What makes for successful placement for employers, workers and disability employment service providers
Art or Science?
Many, sometimes including program designers think that successfully employing a person with disability is the same as the process for people who dont have a disability plus some incentive(s) and if that doesnt work out then upping the incentives will solve the problem.
Sadly (for employers and people with disability) this is flawed thinking and represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the barriers faced by people with disability when it comes to acquiring and maintaining employment. In consequence, when the incentive/subsidy runs out the person is not generating sufficient profit to retain employment and their work is lost.
The solution to this defeat is often to repeat the process rather than look at the underlying needs of the parties as a means of finding suitable fit within an employers business.
While I might view disability as a construct theres no doubt that the fact of impairment imposes limitations - people who have a disability cant do everything, the blind are lousy pilots! But this doesnt mean they cant do anything. What it means is that service providers need to determine skills as well as aspirations then identify limitations and match their possible impact in seeking a role that matches these.
When aspiration, ability and opportunity cross paths, successful long term employment becomes possible.
Over the years a term that I think was originally specific to the disability industry, reverse marketing has come to mean far less than its original intent - today reverse marketing consists of pulling a clients file from a cabinet filled with similar people and phoning employers with the goal of sending a candidate for interview and possible hire.
This was not the original intent. Applied to people with disability, and lacking substantial additional knowledge, staff send keen candidates who are doomed to fail in very large numbers.
This is most unfortunate because the process of failure is more damaging for members of disadvantaged minorities than the same experience for members of more powerful groups - there are generally less support structures in place to maintain the morale and motivation of people with disability.
Failure by service staff to understand both capacity and barriers for job seekers may lead to scapegoating - blaming the person with disability for lacking application, will, or some other quality when the facts are an employment match that resembles a square peg and a round hole
Such an approach is also bad for the goodwill of employers who give themselves a pat on the back for adopting inclusive hiring strategies only to find they have a person unable to complete tasks associated with their role.
The art of successful placement comes with the knowledge that there are some foundations essential for success that include more information about a job seeker than simply their Centrelink number.
Frequently NOVAs job seekers are young and have limited exposure to the workplace - a simple question like, what would you like to do? is predicated on a belief that the person has sufficient experience to make an informed choice - thats not always so and preferences may need to be validated.
The consequence of any barriers also need to be understood - cant work in a noisy workplace, prefer to start later in the day, unable to work unless workplace is accessible by public transport may be essential elements rather than just a preference.
Long term success comes through a thorough knowledge of the candidate and the creation of support structures that enable the worker to perform at a commercially viable level. The story we tell to employers should not be, heres a discount or do the right thing but rather, here is a person who is fitted to the role you offer and will return a commercial rate on your investment - valuable team members rather than objects of pity.
Matching keen candidates who have a disability with business opportunities likely to last into long term workforce participation is both art and science,
Employers will understand if a role needs some modification, they will accept a settling in period but ultimately demand a return.
905 people met these criteria in 2015, we are determined to improve on that number in 2016.
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Your Work There was never any doubt in my mind that I would work. My dad told me I would work and there wasn't ever a suggestion that my future held an alternative option....
Not so bad! Taken from: Today's Guardian at 4.09pm Tuesday 7th November 2017:
In a world full of discouragement there’s always a space for good news....
The NDIS mantra is 'choice and control'
To be valuable, choice needs to be informed.
Average Sydney Disability Employment Services placement rates are 34....
It's voting time at "Focusonability" - with a record number of films entered, a tremendous effort by more than 100 High Schools and 19 countries competing in the International section it was always going to be a hard job to pick a winner....
Choice & Control
The NDIS slogans around choice and control demonstrate the importance of consumer involvement in both the choice and control of supports they need.
However, in order to be valuable, choice needs to be informed by accurate data such is this: http://www....
Last week (14-16) it was my privilege to attend the 1st World Supported Employment Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
"Employment for All - A Global Perspective" brought workers from around the globe (primarily Europe) to discuss best practice in supported employment....
Quality and the Stars Quality and the Stars
There have probably been few people more openly critical of the Disability Employment Service (DES) Star Ratings than me.
The Stars, ranging from 1 to 5 are supposed to give some insight into whether a service is a poor or high performing program....
Attended the Disability Employment Australia (DEA) forum in Canberra. THis is a regular get together that offers disability employment services tha chance to be kept up to date from our funding body and also listed to expert speakers on topics associated with the goal of seeing as many people as possible find and keep suitable employment....
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A corner turned?
We are presently holding events to promote employment for people with disability - nor surprise there, that's our job.
What has been a surprise is the willingness of employers to come along and listen and more importantly, to consider adopting inclusive employment practices across their organisations....
Say No to Quotas!
The pernicious idea that 'quota's' might be the solution for disability employment continue:
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The number of placements made has seriously improved - up 31% in 2015 and a further 14% in 2016, NOVA operates at at rate of placement better than 150% over 2014!
Whats really exciting is that this has been achieved without compromising on the level of disability that can be supported by NOVA's teams (if anything this has risen)....
Famous last words!
O.K. - sorry that you need to cut and paste: http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/100-million-payday-for-1anhour-staff-with-disabilities-20161216-gtcius....
Not sure if this will be my last blog post for 2016 but just in case, a quick look back at 2016:
Best ever year for total number of placements
Best ever year for long term employment outcomes
Best ever year for Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Best ever year for Transition to Work outcomes
Best ever year for media coverage
Best ever year for 'Focusonability'
Best ever year for Transition to Work (TTW)
How about 2017?
Looking good, so stay in touch and have a terrific holiday, be safe and hopefully Santa will bring you all that you wish for....
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The NDIS held out hope and promise to people with a disability, the opportunity to exercise choice and control and was heralded as the answer to the prayers of our most disadvantaged and vulnerable citizens....
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Best Show on TV Morning All
Sorry you need to cut and paste: http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/802326595536/focus-on-ability-film-festival-2016
Best show on TV - bar none and, if you want to skip my bit I get off at 3:10 and you can get straight to some of the truly terrific films from this year's "Focusonability" short film festival....
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NOVA needs you - come and join us
NOVA needs You!!
Wednesday 2nd November
Short notice (so really appreciate sharing) and we are holding an information session for potential new workers in a variety of roles within NOVA....