EngagementDiversity & InclusionHow HR can empower disabled and neurodivergent staff

How HR can empower disabled and neurodivergent staff

Discover how one organisation has expanded and made progress in its D&I agenda, plus its priorities for the time ahead

As D&I remains a top priority for organisations and professionals, leaders have become aware of the key components that exist alongside race and gender, including disability, neurodivergence, sexuality, and unconscious bias.

An organisation that has taken a progressive approach is GXO Logistics, which recently announced that it had hired its 22nd employee with Down Syndrome, enabled by the organisation’s collaboration with the Down Syndrome Association’s WorkFit programme. 

According to Mark Simmons, the HRD of GXO Logistics, the organisation is working to create an organisation without boundaries for talent, collaborating with external groups to benchmark progress. Central to this is a strategy which has four key parts, ensuring the organisation retains focus and consistency in its mission.

At GXO Logistics, we’re addressing diversity challenges within the sector with a strategy which will be four years old next year. Our HR team has a strong focus on our core D&I pillars, as there can be a danger of organisations trying to cover too many initiatives; we want to continue to develop our tools, processes and opportunities, but be clear on tangible measurements to track progress.

Looking to broader conditions, we’re currently in one of the tightest labour market of recent times, and therefore, even from a fundamental resourcing perspective, we want to be an attractive employer for everybody. Our drive is to have no restrictions, barriers or reasons why professionals wouldn’t want to work in our organisation and have a career in our business; we believe in enjoying GXO from a career point of view, not just as a job.

When you aim to have continual development of a rich talent pool, you get an environment where people can be themselves and we have a meritocracy in our business systems. There’s also a customer perspective to consider; there are initiatives we’d be proud to tell our major blue chip organisations that we’re executing.

There are circumstances where we learned from our customers, but we also want to be leading, and there are certain areas within our agenda where we can share what we’re doing and show how others can better shape their business.

Today, in our UK strategy, we’ve got four key parts to our diversity and inclusion agenda: women in logistics, disability confidence, GXO pride, and cultural awareness.

Women in logistics

Initially, we were highly focused on the gender diversity challenge in our business. We sought to understand how we could provide professional networks, how we could remove barriers to people’s career progression, and the metrics on entry, including promotions and new hires.

We regard this as level one of our journey and our other initiatives have corresponding levels as we make progress.

Disability confidence

We’re actively looking to move to level two and become a Disability Confident employer in 2021. We developed a programme that started with two individuals with Down Syndrome that joined us a little over three years ago; we’ve now got 22 professionals across the organisation in the programme. With the current pipeline, we’re looking to double that number in the next 12 months.

What's Hot

HRD Roundtable Report: Levelling Up Onboarding for the Hybrid World

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Levelling Up Onboarding for the Hybrid World 5 May 2022

4m

HRD Roundtable Report: Levelling Up Onboarding for...

Attracting new talent is shooting up the priority list, but also proving more difficult than ever. After the effort of finding the right person, are w...

View event
HRD Roundtable Report: Redefining Company Culture in Hybrid Work Environments

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Redefining Company Culture in Hybrid Work Environments 26 May 2022

4m

HRD Roundtable Report: Redefining Company Culture ...

The process of redefining a company culture is a complex one. Culture contributes directly to the day-to-day experience of employees, and many leaders...

View event
Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

Whitepaper | Talent Development Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

5m

Learning to win the talent war: how digital market...

This report documents the findings of a Fireside chat held by ClickZ in the first quarter of 2022. It provides expert insight on how companies can ret...

View resource
HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce 5 May 2022

5m

HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging ...

We know hybrid working is here to stay, forcing many organisations to experiment with innovative and creative strategies from 4-day working weeks to u...

View event
HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain 3 March 2022

5m

HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What...

We know the pandemic has caused many people to revaluate their careers and relationships with work and have been seeing the impact in global trends in...

View event
Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

Leadership Development Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

8m Dave Ulrich

Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simpl...

HR thought leader Dave Ulrich outlines ways leaders can deal with complexity in an increasingly busy world, including how to think critically and turn...

View article
HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making 5 May 2022

5m

HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Org...

Historically, HR hasn’t been as effective as it could be in sharing and communicating data with wider teams. It’s paramount that we remove the self-in...

View event
Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

Digital HR Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

8m Leah Belsky

Digital transformation investment grows but critic...

Covid-19 has accelerated the rate of digital learning on a global scale. Coursera's latest report provides an update on employee proficiency in a numb...

View article
Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successfully drive engagement

Employee Engagement Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successfully drive engagement

8m Alara Basul | Sponsored

Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successf...

Remote working has impacted the way we communicate as a workforce, but striking the right balance between creating an engaged workforce and a successf...

View article
How to create a company culture capable of empowering the modern workforce

Culture How to create a company culture capable of empowering the modern workforce

8m Alara Basul | Sponsored

How to create a company culture capable of empower...

While new working patterns that emerged from the pandemic have earned a permanent spot in the workplace, creating a purpose-driven culture based ...

View article
WATCH: Connection and collaboration in a hybrid workplace

Leadership Learnings WATCH: Connection and collaboration in a hybrid workplace

9m Amy Kirkham

WATCH: Connection and collaboration in a hybrid wo...

Alison Noon-Jones, VP of People & Culture at Leidos UK & Europe, shares how crucial employee engagement and participation is when shaping the people s...

View article
Turbulence ahead: Why it’s time to be bold in your leadership

Leadership Development Turbulence ahead: Why it’s time to be bold in your leadership

9m Terence Mauri

Turbulence ahead: Why it’s time to be bold in your...

HRD thought leader and Hack Future Lab founder Terence Mauri sets out why the biggest risk to leadership is not turbulence itself, but leading with ye...

View article

There’s a huge demand across different sites that are looking to create jobs and career opportunities with this initiative. With the aim to be a Disability Confident employer, collaborating with the Down Syndrome Associations WorkFit programme, and a more recent partnership with Mencap, we’re joining together all the different parts of the plan.

We’ve endeavoured to make our learning and policy documents as accessible as possible, considering the fonts and colours we use, and how we share messages across the organisation for people with different needs.

The organisation has individuals that’ve got hidden disabilities like dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism and similar conditions, therefore partnering with a group like Mencap is vital because they help educate us. For instance, our line managers are aware of how to manage individuals with lots of different needs.

GXO pride

The third level is our GXO pride initiative, with an aim to become a Stonewall top employer by 2026, looking at all our policies and practices around inclusivity and ways of working.

For me, Pride is about a culture of inclusion that allows everyone to bring their real, true self to the office and perform at their best. It’s about creating an office, warehouse or cross-dock environment where everyone feels comfortable and knows they’re respected and safe in their workplace.

For us, June is Pride Month – it’s the perfect time to communicate our continued commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate the ways we are different, but also better, together.

Our social responsibility extends broadly; we’ve got over 30,000 professionals in 49 different locations globally. Therefore, we will remain a major employer in many pockets and corners of the UK, and it’s part of our responsibility, locally and nationally, to be an organisation that is proud of our wide pool of talent, and allows professionals to be themselves.

Our people centric DNA drives us to have the widest possible reach of all individuals and all talents. We ask ourselves how we can differentiate ourselves in the marketplace; we strive to make sure our values are explicit, led from the heart as well as the head, to both current employee and to prospective talent.

Cultural awareness

The fourth level, that underpins the other three, is cultural awareness. How do we develop the capability, attitude, mindset and approach of our managers to ensure that we’ve got good cultural awareness? We’ve got focus group workshops that represent the diverse individuals of our organisation and we review our learning programmes to ensure that we remove any unconscious bias.

We’ve got a calendar of activities and initiatives that are in place, and will be refreshed after 2022, with an aim to turn some of our findings and discussions into tangible actions. From a learning and development point of view, we’ve developed some podcasts for managers, giving people the tools and the confidence to embrace this initiative for their respective parts of the business.

Looking to the future, we’ve got a range of external relationships in D&I that we’re keen to grow, working with the armed forces and open prisons to acquire and develop talent. A key priority over the next year is to coordinate more nationally.

For instance, we’ve always had an effective pipeline of entry programmes for young people, but in light of the pandemic and looking at the demographics of employment today, we’re making sure that we have a joined up plan. There will be a greater emphasis on national coordination, but centred around the four parts of the agenda.

Subscribe to HRD Connect for daily updates on the future of work, including thought leadership, video interviews, the HRD Live Podcast and more.

Comments are closed.

What's Hot

HRD Roundtable Report: Levelling Up Onboarding for the Hybrid World

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Levelling Up Onboarding for the Hybrid World 5 May 2022

4m

HRD Roundtable Report: Levelling Up Onboarding for...

Attracting new talent is shooting up the priority list, but also proving more difficult than ever. After the effort of finding the right person, are w...

View event
HRD Roundtable Report: Redefining Company Culture in Hybrid Work Environments

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Redefining Company Culture in Hybrid Work Environments 26 May 2022

4m

HRD Roundtable Report: Redefining Company Culture ...

The process of redefining a company culture is a complex one. Culture contributes directly to the day-to-day experience of employees, and many leaders...

View event
Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

Whitepaper | Talent Development Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

5m

Learning to win the talent war: how digital market...

This report documents the findings of a Fireside chat held by ClickZ in the first quarter of 2022. It provides expert insight on how companies can ret...

View resource
HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce 5 May 2022

5m

HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging ...

We know hybrid working is here to stay, forcing many organisations to experiment with innovative and creative strategies from 4-day working weeks to u...

View event
HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain 3 March 2022

5m

HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What...

We know the pandemic has caused many people to revaluate their careers and relationships with work and have been seeing the impact in global trends in...

View event
Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

Leadership Development Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

8m Dave Ulrich

Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simpl...

HR thought leader Dave Ulrich outlines ways leaders can deal with complexity in an increasingly busy world, including how to think critically and turn...

View article
HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making 5 May 2022

5m

HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Org...

Historically, HR hasn’t been as effective as it could be in sharing and communicating data with wider teams. It’s paramount that we remove the self-in...

View event
Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

Digital HR Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

8m Leah Belsky

Digital transformation investment grows but critic...

Covid-19 has accelerated the rate of digital learning on a global scale. Coursera's latest report provides an update on employee proficiency in a numb...

View article