Most businesses do not offer employees the soft skills training or flexible working policies needed to prepare for an inclusive workforce
SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 30 May2019 - The majorityof hiring managers and employees in Asia Pacific see value in employing orworking with mature workers, people with disabilities or special needs, andreturning mothers, according to PERSOLKELLY's 2019 H1 APAC Workforce Insightsreport. However, most organisations are not fully preparing employees for amore inclusive work environment due to a lack of soft skills training orflexible working policies.
Diversity and inclusion coaching -- akey aspect of soft skills training -- is increasingly important in today'sfast-changing workforce. Yet across the region, only 16 percent of respondentshave access to diversity and inclusion trainings in their companies. China(23%), Thailand (22%) and Australia (22%) are the top three countries with suchprogrammes in place.
In terms of the flexible workingpolicies offered in Asia Pacific, more than half of respondents surveyed sharedthat they are not offered flexible working arrangements (61%) orfamily-friendly policies (67%).
"Organisationsare facing different sets of challenges when it comes to driving workforceintegration," said Jessica Ang,Regional Head of Corporate Brand Marketing, APAC, PERSOLKELLY. "Toprepare for the transforming workforce and truly impact change, businessleaders must engage with theiremployees to overcome challenges and champion an inclusive workforce."
Soft skills training and flexibleworking policies are identified as two key practices that can help dispel currentmisconceptions of working with mature workers, people with disabilities orspecial needs, and returning mothers.
Some ofthe concerns raised by respondents about working with mature workers and peoplewith disabilities or special needs include their physical capabilities, abilityto adapt to change and need for flexibility. For returning mothers, their perceivedlack of availability and focus are cited as top issues.
Across the region, Vietnam and China have the highest levels of concernabout working with mature workers (96% and 95% respectively), people withdisabilities or special needs (92% and 93%), as well as returning mothers (91%and 93%).
While concerns exist, returning mothers areappreciated for their ability to multi-task and focus. 95 percent of respondentsrecognise the benefits of having mature workers in the workforce, citing theirexperience as the main advantage.
Similarly, receptivity towardshiring and working with people with disabilities or special needs is high(83%). These groups of workers are seen as being able to provide an additionalperspective to business challenges and are regarded as loyal employees.
"It is evident that there are manybenefits to having an inclusive workforce. To promote and manage a moreinclusive workforce, businesses need to equip their employees with the rightset of skills. Trainings such as soft skills development and flexible andfamily-friendly work arrangements will also benefit organisations as they canimprove employee satisfaction and retention," adds Ang. "In addition, suchofferings can enable mature workers, people with disabilities or special needs,and returning mothers fulfil their potential at work."
To help organisations prepare forthe workforce of the future, PERSOLKELLY outlines a Total Transformation Frameworkwithin the 2019 H1 APAC WorkforceInsights report, available for download here.
About PERSOLKELLY’s APAC Workforce Insights
Headquartered in Singapore,PERSOLKELLY spans over 50 offices across 13 countries/regions including:Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, NewZealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
PERSOLKELLY is a joint venturebetween PERSOL Holdings, Japan's second largest recruitment firm and KellyServices Inc., a global leader in workforce solutions.