One of the greatest misconceptions is the unfair correlation between disability and inability.
In contrast to popular prejudices, countless PWDs are highly competent individuals that do not lose out to their abled counterparts.
Here’s why incorporating PWDs within spaces that demand results is about far more than inclusion for inclusion’s sake:
Workplace diversity skyrockets productivity
Within Asia, roughly two thirds of all PWDs lie outside the workforce. Thankfully, more and more corporations are adopting empathetic decision-making to incorporate this vast pool of untapped talent.
This is great news not just for the PWD community, but for the economy as a whole. Multiple studies have shown that diversity directly improves productivity.
Many companies have a tendency to settle into a certain way of doing things. The same strategies, the same values, the same ideas, all of which mean a lack of adaptability to the changing times. Diversity through PWD inclusion directly counteracts this.
PWDs often have very unique perspectives, which allows for the development of more creative, complex approaches to problems at the workplace. With better, expanded ideas on the table, work gets potentially resolved a lot faster and with greater quality.
PWDs breathe empathy into the corporate machine
Diversity is admittedly a double edged sword. Differences eventually lead to conflicts, and PWDs can sometimes find themselves having their intentions and competency misjudged.
That said, the same differences also allow for new conversations toward understanding and awareness. Many companies that successfully integrate PWDs tend to be more ‘human’ and supportive as a result.
A collective sense of growing empathy would naturally help create a more conducive, team-oriented environment. But it does so much more. An empathetic workplace is far more likely to understand not only its employees, but the customers it serves. That means a greater likelihood of customer retention that directly translates to profit.
PWDs are often highly engaged at work
Research shows that PWDs tend to be more punctual to work, have lower rates of absenteeism, and are more focused than many of their abled counterparts. With the gradual increase of PWDs at the workplace, more real life experiences are surfacing to shatter the age-old idea that disabilities lower overall productivity.
There are also several cases where PWDs outperform their colleagues because of their disability, not in spite of it. People with impaired hearing, for example, can be more efficient at workplaces that involve excessive noise, such as construction sites, factories and event halls.
PWDs value loyalty
A lot of companies struggle with employee retention. This is no surprise, considering that both Gen Z and millennials tend to change jobs often. The overall PWD work ethnic, however, seems to buck this trend.
Across the globe, PWDs have shown to be incredibly loyal to their companies, provided the workplace is appropriately inclusive. With an incredibly high retention rate, PWDs clearly make for reliable employees in the long term.
Whether it’s filling a niche or an area of expertise, the amazing work capabilities of PWDs have proven to be a boon to companies. Fortunately, PWD inclusion is set on an upward trend as awareness continues to grow.
Karen Herson (2021) Seven Reasons Why Hiring People With Disabilities Is Good For Business [Accessed 28 Nov 2022] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/12/03/seven-reasons-why-hiring-people-with-disabilities-is-good-for-business/?sh=3614d3af1832
Thomas Aichner (2021) The economic argument for hiring people with disabilities [Accessed 28 Nov 2022] Available at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-021-00707-y
Liji Narayan (2019) Persons with disabilities are more productive and engaged at work [Accessed 30 Nov 2022] Available at: https://www.hrkatha.com/special/employee-benefits-and-engagement/persons-with-disabilities-are-more-productive-and-engaged-at-work/