Life on the jobs market tends not to be easy for people with disabilities. Yet efforts to integrate disabled people into a company’s operations (often referred to internationally as “inclusion”) has many benefits from which all sides can profit.
That’s why we at Forever Clean have made the concept of “inclusion” a reality in a uniquely powerful way. Forever Clean’s founder and managing director Aynur Boldaz-Özdemir has made a strategic decision to provide professional opportunities for socially disadvantaged people.
We have been an officially recognized Integrationsunternehmen since 2004. Integrationsunternehmen such as ourselves are characterized by the fact that we see a connection between the twin goals of keeping our business profitable and of integrating people of disability into our workforce. In such companies like ours the proportion of the workforce with disabilities ranges from 25 to 50%.
Inclusion makes sense
Aynur Boldaz-Özdemir describes her personal motivation and her experiences with the issues of inclusion as follows:
“I wanted to give others a leg up as I was grateful that I had been given a lot of help when I first became self-employed. You see, I come from a culture in which giving other people a leg up sort of goes without saying. I don’t make any distinction between the idea of helping someone in a personal or in a business context, and that attitude has proven to make sense for me and my business.
“Right up until today we still need to invest a lot of time and patience in the integration of severely disabled people. While such efforts require long periods of initial training – which can sometimes take up to an entire year – all the extra effort at inclusion is worth it – not least because employees with disabilities tend to be particularly thankful for the confidence placed in them and the responsibilities entrusted to them. That’s something that sadly doesn’t go without saying in today’s society.
“The high cost of incorporation of disabled persons is offset by staff turnover rates which for us are close to zero! Such employee loyalty also has a positive effect on the customer commitment, as customers are very happy to know that they will be working with a single long-term contact. For us, on the other hand, we enjoy the benefits of having highly committed employees. This advantage is an essential part of our formula for success. It’s as simple as that.”