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Blend Creative: What Makes Us An Innovative Employer

February is Career’s month here at sacare. A few weeks ago, we shared a blog about why we love working at sacare, and how we find such wonderful employee s… but now it’s time to have a look at our participants and what their careers are.

Alice Waterman of Briarholm works for an innovative company called Blend Creative. Blend are an inclusive graphic design company that hire mostly people with disabilities. So, we thought that in the spirit of careers month we would chat with Monique Russell. Monique is the Account Director from Blend Creative. We asked her all about what they do and why!

(Alice and Monique hard at work)

Who are Blend and what do you do?
Blend Creative is a multi service graphic design studio that has been providing real work opportunities to designers with disability since 1990.
We provide graphic design and web design services to the Adelaide marketplace and wider national audience including local, state and federal government, universities, NFP and commercial sectors.

Why do you primarily hire those with a disability?
Blend Creative is an Australian Disability Enterprise. We have seen that people of all abilities can, and do contribute to our organization and not just in work, but in the positive culture that they promote via their attitude and loyalty to the studio

What do you think can be gained from hiring those with a disability?
By hiring someone with a disability you represent the community within your workplace. Your staff gain experience, understanding and awareness of working with people who may need specific adjustments to their workplace to be successful and support them in these changes. This has a massive effect on the positive culture that builds in the environment and a strong team environment evolves.
I have found that our staff are incredibly loyal with very few sick days and they need to be strongly encouraged to take annual leave.
The positives are not just visible to us, but are visible in the employee who you can see opening up into a more confident and capable person. It's fabulous watching that journey.

(The Blend team at their Christmas in July Party, 2018)

Do you have any recruitment advice for those who are looking to create an inclusive work space?
Be prepared to make some changes in your workplace and in your systems. What needs to be recognized though, is that any change you implement will also be a positive for existing staff. Understand that in the beginning, you will be working out someone’s capacity, but don’t be afraid to challenge them a little. Sometimes they have never had someone believe that they are capable of something and so are cautious of stepping up. Have belief in them and support them andthe rewards will be brilliant.

Any advice for those job seekers who also have a disability?
Get a foot in the door through work experience. Work with an employment service to set it up, or through your school, or people you know and trust. Build up a little experience that can then lead to great things.

When you are meeting a potential employer, get to know them. You are really interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Find out what they think is great about the job and how they describe their team.

Entering into a new job is daunting for anyone. Everyone asks the same questions; Can I do it? Will I be good at it? My advice…. Give it a try.

Remember that the people who hired you want this to work. Let them know if something is not quite right or needs changing. They will help you.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the team environment, the banter, the dynamic of skill and ability coming together to make something great.
We all approach something a little differently based on our own skills and experiences and if we open ourselves up to someone else’s perspective, we grow as people and as professionals.

If you would like to find out more about Blend Creative, why not visit their website here.

At sacare, we support our participants to live their best life they possibly can. We do this from our incredible support team in the community and supported independent living and also through the THRIVE program. To learn more about THRIVE and how you can set and achieve meaningful goals, such as working in the community, click here.