An article on disability employment recently popped up in my feed, announcing that “Disabled Cashier Serves Customer Slowly and Squishes Her Bread“.
The title makes it sound like a bad customer experience. Yet in reality quite the opposite happened. Headlines can be misleading!
The individual describes her experience as ‘perfect’ as the autistic staff member counted her change and her bags multiple times. The customer has a child on the spectrum herself so clearly would have a high degree of empathy in this scenario.
Yet she also reveals that this cashier’s queue was empty. Are others avoiding the line? It’s hard to say from this post but perhaps this was the case.
Either way, it reminded me that so much of our life is about speed and efficiency. We want everything to be instant, delivered by yesterday. Except for instant coffee – that is never a good thing!
It’s this very focus on efficiency that means some people get left behind. Of course, efficiency is vital for businesses to compete and allows markets to function. But what if we found ways to adapt roles for people with disabilities that actually utilise their strengths and don’t compromise on efficiency?
That’s what we are doing at Xceptional. Our recruitment process measures for attributes such as tolerance for repetition. Software testing is a type of work that requires in-depth attention to detail and the ability to focus on the same or similar tasks over and over.
We are setting our software testers in teams with a Client Engagement Manager who takes the responsibility of communicating with the client organisation. This helps cut down the amount of communication that our other testers need to do with unfamiliar people, thereby reducing the potential for anxiety.
The job is tailored to suit their strengths and challenges. And the result is a high quality service that is inclusive and yet doesn’t require compromise by the customer. In fact, results so far show that this model provides better performance.
It is our hope that our customers will see the model and be challenged to think about ways that they can adapt their jobs.
What about you? How might your organisation become a more neurodiverse employer while serving your customer in the best way possible?