Project Synopsis Draft #1

Frame the title (specific workplace context):

People with Disabilities (PWDs) face discrimination and barriers from participating in society on an equal basis with others every day. For the context of this report, we will be examining PWDs with intelligence disability. It is measured by the respective intelligence quotient and limitations in the various adaptive functioning such as academic, social and practical functioning.

The PWDs too can achieve self-reliance if given equal opportunities for employment and are well-trained in industry relevant skills. Hence, this report will further discussed on the different measures to be taken for onboarding employees to manage and handle people with intellectual disabilities at the workplace setting.

The Introduction:

The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP)  in Singapore promotes the adoption of fair, responsible and progressive employment practices among employers, employees and the general public. PWDs are often perceived as less productive in the workplace and require more nurturing and training time.

The Human Resources (HR) plays the role in integrating the PWDs employees with others in the workplace. It is essential to have a good support system from the management. The HR can promote the organisation’s commitment to both internal and external stakeholders through a two prong approach.

Firstly, HR can conduct proper training and test assessments for the PWDs for job suitability matching purposes. Aside, HR can educate the employees on the necessary skills and knowledge on how to handle PWDs on a case to case basis as it is essential for the respective departments to work closely for daily operations. Employees in the hotel should give these PWDs the same treatment just as how they treat their peers and colleagues.

Secondly, the HR team can also regularly organise events with organisation such as Delta Senior School. This will allow employees to volunteer and help out. These initiatives will increase disability awareness within the hotel and at the same time, help employees to understand and interact more effectively with the PWDs. The ultimate goal is to create a culture of inclusion.

Problem Identification:

Communication is the base of any relationship. To achieve effective interpersonal communication, it takes a lot of dedication and effort. However due to their intellectual disabilities, the PWDs face several interpersonal communication challenges. Interaction with others might cause further misunderstanding and miscommunication through non-verbal cues. The other parties may not be able to encode or decode the messages accurately, thus fear and doubts arises within each individuals. To tackle the problem, a training video will be used to illustrate some practical ways to handle people with intellectual disabilities when faced with such situations that may arise at work.

Objective of Study:

The main objective of our study is to encourage hospitality industry to embrace, accept and provide PWDs with equal employment opportunities. Aside from that, raising awareness with regards to having an all-inclusive environment will help change the perception on how employees would view PWDs in a more positive manner. Hotels in Singapore can adopt the similar strategies of hiring PWDs. Some potential scenarios between people with intellectual disabilities and employees that might occur in the hospitality industry are constant harassment and throwing of tantrum.

Potential Solutions / Implementation for Problem Resolution:

If these situations occur, employees should always remain calm and compose. Employees can show care and concern to colleagues with intellectual disabilities by providing them with a listening ear and empathizing with them. Acknowledge their presence when needed and have patience while hearing them out. However there may be continuous harassment or threatening which might compromise the safety of the individual employees. When this happens, employees should safeguard and immediately approach the HR personnel for further assistance.

Proposed data collection / Research Method:

The study comprises of both primary and secondary research. Our secondary research consists of academic journals, government websites, as well as papers on PWDs working in the hospitality industry. The data collected serve as the foundation of our primary research. Our primary research includes data collected from observations and interactions through the internship experiences at Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre (HISOCC) in mid-2016 specifically.

At HISOCC, the hotel is active in hiring PWDs. Changes are made to help the PWDs integrate with the workplace. In the midst of this initiative, it also allows the hotel to enhance productivity and strengthen service quality. The organisation combines the stewarding and room service teams which thus optimize existing manpower amidst manpower challenges, often faced in the hospitality industry. With the room service being particularly busy during meal times and the stewarding workload increasing after meal-serving is complete, the peak hours for both departments offset each other’s. Furthermore, HR has also introduced a buddy system to help the PWDs to adapt to their workplace environment and their roles, as well as help increase interaction with other employees.

Benefits to your workplace:

The incorporation of PWDs has allowed the hotel industry to enhance its productivity and strengthen service quality amidst labor crunch. According to Kok, strong government support has been given to help PWDs find employment and S$30 million was also used for pre-employment training and vocational training of PWDs as well as improving interaction between employees with their counterparts with special needs. This initiative has gained valuable recognition and several awards in the respective hotels, establishing brand reputation across the hospitality industry in Singapore.

Concluding thoughts:

It has been noted that Singaporeans today as well as the hospitality industry has been more accepting of PWDs as part of the community, workplace and everyday life. However there are still many challenges ahead when it comes to hiring PWDs.

To achieve a successful integration of PWDs in the hotel workplace, it goes beyond matching them to the job or knowing about their work capabilities. It includes the attitudes adopted towards PWDs. The workplace culture and practices need to support their employment. Through increased understanding on how to work and handle employees with intellectual disabilities, building relationship among team members across the various departments would foster an inclusive workplace for all. At the same time also improve the overall perception of the organisation.

 

{Completed by Adora, Simin & Shi Hui}

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