What are the keys to successful inclusion of people with disabilities?


People with disabilities represent more than one billion inhabitants, or 15% of the world's population. However, in France, on 12 million people affected, only one million is employedIncluding 32% part-time. Thus, a large number of people with disabilities occupy precarious jobs and 14% of them are unemployed, compared to 8% of the general population.

The question of the successful inclusion in an organization of people with disabilities therefore appears today as a challenge for employers in France and internationally, even if there are already some pioneering public and private organizations. in the matter. Thus, the United Nations (UN) has made the subject of the inclusion of people with disabilities one of his priorities. The European Union followed suit by adopting a disability rights strategy over the period 2021-2030. In France, an experiment has also been launched on the subject of the construction of a diversity-inclusion index.

Despite its importance, this question remains little analyzed by the academic literature. Some American researchers however, define it as the intersection of a strong sense of belonging to the organization and respect by the latter for the unique character of the person for whom inclusion arises.

This definition emerges from optimal distinction theory which analyzes social identity as the reconciliation of an individual's opposing expectations of assimilation and differentiation vis-à-vis others.

The determinants of successful organizational inclusion

In view of the underlying institutional issues compared to few studies at the French level, we carried out within the framework of a doctoral work a systematic review of the academic literature concerning the determinants of the successful organizational inclusion of people in disability, which will be presented to the EGPA 2022 conference scheduled for Lisbon in September 2022. After analyzing 32 scientific studies, different determinants can be identified.

First of all, a organizational support perceived high, defined as the ability of the organization to support a person during difficult times. Thus, the more colleagues and supervisors support people with disabilities within the organization by adapting to the situation (schedules, nature of the tasks performed), the more the latter feel included.

Then a strong person-job match, characterized as the degree of consistency between the position occupied and the skills of the person occupying it. For organizational inclusion to be successful, there must indeed also be a strong match between the abilities, the experience of a disabled employee and the requirements of the job he occupies. If this were not the case, then the disabled employee may feel that he is not suited to the organization and may experience a feeling of exclusion.

Also, a strong relationship between the disabled person and their line manager. Thus, the relationship that the disabled employee has with his supervisor is very important for him to feel included within the organization. Indeed, on this relationship depends, for example, access to training or, more generally, the evolution of the professional career (for example by the help provided, or recognition with colleagues).

After a low level of stress felt professional. Thus, organizations in which the perceived professional stress climate is high are less conducive to the inclusion of disabled employees, as stress acts negatively on their job satisfaction.

Last but not least, the absence of discrimination. The existence of stereotypes and stigmatizing behavior then paralyzes professional relations which, for this reason, can no longer be normal and natural. Stereotypes therefore become counterproductive and destroy value for the organization, which loses efficiency and performance.

Several French companies rewarded

These determinants seem to be activated in practice, in certain organizations at the French level. Thus, on reading the universal registration documents, several CAC 40 groups have implemented inclusive policies and practices. We can cite in particular the groups L'Oréal, BNP Paribas or LVMH.

In November 2020, the L'Oréal group indeed became member of a collective of 500 companies whose objective is to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities.

In 2021, the cosmetics group also shared its commitment to disability with this group and participated in discussions within it in order to identify good practices and allow an increase in the number of actions carried out. Among these, L'Oréal works to fight against discrimination linked to disability. The group thus makes its employees aware of the needs of people with disabilities, through the success of the “diversity, equity and inclusion” policy marked by a dedicated internal communication and training policy. It also encourages the sharing of best practices, through collaboration with experts, associations and recognized NGOs on the subject to advance the issue of inclusion within the group. The organizational support of employees is thus strengthened, while promoting the organizational inclusion of people with disabilities.

As for the BNP Paribas banking group, it was rewarded for his efforts in favor of the inclusion of people with disabilities and recognized as one of the best work environments (Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion) in July 2021, as demonstrated by its position at the top of the Disability Equality Index ranking. Many actions have been undertaken in particular to improve working conditions, such as the adaptation of workstations, in order to improve the match between person and job and promote inclusion.

Finally, the luxury giant LVMH supports its employees who report a disability. The various companies in the group therefore offer solutions for maintainingemployment which are adapted to each case of disability identified, through internships, training, or even job adjustments. The group is also improving the recruitment of people with disabilities by aiming for a better person-job match. The selection of candidates in the context of recruitment campaigns is thus based on professional scenarios; which ensures an objective assessment of the aptitudes, skills and potential of each person, regardless of the person's background.

New perspectives

Overall, new managerial practices are therefore essential and should be generalized within public and private organizations of all sizes to promote the successful inclusion of people with disabilities in organizations.

Developments appear to be necessary in particular with regard to the management of human ressources of this specific public, by going beyond a current policy often focused on the sole respect of the obligation of employment in a proportion of 6% of the total workforce for companies with more than 20 people.

The number of people with disabilities could then increase, as well as their level of well-being at work, organizational inclusion then contributing to social inclusion.

David Carassus, Professor of Management Sciences, IAE Pau-Bayonne et Sarah Prat says hauret, PhD student in management sciences, University of Pau and Pays de l'Adour (UPPA)

This article is republished from The Conversation under Creative Commons license. Read theoriginal article.

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