OUT: SKILLED WORKERS
WITH DISABILITIES BEING
Employers consistently overlook a skilled,
stable and underutilized segment of
the workforce – people with disabili-ties.
According to new research by The
Conference Board of Canada, people with
disabilities are generally as well educat-ed
as people without disabilities, but are
three times more likely to be unemployed
or out of the labour force. The report, The
Business Benefits of Accessible Workplaces,
also reveals the many areas in which
businesses benefit when they invest in ac-cessible
employment practices, including
higher attendance, enhanced job perfor-mance
and improved brand image.
“If Canadian businesses wish to thrive,
they need to be able to recruit and retain
the talent they need – this includes people
with disabilities,” said Ruth Wright, direc-tor,
Human Resources Research at The
Conference Board of Canada. “We need
more inclusive and accessible workplaces
and practices that attract new employees
with disabilities and at the same time al-low
existing employees with disabilities,
and those that develop them, to remain in
The report outlines a number of the
benefits to businesses when they invest in
accessible employment practices for both
new and existing employees.
“These include access to large consum-er
markets, better customer loyalty and
improved brand image, as well as reduced
costs for reintegrating existing employees
who acquire disabilities in the course of
their work lives,” said Wright.
Companies that invest in accessible em-ployment
practices reported a number
of other business benefits, including bet-ter
job retention, higher attendance, lower
turnover, enhanced job performance and
better safety records.
People with disabilities are a large and
growing percentage of the population.
Almost 3.8 million Canadians, or 13.7 per
cent of the population, identified them-selves
as having a disability in 2012. This
was up from 12.4 per cent in 2001. As
the incidence of disabilities increases with
age, this growing segment of the popula-tion
is deserving of a greater focus within
Canada’s current and future workforce.
DON’T OVERLOOK CYNICISM
IN MEASURING JOB
A study of more than a decade’s worth of
job performance data shows that organi-zational
cynicism may be a major factor
associated with poor job satisfaction and
employee turnover, and it’s one that com-panies
overlook at their own risk.
Organizational cynicism is a negative
attitude toward one’s organization and a
belief that the organization lacks integrity.
“Human resources trends today focus
on the positives, and that’s good,” said Dr.
George Banks, who specializes in human
resources and organizational behavior at
Longwood University in Virginia. “But
our research shows the need not to ig-nore
the negatives of what’s going on in an
Banks’ recent study analyzed the job
performance information of 9,186 peo-ple
from 34 samples conducted from
The study found that cynical attitudes
can be far more detrimental to employees
than trust can be helpful, in relationship to
attitude and behavioral outcomes.
“When negative issues were present, 86
per cent of the variances were explained by
cynicism,” said Banks. “It tells us that you
have to pay attention to negative attitudes
when addressing job performance and
companies have to address these issues.”
The research also found that cynicism
was an across-the-board issue and didn’t
appear to correlate in any substantial way
to any specific demographic issue includ-ing
age, sex, tenure or education level.
“The bottom line we found is that if I’m
a cynical person, it will hurt my job perfor-mance,
but if I’m a trusting person, it won’t
help my job performance as much,” said
Banks. “The lesson is that sometimes if
you have a bad employee and they quit, it’s
not the worst thing for the organization.”
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ OCTOBER 2014 ❚ 9