TLDR; Increasing disability disclosure in the workplace has immense benefits for organizational culture, ultimately boosting a company’s overall net profit.
Businessman Ben Horowitz defines culture as how your employees make decisions when you’re not there. It’s the shared set of values, attitudes, assumptions, and behaviors they use to resolve everyday problems. Company culture may not have a printed guidebook that sits in your office, but it is understood among your employees and even quantified on your company’s Glassdoor page.
We’ve all heard the saying, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” In other words, organizational success is driven by a strong culture, surpassing strategy when it comes to the greatest impact on a company’s bottom line.
This isn’t news to you. You’ve hosted the Zoom happy hours, circulated an employee engagement survey, and regularly checked in with your management team about how the hybrid model is working. You understand the value of a strong company culture. But your Glassdoor rating is hanging out at 3.5 and you’re out of ideas.
We have one.
Increase your employees’ disability disclosure. We know that disclosure is tied to job satisfaction and employee engagement. According to a 2017 study by the Center for Talent Innovation, 30% of college-educated, working professionals have a disability, yet only 3.2% disclose their disability to employers.
Chances are, there is room to improve both disability disclosure and company culture in your workplace. Here are five reasons why you should.
1. Higher engagement, sense of belonging.
According to a 2020 disability inclusion survey by Accenture, 77% of survey respondents said that having the freedom to be the same person at work as they are at home helps them thrive in the workplace. The survey also found that employees who disclose their disability at work are 30% more engaged—in terms of career satisfaction and aspirations, confidence, and a sense of belonging—than those who don’t.
2. Enhanced transparency and inclusivity.
71% of all respondents said that seeing themselves represented in senior leadership positions would help them succeed at work. However, just 26% of employees and 20% of leaders with disabilities are fully transparent about their disability in the workplace.
A company of diverse leaders who are open about their experiences encourages employees to do the same. It also sets the tone at the top–when leadership is diverse and inclusive, fewer disabled employees face discrimination and bias (26%) than when it is not (41%).
3. Increased well-being and performance.
Hiding a part of your identity can be mentally and physically exhausting—so can completing tasks without the accommodations you need to be most successful at work. Disclosing disabilities is linked to an increase in overall well-being among employees–which contributes to increased productivity, collaboration, and innovation.
4. Enhanced recruitment.
According to an ACCA study of 9,000 18- to 25-year-olds, Generation Z cites job security and well-being as top priorities when entering the workforce. A company with high rates of disability disclosure across teams will help recruit future talent by communicating to prospective employees that there is room for upward mobility.
5. Greater diversity and retention.
38% of employees report wanting to leave their company due to not fitting in with their colleagues. Disclosure can help you retain the talent you already have by fostering a culture that embraces diversity–where people of all abilities and demographic groups can thrive.
We know what you’re thinking. The accommodation request process is not always simple–and your human resources team is stretched thin.
That’s why we created Disclo, the first software to collect, verify, and manage health disclosures and employee accommodation requests in the workplace (HIPAA and SOC2 compliant). Disclo allows your employees to disclose their disability with discretion while you leave the tracking, managing, and reporting on disclosure and accommodation requests to us.
Let’s get your Glassdoor rating up. 📈📈📈