The creation of an inclusive working environment is a continuous process that responds to changes in the working environment and in work policies. It influences team building and leadership strategies, it is a part of strategic planning. Therefore, an inclusive work environment is created by the actions and attitudes of the individuals who belong to the working environment. Once managers have identified strengths and weaknesses through the tools presented (Checklist on Environmental Inclusiveness and Work Ability Index) they can devise a plan of action that will help to strengthen inclusion and well-being in the workplace of all workers and, in particular, of those with one or more chronic condition.
Managing the demands of the modern workplace can be quite a challenge for employees with a chronic illness. It’s also tricky for employers that are challenged to provide their employees with the accommodations they need, while making sure the work still gets done.
Some employees with NCDs may feel depressed or stressed about not working at the peak of their productivity, and concerned about how this may impact their job security.
It’s not the employer’s role to assess whether employees truly have a disability or not. It’s more about helping employees perform their job duties to the best of their ability. It’s a delicate balance that takes some finesse, but managers should do whatever they can to support employees with chronic illnesses. It is costly to recruit and train new employees. Longterm employees possess valuable institutional knowledge and skills. Even if health problems prevent them from performing all their working duties, they can still teach or mentor others on tasks related to the position, or contribute their talents in other ways. Enterprises should provide managers with the following tips to develop an action plan for participation, stay at work or return to work.