Don’t tell me a secret – I am hopeless at keeping them!
However, there’s one secret that, despite my best intentions seems still to avoid common knowledge.
The secret is just how good and how effective people that have a disability can be in their employment.
And, as you’ll see, the fact that this truth is still hidden from many employers is not for lack of publicity.
But first the problem to which my secret seems an obvious solution – finding and keeping good staff.
There is no single bigger headache for any employer than finding and keeping good staff and managing the day to day matters of human resource management. Good staff are the difference between success and failure.
There is a labour and skill shortage in Australia and so you’d think employers would quickly turn to the 720,000 people that receive the disability support pension as a potential pool of talent.
That’s not always so.
We have a historical problem in Australia and I think it stems from the fact that we used to call people that have a disability, ‘invalids’.
We said it very quickly so that it didn’t sound like in-valid, because we all know that that word means worthless and, so that no-one felt bad, we tried to make ‘invalid’ (said really fast) sound somehow noble, or at least worthy of pity.
What we didn’t do was suggest that here were a group of people who, while they maybe could never do certain parts of a role (the blind make poor drivers), nevertheless possessed specific talent and ability as good as, or better than, anyone else.
The problem with treating anyone like they are made of glass, or in some other way at risk, is that once the whole group have been made objects of pity or seen as the realm of charity, it’s very difficult to suddenly decide you have a valuable resource that can be mined for profit.
Now, before anyone leaps to accuse me of exploitation, the fact of employment is simple: you make me more than you cost and you get to stick around, you don’t and you have to leave – that’s that, that’s all there is to it and sorry if you don’t agree.
NOVA employs many people that have a disability and they are amongst our best workers and, that said, I have sadly had to let people with disability go (that’s an Australian term for ‘fired’), just the same as their non-disabled peers.
However, recent research suggests the emotional angst created by the thought of how to handle a person who has a disability should their performance be below par, is a reason some employers are reluctant to hire.
Other reasons include fears of increased workers compensation costs (its compulsory in Australia for employers to contribute to a National insurance scheme for all employees and the cost of a businesses contribution is assessed against the perceived risk of the industry – all builders as opposed to an individual firm - and the organizations history of claims).
Statistics show people who have a disability are no more or less likely that their non-disabled peers to have an accident that requires workers compensation.
In fact people with a disability are just like any other employee; there are some crackers and occasionally, you’ll have a mismatch between worker ability and worker aspiration.
However, the truth of the ability and talent available to employers amongst NOVA’s job seekers is still a secret that even a blabbermouth like me just can’t make common knowledge*.
We have advertising on TV, radio, billboards, newspapers – maybe we need one of those skywriting planes – there’s been novelty advertising, our pie-bags, coffee cups – pretty much anyway you can think of to showcase the talent we have on offer and still there’s a gap between our talent and an appropriate level of demand.
So, if you have any ideas how we might promote our talent, let me know, there are contact us spots all over this website or give me a call at NOVA.
In the meantime I have a new idea – so keep watching this space.
* If you want to read some more about how much skill our job seekers have click on the EZine link on our Home Page
Would you like a face-to-face meeting with Martin via Skype? Click the button below to make an appointment
Subscribe to this Blog - blog.novaemployment.com.au Copy the link above and paste it into your favourite Reader to subscribe to an RSS feed of this blog. To watch a short video explanation of RSS and how it helps you save time reading the web click here
Your Comments There are currently no comments on this article
Review Australia's $1bn disability employment service criticised over poor outcomes and reduced employment - https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/mar/31/australias-disability-employment-down-3-in-past-decade-as-service-scheme-criticised-for-poor-outcomes....
Thank you Mark Zuckerberg (not!) Friends of NOVA may have seen our Facebook page is down - courtesy Mark Zuckerberg NOVA/Focus are victims of much larger forces - no idea when or if we'll be restored - more as events unfold....
They Don't Count Gaining or holding formal qualifications can set a person up for a lifetime career. Holding appropriate qualifications that can lead to lifelong careers, tradespeople generally make a good income and enjoy well deserved respect....
Benchmarks To access NOVA Employment or any Disability Employment Service (DES), almost everyone is required to be assessed by the Services Australia Services (Centrelink) to determine their "Benchmark" hours: Benchmark hours are the pay point for service providers; being the minimum working hours required for the DES provider to bill the Government and the assessed maximum hours a person is deemed capable of working with DES support....
International Day of People with a Disability
International Day of People with a Disability
It's IDPwD and we have a 1 hour 'special' screening on SBS from 4.30 this afternoon.
Our Ryan Goodwin has done a great job of selecting some of the great entries from NOVA's 'Focusonability' short film festival - we love the Festival and hope that you'll love these films, gathered from around the world....
2020 - the first half When the going gets tough, the tough get going
Good! - Now they've left us, let's look at reality - when the going gets tough, many people suffer and dis-proportionally, people with disability suffer more....
Countdown Clock II
What's the countdown clock all about?
It's our closing time and a countdown to the end of a truly remarkable month of extraordinary effort by my staff....
Countdown Clock Regular viewers will have noticed a countdown clock ticking away (above)
What's that all about?
Can't say - you have to wait till 4.30pm (a little earlier for staff)
Just the best 3 One thing we all love is a winner which is why there's a smile on my face it will be pretty hard to shift.
There's a nightmare pandemic sweeping the world (carried off my mum), the economy has tanked in a never before seen disaster that's left more than a million Aussies unemployed and the only news seems to be bad news....
More than Money!
If asked, most of us would say we went to work for the money, to pay our bills or support our family.
All true, and yet work means so much more:
Prior to finding a job with NOVA employment Glenn* struggled to keep jobs for more than a few months and was generally working as a dishwasher in restaurants which he found to be quite unsatisfying work....
Life Changers II
How are you in the mornings (or evenings, or nights)? NOVA is an 'old school' Disability Employment Service - we find work in the general community with identical pay and conditions as those enjoyed by people who dont have a disability....
Life Changers Required! Received yesterday:
I was unemployed for 24 years because of my disability. I was looking for a job for the last 2 and half years. With the help of (NOVA Staff) I found suitable job and working in the law company for last one year....
Don't know about you but I have felt pretty bruised from all the horrible stuff brought upon us by this damn virus - seeing so many folk losing their jobs is particularly awful and the uncertainty generated for everyone, particularly for workers who have a disability is dreadful to see....
Best Ever II
Following from last post:
NOVA Employment has operated for 30 years. Comparing all results from previous years, February 2020 has been our most successful to date - Following on from January that's 2 in a row and every indication March will also be a record breaker....
NOVA Employment posted another 'best ever' result for the first month of 2020.
Despite the most dreadful natural disasters and with many businesses closed for the holidays, the NOVA team delivered more new workers than in any previous January results, beating past 5 years average by 25% and previous (2017) 'best ever' numbers by 5%....
Depressing cracked record!
A good friend will occasionally pull me up with the reminder that I have a tendency to rant, 'rave on slop jaw' if I remember correctly....
Big Win! Saturday night saw a big win for the NOVA team and for people with disability when our Podcast partners NOVA Entertainment- no relationship other than mates - received the following:
BEST ORIGINAL PODCAST - BRANDED
Focus On Ability; Nova Employment & the Nova Entertainment Podcast Team , NOVA Entertainment
BEST ORIGINAL PODCAST - UNBRANDED
Hamish & Andy; Hamish Blake & Andy Lee, PodcastOne Australi
Taken from the web: https://www....
Received the following yesterday morning:
Hi Nova, just wanted to give my feedback in regards to my mother getting a job through you guys and the amazing impact it has had!! The job that mum has received has changed her outlook on everything! She is now much more confident in her self and her abilities....
Welfare Benefits and Health
It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's truer that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power: David Brin
DES providers don't need nor should they have been given the authority to suspend welfare benefits (see above)....
I have spoken previously on, to quote former President Bush, 'the soft bigotry of low expectations' - if you are a member of a marginalised group the public don't expect much and are surprised when anything much is achieved!
I've been in this game for more than 30 years and have been privileged to see literally thousands of terrific men and women leave NOVA To gain (and retain) great jobs....