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Are you doing enough to prepare for the workforce of the future?

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In recent years, talent shortage and the war for talent has forced employers to tap on alternative sources of talent such as returning mothers, older workers, and people with disabilities or special needs.

Against that backdrop, and with the younger generations (Millennials and Gen Zs) entering the workforce, the workforce is becoming more diverse than ever before.

According to the 2019 Q2 APAC Workforce Insights by PERSOLKELLY, the majority of staff in APAC agreed that there are benefits of working with older colleagues (95%) and people with disabilities (83%). At the same time, one in four of 7,277 hiring managers and candidates surveyed had no concerns working with returning mothers.

That said, there are still existing concerns working with these groups of workers. Hence, it’s imperative for organisations to equip their employees with the right set of skills to prepare them for a diverse workforce and ensure inclusiveness.

Preparing for the diverse workforce of the future can be done in two key ways – providing flexible working arrangements and soft skills training. Yet, the presence of these programmes are still low in the region.

In Singapore, 38% of respondents said their company provides flexible work arrangements, 36% agreed they have access to family-friendly policies in their organisations, and just 11% confirmed the presence of return to work programmes. While 37% of employees had access to personal skills training, only 11% confirmed the provision of diversity and inclusion training. Additionally, 27% said their company provides coaching and mentoring, while 25% confirmed the presence of leadership training.

Across the border, a similar number of Malaysian respondents (36%) said their company provides flexible work arrangements, 29% have access to family-friendly policies in their organisations, and only 6% had return-to-work programmes. Similar to Singapore, more Malaysians were provided personal skills training (43%) as compared to diversity and inclusion training (11%). Additionally, 32% said their company provides coaching and mentoring, while 29% confirmed the presence of leadership training.

Other key markets covered in the survey included Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Hong Kong, with findings as follows.

Indonesia

  • Flexible work arrangements – 31%
  • Family-friendly policies – 40%
  • Return-to-work programmes – 14%
  • Personal skills training – 36%
  • Coaching and mentorship – 32%
  • Leadership training – 31%
  • Diversity and inclusion training – 9%

Thailand

  • Flexible work arrangements – 23%
  • Family-friendly policies – 31%
  • Return-to-work programmes – 14%
  • Personal skills training – 31%
  • Coaching and mentorship – 28%
  • Leadership training – 33%
  • Diversity and inclusion training – 22%

Vietnam

  • Flexible work arrangements – 37%
  • Family-friendly policies – 32%
  • Return-to-work programmes – 25%
  • Personal skills training – 42%
  • Coaching and mentorship -33 %
  • Leadership training – 31%
  • Diversity and inclusion training – 17%

Hong Kong

  • Flexible work arrangements – 33%
  • Family-friendly policies – 23%
  • Return-to-work programmes – 6%
  • Personal skills training – 30%
  • Coaching and mentorship – 21%
  • Leadership training – 22%
  • Diversity and inclusion training – 8%

The report also recommended a total transformation framework to facilitate integration and five key steps to take:

  • Establish inclusion and respect by ensuring it is endorsed by the leadership team.
  • Discover employees’ needs by opening up a dialogue with them.
  • Design and provide soft skills training to equip employees with the skills to work with diverse groups.
  • Implement flexible and family-friendly working arrangements to create an environment to cater to the needs of your employees.
  • Manage concerns from returning mothers, older colleagues and people with disabilities or special needs by providing tactical support.

Photo / 123RF



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