Are You Ready to Work in an Inclusive Environment?
Are Your Employees Ready to Work in an Inclusive Environment?
Nowadays, the understanding of diversity and equality in the workplace has become a very important point when a company wants to carry out an equal and inclusive working environment. To do so, experts believe that the right perspective or mindset will help companies to create an inclusive working environment and take the right steps for more vulnerable employees, for example, women and people with disabilities, to be hired into the company and obtain an equal working condition and situation that fits with their capacities and skills.
However, based on the Ministry of Manpower records obtained from the Survei Angkatan Kerja Nasional (Sakernas), there are 6.88 million people with disabilities working in Indonesia, or around 5.25 percent of the total working population in February 2021, which decreased by 12.61 percent compared to the previous year in the same period. Based on the business sector, most people with disabilities work in the agriculture, forestry, and fishery sectors (3.32 million people), wholesale and retail trade sector (1.04 million people), and manufacturing sector (786.81 thousand people).
Unfortunately, of 6.88 million disabilities that work in various business sectors, only 20.88 percent are successfully placed in the formal labor sector. In addition, it was noted that as many as 226,646,000 people with disabilities are openly unemployed. Of the number of openly unemployed, there are around 87,732 thousand (38.71 percent) openly unemployed people with disabilities who feel hopeless or it is impossible to get a job. From these data, it can be said that the regulation regarding employment quotas as stipulated in the Act No. 8 of 2016 about People with Disabilities, which states that every company must employ at least 2% of people with disabilities from the number of employees for government companies and 1% for private companies, has not been fully and properly implemented.
The low percentage of people with disabilities who are participating in labor, especially in the formal labor sector, is caused by a variety of concerns and challenges according to a study by Bonaccio et al. (2020). Globally, some employers felt hesitant in employing people with disabilities are less productive, do not want challenging careers or assignments (Perry, Hendricks, & Broadbent, 2000; Wilson-Kovacs et al., 2008), complicate the selection process (Hernandez et al., 2008), cost more because they need accommodation (Gold et al., 2012; Hernandez et al., 2008; Kaye et al., 2011; Lengnick-Hall et al., 2008), will be disruptive to team functioning and have other performance issues. Specifically in Indonesia, the concerns and challenges faced by employers when it comes to employing people with disabilities are pretty similar to the global concerns. People with disabilities are often underestimated and not respected as human beings. They are also often ignored and stigmatized that it is “impossible” for them to do something (Human Rights Watch, 2016). In addition, there is an assumption that there is an additional investment that must be made by employers if they employ persons with disabilities because they need to accommodate workers with disabilities (Hastuti et al., 2020).
To tackle these concerns, the Ministry of Social Affairs has made efforts to provide training, debriefing, and mentoring programs for people with disabilities. However, there are limitations in the coverage of beneficiaries as well as problems with the quality and number of human resources that accompany persons with disabilities (Hastuti et al., 2020). Also, the job training that is provided by the Ministry of Social Affairs tends to be based on the assumption of the type of work that is suitable for the type of disabilities (e.g., people with visual impairments are given massage training). Meanwhile, training that takes into account the interests and talents of persons with disabilities is still limited. Coordination across ministries and institutions related to providing job training for persons with disabilities is still not optimal, even though there are 14 ministries/agencies that have job training programs/activities (Hastuti et al., 2020). Last but not least, the policy regarding the obligation to employ persons with disabilities has not been properly socialized by the government. Therefore, there are still many companies and government agencies who do not know nor understand the substance of this policy (Hastuti et al., 2020).
However, these concerns were proven to be wrong by much previous literature, as compiled by Lindsay et al. (2018). Unger (2002) states that in reality, employees with disabilities have an average or above-average score on performance, safety records, and attendance based on company or employer ratings. Similarly, Hernandez. and McDonald (2007) found no differences in
performance or need for supervision between employees with and without disabilities. Other literature even reported that hiring people with disabilities will be beneficial for the companies. Kaletta et al. (2012) found that workers with disabilities do not experience higher levels of lateness or absence in comparison to employees without disabilities, and they also had significantly lower turnover rates than their counterparts who did not have disabilities. When it comes to cost, which is a factor that concerns both the global and Indonesian employers, about 70% of employers identified more benefits associated with hiring people with disabilities rather than costs, especially related to training costs (Graffam et al., 2002).
Not only does it benefit the company directly, but hiring people with disabilities also benefits the company indirectly by enhancing the company image. In some countries, it has been proven that consumers will appreciate companies that hire people with disabilities (APINDO, 2020). A study by Hartnett et al. (2011) found an improved company image as a result of hiring people with various types of disabilities. Besides enhancing the company image, hiring people with disabilities resulted in increased competitive advantage because they are a pool of loyal employees that exceeded expectations, had lower turnover rates, and performed better in terms of attendance and employee engagement (Kalargyrou, 2014). Similarly, Buciuniene et al. (2010) reported employers noticed that more customers with disabilities began shopping at the stores with employees with disabilities to interact with them. Moreover, a survey by Schartz et al. (2006) noted that 15% of employers attributed their enhanced customer base to employing people with disabilities.
Another benefit of hiring people with disabilities included the diversification of work settings which can lead to an overall inclusive and positive work environment (Hernandez et al., 2008). In addition, Indonesia’s government regulates the administration of bonuses in the form of awards to private companies and state-owned companies that want to employ people with disabilities. In November 2021, The Ministry of Manpower awarded 12 companies (9 private companies and 3 state-owned companies) that employ people with disabilities, which include PT Surabaya Autocomp Indonesia, and PT Bintang Indokarya Gemilang, PT Manna. Kampus, PT Shima Prima Utama, CV Shiha Ali Berkah, PT Sari Boga Sejahtera, CV Aksara Sunyi Nusantara, CV HJ Ramlah Mandiri, CV Adi Irma Tadulako, PT Telkom Indonesia Persero, Tbk., PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium Persero, and PT Perkebunan Nusantara III.
Nevertheless, it is important to know the readiness of the company to implement an inclusive working environment to inform them how ready they are and what they need to prepare for, as hiring people with more disabilities has become an obligation for the companies and brings many benefits to them as well. This is why an Inclusive Readiness Survey is needed. Inclusive Readiness Survey is an assessment tool that measures the readiness of employees as a group to work in an inclusive organization environment and work along with people with disabilities. This assessment tool is developed by Klobility and DDI through psychometrics test processes and maturation of disability concept. There are four aspects that were measured through this survey, which include:
A series of behaviors or competencies that are perceived to be possessed by an individual. This aspect measures how individuals perceive themselves in building trusting relationships and creating an inclusive environment.
Personal characteristics that are crucial to be recognized as effective behavior stimulants. This aspect measures certain attributes, which include acceptance of others, awareness of others’ emotions, emotion recognition and altruism.
Individual knowledge that is related to disability and inclusion. This aspect measures an individual’s knowledge of disability type and its extent, law, and policy, the benefit of diversity, challenges and strategy.
Experiences or situations that were experienced by an individual. This aspect measures the interaction and training that were experienced by the individuals.
The results of this survey will help employers to understand their employees’ readiness to work alongside people with disabilities. Aside from noticing the readiness of their own employee, employers also need to keep in mind that employees with disabilities can work together with other people as long as the assignments are in accordance with their capacity despite having limitations. As it has been proven through previous studies before, hiring employees with disabilities could be very beneficial for the companies, both directly and indirectly. (OCY)
Presidential Expert Staff & Founder of Thisable Enterprise
Angkie Yudistia, a person with disability who is active in the sociopreneur sector and known as the founder of Thisable Enterprise, was chosen to become one of the presidential expert staff. She lost her sense of hearing at the age of ten, which led her to feel down and lost her confidence. However, with a supportive family, she managed to get back up and attained many excellent achievements.
Since 2009, Angkie has been actively involved in Yayasan Tunarungu Sehijra. From this experience, she decided to build a company named Thisable Enterprise in 2011. Angkie built the company to empower people with disabilities in Indonesia, so they would have the abilities and skills that are needed to work. Not only empowers them, but Thisable Enterprise also channels them into the world of work, especially in the creative economy industry. Through this company, Angkie hoped that people with disabilities would be more competitive in the workforce and able to improve their economy.
As of now, Thisable Enterprise has flourished into a group that supervises Thisable Foundation, Thisable Recruitment, and Thisable Digital. Through the companies, Angkie provides training to people with disabilities to be able to work vocationally and professionally. In 2017, Thisable Enterprise partnered up with Gojek to channel workers with disabilities on some of Gojek’s services, such as Go-Massage, Go- Clean, Go-Auto, and even Go-Glam. The company even released some retail products, especially body care products, like soap and cosmetics.
Read the last article by Daya Dimensi Indonesia here.