The 2018 Disability Employment Tracker™ is now open for enrollment. Complete the free and confidential survey by March 1, 2018 to receive a complimentary benchmarking Scorecard.
Completion of the Tracker is a requirement to be considered for the 2018 DiversityInc Top 50 and to compete for the 2018 NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal. Start today: NOD.org/tracker
More and more American businesses share a goal to increase the number of employees with disabilities within their workforce, driven by motivators like competition for top talent, achieving a competitive advantage through diversity, compliance with federal regulations, or all three. As a result, increasing disability self-identification rates among new and existing employees with disabilities has become a priority to many human resources and diversity & inclusion teams.
Yet, at the National Organization on Disability (NOD), we’ve seen that despite making strides in implementing disability inclusion policies and practices—many companies still struggle to see their percentage of employees who identify as having disabilities rise.
So, as we analyzed the data gained from our 2017 Disability Employment Tracker™, the National Organization on Disability’s confidential, annual survey of corporate disability inclusion policies and practices, we aimed to find out what differentiates companies that have been successful at building disability-strong workforces from those that have not.
As we pored over the 2017 Disability Employment Tracker™ results, which measure practices and outcomes of more than 175 companies that together employ more than 10 million workers, across a range of industries, we sought to discover what companies with an above average percentage of employees had in common.
We uncovered five practices shared by high achieving companies that reported a disability workforce representation of 4% or more:
- Strategy & Metrics. Senior leaders discuss and publicly promote overall diversity. Further, they have a plan of action for improving disability inclusion practices that is driven by a disability champion who is accountable to advance this strategy.
- Climate & Culture. Priority is given to creating employee/business resource or affinity groups that are specific to disability. Moreover—and this is critical—these groups have annual budgets that allow them to take visible and impactful action.
- Recruiter Training. Recruiters, who are on the front line in the pursuit of employees with disabilities, are trained in, and know how to find and use the company’s accommodation process. This helps ensure candidates gain access to the supports needed to be successful and land the job.
- People Practices. HR teams are trained to proactively ask new hires if they need an accommodation in the post-offer and pre-employment stages. This ensures that there are no gaps in providing support to employees with disabilities from day one, and goes a long way to protect the employee experience. These “moments of truth” can make or break how the employee feels about their new employer, which, ultimately, affect retention and turnover rates.
- Workplace & Technology. As new facilities are built, universal design principles, a set of guidelines that ensure environments, processes, policies, technologies and tools work for people of every ability, are routinely applied.