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Disability Narratives

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Video clip: Ruth finds managers need to be sensitive to the difficult balance between checking-in and not be too intrusive.

It's difficult, in that I would want the manager to be led by the employee. And we've already discussed how the employee may not want to be fully open, and may not want to discuss it at length. But we can't second guess what somebody needs, in, in an accurate way. But we can for example, I have one to one meetings with my team, and I have a checklist that I always have in front of me. And if I knew that I had somebody in the team, I might regularly have on that checklist, you know, to check in - do you need any more help or support with this? And raise the topic every now and then. Certainly it's in our annual review process, that people should check in at least once a year, to say, you know, how's it going? Is it working? Do you need more time? Do you need - whatever it is, and try and have that dialogue every now and then, so that people don't think it's shut down, that - I've got Dragon and that's it, it's done and dusted forever.

I think it is difficult for managers to get the tone right, and to be supportive without being too nosey and interfering. And, also I think for managers to think about well, what are reasonable objectives, and what's reasonable performance for somebody in this position? And if they have concerns, to come back and talk to personnel. Because I think there's a danger they may not give somebody enough to do. Or they might give them too much to do.

I suppose I'm thinking if somebody's new in a role, and they're adapting to some reasonable adjustments, whatever they may be, they may need a little bit more time to do their work than perhaps somebody who's more experienced in their role, and used to using whatever support they've got. And so just being sensitive to the whole picture, really. The stage they are in employment, in their life, in their career, those sorts of things. And I mean to me, that's how a good manager would operate anyway, but disability just adds an extra level of something to, to check in about, really.