Does this sound like a silly question? It shouldn’t. Having a grant application process that works for your employees is almost as important as having the fund itself. What constitutes accessible to those who created the process may not actually turn out to be accessible for the employees the application is intended for.
There are a few indicators that your application process may need some revising. First, if employees are not applying for grants, then it may be too difficult. Second, if they are being denied in high numbers, because the employees are unclear on exactly what the grants are for, the application may be unclear. Finally, if few applications are coming in because employees simply don’t know how to apply, your application process may need to change. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to evaluating accessibility.
How easy is it for employees to apply anonymously? If the only way to apply is with a paper application from someone in human resources, this may discourage individuals who do not want their colleagues to know about their application. Similarly, if the only way to access an application is through an online portal, some employees may not apply. They may be uncomfortable using the internet, experiencing domestic issues and do not want their spouse to be aware of the application, or may not have internet access at home.
By providing employees with a variety of ways to access applications, the likelihood of those in need finding a method that works for them increases. In addition, providing support in ensuring that all sections are completed accurately can increase the chances of deserving employees being approved. This may be offered in the form of a pamphlet, online, or phone support. Accessibility is a serious barrier for many employees to access emergency assistance grants, if confidentiality, ease of access, and anonymity issues are not considered.