International Labour Organisation predicts that in India, 50% of the population would be less than 28 years by 2030 which could provide a competitive advantage considering the demographic dividend. The Government of India is embarking on a journey to skill a talent pool of 500 million who would be industry ready by 2022. Currently the industry continues to face high attrition, scarcity of qualified talent, rising wage bills and a disengaged workforce. To tackle this, organisations can explore sourcing non-conventional talent such as persons with disabilities (PwDs) or differently-abled as a broader candidate pool and embark on a journey of initiating a culture of inclusion. Many amongst the retail, hospitality and IT/ITES sectors have employed persons with disabilities (about 5% of the workforce) as part of their CSR agenda.
HR leaders acknowledge that this may enable organisations to manage rising attrition, create a loyal workforce, improve morale of employees and build stability in operations. This aspect, though not very palpable today, will pay off in the long run even if the organisation has to make small additional investments in physical and IT infrastructure as well as training on technical and/or social skills.
The rub off of such an exercise on the brand is positive as well. Consumers now are sensitive enough to recognise that here is an organisation that is making a difference and as consumers, we have a role to support those efforts. When they become extremely appreciative of services being provided, it helps in creating a positive imagery for the brand, which is beyond just making profits. Companies have come to believe that this forward thought helps their business and hence there has been a push towards gender diversity as well as inclusion of the differently-abled, thereby creating equal opportunities, and a diverse and an inclusive organisation.
The author is senior VP, TeamLease Service