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Building, developing and maintaining a workforce that represents equal opportunity for all

We believe that diverse teams who reflect the communities they serve outperform in their service delivery and provide greater value to our customers. We serve hundreds of diverse communities globally. Only by closely representing them in our make-up can we serve them confidently, empathetically and effectively.

In 2018, our Citizen Services business in Australia was awarded a contract to provide contact centre services for the National Disability Insurance Agency. As part of the contract, we were required to recruit a workforce of several hundred employees, including a significant percentage who identify as having a disability.

Our aim was to create workplaces that exemplify our commitment to be an organisation where diversity is valued and where inclusion is a defining feature in the employee experience from recruitment to retirement.

To achieve this, all teams involved had to adopt, and in some cases design, totally new approaches to delivering their roles. To make the employment opportunities as inclusive and accessible as possible, they needed to think of everything that might need providing or adjusting through every step in the process, from attraction and assessment to training and beyond.

To ensure our recruitment message reached as widely as possible, and to provide all candidates with the best possible opportunity, we built strong partnerships with specialist job service providers and non-profit organisations who share our Values and whose missions are to support people with disabilities. Working closely with them, we examined the suitability of our processes, resources and facilities for each individual candidate.

Examples of adjustments include:

  • allowing job service providers to attend interviews with candidates with anxiety or mental health concerns, to help them feel more comfortable;
  • personalised performance indicators and emergency evacuation plans;
  • special support with proof of identity, which can be challenging for people without a driver’s licence;
  • assistive technology and specialised office equipment and furniture;
  • different training styles and delivery methods; and
  • all staff making themselves unconditionally available to provide support during assessment events.

Wherever possible, modifications were made in advance to make the experience seamless for the candidates and help them feel as comfortable, confident and secure as possible.

“Of our 350 current contact centre employees, 18% identify as having a disability,” says Andrea Medson, our Contract Manager for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. “Many had never worked before, let alone had suitable, enjoyable and fulfilling work. We’re challenging the status quo and challenging ourselves to break down barriers to employment.”

“We’re encouraged by the feedback we receive from our employees who have a disability and proud of the inclusive behaviours we observe in our teams. We get positive feedback from all our visitors and we often hear about people recommending us as a great way to enter or re-enter the workforce.”

“There is no doubt that the diverse and inclusive team we have created has made the contract a success, resulting in outstanding outcomes for our customers and the community we serve. Our hope is that one day we’ll be an example, not of how to ‘meet the challenge’ but of how to build, develop and maintain a workforce that represents equal opportunity for all.”