This book on How a Non-Traditional Workforce Can Lead You to Run Your Business Better should be required reading.
The author lists four issues:
You hire based on interviews. You think great talent is the secret to a great business. Your managers are “good enough.” You fire your worst employees.
The four wins he details instead are:
Every employee feels safe. Accountability is a tool for growth. Your work has purpose. Customers love their experience.
The author and his father chose individuals with autism as their target employees and built a business around this workforce.
The father and son operate two high-profit car washes in Florida that employ only individuals with autism.
In the author’s note up front:
“If you know one person with autism, you know one person with autism.” The quote originates from Stephen Shore, an Autistic self-advocate and professor of special education at Adelphi University.
This holds true for individuals with mental illnesses.
What bugged me about one 3-star review of my first memoir Left of the Dial was that the critic insinuated that recovery was not possible for the majority of people with schizophrenia.
In fact, individuals diagnosed with and living with SZ are a diverse crowd. In a way there’s a spectrum in how the symptoms of the illness manifest in each person.
Not everyone hears voices who has SZ. Others have only paranoia or delusions.
The four wins for the car washes that have autistic workers hold true across disabilities and business types.
Coming up I’ll devote a blog carnival to writing about how having a mental illness can be an asset on the job.