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 May
2019 - The majority
of hiring managers and employees in Asia Pacific see value in employing or
working with mature workers, people with disabilities or special needs, and
returning mothers, according to PERSOLKELLY's 2019 H1 APAC Workforce Insights
report. However, most organisations are not fully preparing employees for a
more inclusive work environment due to a lack of soft skills training or
flexible working policies.
Diversity and inclusion coaching -- a
key aspect of soft skills training -- is increasingly important in today's
fast-changing workforce. Yet across the region, only 16 percent of respondents
have access to diversity and inclusion trainings in their companies. China
(23%), Thailand (22%) and Australia (22%) are the top three countries with such
programmes in place.
In terms of the flexible working
policies offered in Asia Pacific, more than half of respondents surveyed shared
that they are not offered flexible working arrangements (61%) or
family-friendly policies (67%).
are facing different sets of challenges when it comes to driving workforce
integration," said Jessica Ang,
Regional Head of Corporate Brand Marketing, APAC, PERSOLKELLY. "To
prepare for the transforming workforce and truly impact change, business
leaders must engage with their
employees to overcome challenges and champion an inclusive workforce."
Soft skills training and flexible
working policies are identified as two key practices that can help dispel current
misconceptions of working with mature workers, people with disabilities or
special needs, and returning mothers.
the concerns raised by respondents about working with mature workers and people
with disabilities or special needs include their physical capabilities, ability
to adapt to change and need for flexibility. For returning mothers, their perceived
lack of availability and focus are cited as top issues.
Across the region, Vietnam and China have the highest levels of concern
about working with mature workers (96% and 95% respectively), people with
disabilities or special needs (92% and 93%), as well as returning mothers (91%
While concerns exist, returning mothers are
appreciated for their ability to multi-task and focus. 95 percent of respondents
recognise the benefits of having mature workers in the workforce, citing their
experience as the main advantage.
Similarly, receptivity towards
hiring and working with people with disabilities or special needs is high
(83%). These groups of workers are seen as being able to provide an additional
perspective to business challenges and are regarded as loyal employees.
"It is evident that there are many
benefits to having an inclusive workforce. To promote and manage a more
inclusive workforce, businesses need to equip their employees with the right
set of skills. Trainings such as soft skills development and flexible and
family-friendly work arrangements will also benefit organisations as they can
improve employee satisfaction and retention," adds Ang. "In addition, such
offerings can enable mature workers, people with disabilities or special needs,
and returning mothers fulfil their potential at work."
To help organisations prepare for
the workforce of the future, PERSOLKELLY outlines a Total Transformation Framework
within the 2019 H1 APAC Workforce
Insights report, available for download here.
About PERSOLKELLY’s APAC Workforce Insights
PERSOLKELLY and Ipsos undertook
quantitative research with hiring managers and candidates across Asia Pacific
in January -- February 2019. The survey focused specifically on the perceptions
around working with people aged 55 years and above, people with disabilities or
special needs, and returning mothers, specifically around the benefits and
concerns of working with each group. The survey also sought to understand the
various trainings available in the business around APAC and the level of
satisfaction employees had with these trainings. The data and insights are
based on the responses of 7,277 hiring managers and candidates. Percentages
will not always total to 100% as respondents could select more than one option
for certain questions.
PERSOLKELLY is one of the
largest HR solutions companies in Asia Pacific that provides comprehensive
end-to-end workforce solutions. It combines resources and operational expertise
of its key brands i.e., Kelly Services, Capita, PERSOL in Asia Pacific, First
Alliances, BTI Executive Search, and PERSOLKELLY Consulting.
Headquartered in Singapore,
PERSOLKELLY spans over 50 offices across 13 countries/regions including:
Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New
Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
PERSOLKELLY is a joint venture
between PERSOL Holdings, Japan's second largest recruitment firm and Kelly
Services Inc., a global leader in workforce solutions.