2.      Situational Analysis - Understand the situation and the team dynamics; Be aware of the environment and why it is a challenge. This information will be beneficial when working towards a resolution.

3.      Negotiation - Recognize how to manage the situation, opinions and conflicting ideas while keeping the objective in mind; Be open to compromising.

4.      Mediation - Allow others and yourself to express their thoughts and opinions while peacefully managing the situation.

5.      Company’s Interest - Keep the objective and desired results in the forefront; Understand how to support the environment without alienating the other departments and working in silos.

6.      Establishing ownership and accountability – Doing this upfront allows all team members to know their roles, expected contributions and gives them the necessary information to collaborate and perform with excellence. This purposeful thought leadership allows teams to be more impactful and collaborative which creates an environment of innovation, continuous improvement and inclusiveness.

By following these crucial steps, your business will be better aligned and able to achieve the removal of barriers to including individuals and veterans with disabilities in your workforce. For more information on how to align to your team while trying to reach inclusion, contact our team here!