Inclusive Business Forum 2022: Building Business Resilience and Growth in the Future of Work
Findings from an SG Enable-commissioned study on the benefits of disability-inclusive hiring were also released
Singapore, 25 AUGUST 2022 – SG Enable’s Inclusive Business Forum returned for its fourth edition today, with new findings on the business benefits of disability-inclusive hiring shared at the event.
The biennial Inclusive Business Forum is organised by SG Enable, the focal agency for disability and inclusion in Singapore. Themed ‘The Future of Work: Building Business Resilience and Growth’, the Forum explored insights from disability-inclusive
employers, industry experts and persons with disabilities on the new opportunities for organisations to tap persons with disabilities as a viable talent pool, against the backdrop of a global talent shortage.
Mr Lawrence Wong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, graced the Forum as Guest of Honour and delivered the Opening Address. Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Social and Family Development, was the Host.
New study highlights 4 key benefits of a disability-inclusive workforce
At the Forum, SG Enable released the findings from a study on the perceptions of organisational performance and culture among employees at 30 disability-inclusive companies. SG Enable commissioned executive search and consulting firm Heidrick & Struggles to conduct the study, which is the first in Singapore to involve organisations from a range of sectors, varying sizes and with differing degrees of disability inclusiveness to examine the business case for disability-inclusive employment.
The study found four key benefits of having disability-inclusive employment practices:
- Purpose-driven employees – Organisations with such practices tend to be clearer on their business objectives. They understand how the policy fits with their wider goals, and convey it to their staff. Employees are more likely to feel a shared sense of purpose with their employer.
- Innovative and learning culture – Employees in disability-inclusive organisations rated them as open to change and felt that a diverse team was conducive to original and creative thinking.
- Simpler, digitally-enabled processes – Disability-inclusive employment provides an impetus for efficiency and the adoption of digital tools to remove workplace barriers.
- Customer-centric thinking – Simplified internal processes showed the added benefit of promoting more customer-centric thinking, with a clearer breakdown of products and services, and in some cases, product development.
It measured employees’ perceptions on their organisations’ culture and performance, and compared these scores against a measure of the organisations’ disability-inclusive employment practices. On average, organisations with more disability-inclusive employment practices score:
- 9% higher on purposeful leadership, where employees who believe in the benefits of inclusion see it in practice with their organisation, and this reinforces the feeling that their personal purpose is aligned with that of the organisation;
- 9% higher on learning and growth, where employees were significantly more likely to rate their company as being open to change and learning, to demonstrate trust in its employees, value their work-life balance, and reward their strengths and performance;
- 8% higher on digital readiness, where employees in organisations who adapt to become more inclusive were significantly more likely to view their work processes as efficient;
- 2% higher on simplicity (of processes), where disability-inclusive organisations tend to have simplified processes and clearer communications internally, which have a significant positive relationship with the levels of customer focus in the organisation.
Maximising the potential of persons with disabilities
The Forum featured a keynote presentation and two panel discussions comprising a mix of business leaders and persons with disabilities in prominent academic and corporate positions. They shared their experiences and exchanged insights on how disability inclusion can drive business resilience and sustainable growth in the future of work. The panellists with disabilities also debunked common misconceptions of hiring persons with disabilities, and shared their visions of an inclusive workforce.
Ms Ku Geok Boon, Chief Executive Officer, SG Enable, said: “We believe that hiring persons with disabilities can be a business imperative that builds organisational resilience. Persons with disabilities are also integral members of society who have unique strengths and can contribute meaningfully when the focus is on their abilities. Through SG Enable’s commissioned study on the competitive advantage of a disability-inclusive workforce, we hope the positive findings will embolden organisations to take the first step in working with us to embark on this meaningful journey of hiring persons with disabilities.”
The Inclusive Business Forum is supported by the Enabling Lives Initiative, in support of the Forward Singapore exercise, and with CNA as the Official Media Partner.
For more information on the programme and speakers, please refer to www.sgenable.sg/ibf2022.