Why hiring people with disabilities can benefit the Asian workforce – Reuters

Businesses around the world are facing labor shortages as many people leave the workplace, and Asia is no exception.

A 2021 Mercer survey found that employers in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand higher turnoverespecially in the middle of his career compared to previous years.

The great abandonment will not end soon, so how can Asian employers continue to attract and retain talent?

The answer lies in the “underused talent” of people with disabilities, said Johnny Simpson of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Persons with disabilities are persons with a long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment, in United Nations.

“There are approximately 472 million people with disabilities of working age in Asia, but nearly two-thirds of them are out of the workforce,” said Simpson, a senior specialist in gender equality and non-discrimination.

The population-to-employment ratio for people with disabilities in Asia is only 28%, said ILO spokesman Joni Simpson.

Beijing E + | Getty Images

According to the latter guide for employers According to the ILO, companies in Asia are struggling with disability inclusion due to a lack of understanding and prevailing stereotypes.

“Some of the most common assumptions and fears are that people with disabilities can only do regular work that is repetitive, that they have low productivity and a high number of accidents, and that adapting to the workforce will be costly,” he said.

But Simpson says highly skilled workers with disabilities are “outside” and “wanting to find work” and companies need to step up their various recruitment practices.

Statistically, more than a billion people around the world have a disability … there are countless talented and gifted people who are more than capable and willing to support, outperform and even lead their peers.

Bernd Stark

Bank of Germany

How can the recruitment of people with disabilities benefit the Asian workforce? CNBC Make It Find Out.

1. Competitive advantages

Diversity is becoming increasingly important, with 76% of employees and jobseekers reporting it diverse workforce Glassdoor is an important factor they take into account when evaluating companies and job postings, according to a Glassdoor survey.

Bernd Stark, Head of Deutsche Bank DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) Business coverage in the Asia-Pacific region agreed, saying that diversity and inclusion are high on the agenda, especially for the “younger generation of talent”.

“In order for successful organizations to attract the best talent, it is imperative to have an inclusive recruitment culture that includes people with disabilities. »

Starke is also the head of dbEnable Singapore, which runs an “employment program” that offers students with disabilities the opportunity to learn about banking.

Since the start of the program in 2016, the bank has accepted five trainees on a full-time basis.

In order for successful organizations to attract the most talented young people, it is imperative to have an inclusive recruitment culture that includes people with disabilities, said Deutsche Bank.

Alvaress | Digital vision Getty Images

“Statistically, more than a billion people in the world have a disability. But it is often forgotten that there are countless talented and gifted individuals among them who are more than capable and willing to support, outperform and even lead their peers, ”added Starke.

The ILO said in its report that by creating a more diverse workforce, companies will gain a “competitive business advantage” by expanding their strategies and practices to include disability as well as gender differences due to age, race and ethnicity.

In addition, he reported that the companies found that their reputation had improved and their profitability had increased since then.

An Accenture 2018 study found that companies actively seeking to employ people with disabilities reported higher revenues, net income and profit margins than companies that did not.

Simpson added: “It will also be passed on to customers – seeing the company as a diversity-conscious company – and it can influence their choice to work with them, to buy from them. »

“Both the company’s internal employees and external customers have a positive impact. »

2. Loyalty

In the United States, for example, DuPont de Nemours’ analysis shows that people with disabilities perform equally or better, better retention rates and fewer delays.

“Again, this may be in terms of other elements of diversity. Being valued makes you stay. »

The loyalty that a company can develop among its employees will also apply to those who do not live with a disability.

“There is a certain level of satisfaction in working for a company that receives [diversity] – I would say that this also applies to other people. When you know that your company values ​​you, it is ready to support you – you will develop and achieve the best results in the workplace, “said Simpson.

3. Empathy at work

As companies meet the needs of people with disabilities and learn more about them, they also bring new perspectives to their teams.

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“We are all a little more humane when we care about each other. If you have a colleague in a wheelchair, you need to be ready to help and support [him/her] “Starke said.

“When you talk to them and (find out) that they need two hours in the morning to get to work, you just start to be a little more sensitive. »

Simpsons added that when companies meet the needs of people with disabilities and learn more about them, they also “bring new perspectives to their teams.”

“It simply came to our notice then [experience disability] at some point in our lives. »

How a business can start

For Stark and Simpson, building a more diverse workforce begins with business leaders.

“Leaders set the tone. “They need to review their hiring and make sure they are not indirectly and unknowingly discriminating against potential applicants with disabilities,” Simpson said.

“Management has to make sure that people … don’t consider them people who work solely for the quota. »

The company’s disability inclusion policy must include rules on recruitment, confidentiality, job progression, job retention and accessibility, according to the International Labor Organization.

Edwin Tans E + | Getty Images

Starke emphasized that as companies move towards a more diverse and inclusive workforce, the ultimate goal should be job opportunities rather than charity.

“If we employ a person with a disability, it must be based on that person’s abilities and talents. »

Georgie Collins

"Falls down a lot. Writer. Passionate alcohol maven. Future teen idol. Hardcore music practitioner. Food fanatic. Devoted travel fan."

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