Busting myths and forming lasting bonds

When it comes to employing someone with a disability, injury or illness owner of Bond Busters Bonnie Dean said employers need to ask what the disability is and make an informed decision about whether or not they can work around it.

“You’ve got to ask whether the employee could make a valuable, well trained team member,” she said.

“The position needs to suit the disability [injury or illness] and visa versa.”

Ms Dean is part of a dedicated group of local employers involved in STEPS Employment Solution’s 30 Jobs in 30 Days initiative launched today to create 30 new jobs in 30 days between 19 Feb and 20 March 2016 on the Sunshine Coast.

“We’re asking local businesses of all kinds to support the 30 Jobs in 30 Days campaign and join a group of inspirational local employers who have helped change the lives of others while adding value to their business,” STEPS Group Australia Managing Director Carmel Crouch said.

“We really want the business community to get involved and find out how deeply rewarding and straight forward it can be to employ a person with an illness, injury or disability – they’re the hardest working, most passionate staff you can get.”

Ms Dean understands people’s unique capabilities and potential better than most as she has two brothers with disabilities who she is highly involved with – one with an acquired brain injury and one an intellectual impairment.

“Although they have both worked for me numerous times, I’ve steered clear of employing them directly because it’s important that they have independence,” she said.

“My brothers have shown me that they are both highly employable under the guidance of a ‘special kind of employer’ and I’m happy to be that type of employer.”

Bond Busters is in the process of starting with its fifth STEPS Employment Solutions employee.

One of these appointments was highly dedicated and motivated Christine Ruskan who was hired via STEPS and quickly stepped up to become team leader last year.

“I love working here!” Ms Ruskan said.

“It’s an excellent team. The ladies and everyone are awesome,” she said.

Prior to working at Bond Busters Ms Ruskan had been taking medication for anxiety for several years, but after working with Bond Busters for six months she was able to slowly stop taking them and has ‘never felt better.’

“I had major social anxiety and would feel my heart racing and have sweaty hands and a horrible tightness in the chest and throat.”

“It’s an amazing feeling not to be taking medication. I used to keep home and to myself, so this job has made a huge difference.”

Christine has become a champion of the Bond Busters team and one of the most dedicated members of the team of 12 Ms Dean said.

“If ever there is an emergency or something needing to be done outside of hours, Christine is always the first to offer.

“A time when Christine really shone was when our Caloundra Team Leader resigned with no notice.

“Christine was straight onto me asking for the opportunity to take over – she alleviated so much stress that day and has been the Caloundra Team Leader ever since.”

With Government incentives supporting employing someone with a disability, Ms Dean also commented that Bond Busters has been able to spend a bit more time training the person knowing a few weeks of their wage were already covered.

For employers or job seekers to get involved in the 30 Jobs in 30 Days campaign, visit 30jobsin30days.com.au or call a STEPS Employment Solutions’ office near you (Maroochydore 07 5409 900).

“Toni from the STEPS Employment Solutions Maroochydore Office has been wonderful looking after me. She understands my business very well now and she’s able to match suitable employees,” Bonnie Dean, Owner Bond Busters

TIPS FOR JOBSEEKERS (CLEANING AND RELATED ROLES)

Q. Bonnie, what are the three most important traits and/or skills in a jobseeker you feel are important to your business when it comes to selecting new staff?

A. Our business runs with a fairly unskilled workforce and we do offer full training, so the traits we look for are more of a physical nature as the work is very physically demanding on the body. Probably the three most important traits are:

  1. fit and energetic with no major injuries/physical health issues
  2. own transport with ability to use maps
  3. basic communication skills, ie communicating via text and writing job notes
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