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Hiring People With Disabilities Is Good for Business: Why Centralizing Your People Data Will Help You Do It Better

A recent study from Accenture has solidly shown that companies that champion people with disabilities actually out-perform others. They generate higher profitability and greater shareholder returns. More specifically, companies that improved internal practices for disability inclusion were four times more likely to see higher total shareholder returns.

The research, conducted in partnership with Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities, also identified five common denominators among such organizations. Every one of those key characteristics can be supported and improved when you have an automated leave management system and an integrated data warehouse system for all of your people data.

This only makes sense when you consider that so much of what we’re talking about here touches on nearly every aspect of your people processes, from recruiting and hiring strategies to disability leave management programs and accommodation processes.

According to the Accenture study, the five common denominators among organizations that champion people with disabilities are:

  1. They hire people with disabilities.
  2. They carry out practices that encourage and advance those employees.
  3. They provide accessible tools and technologies, paired with a formal accommodations program.
  4. They generate awareness through recruitment efforts, disability education programs, and grassroots-led initiatives.
  5. They create empowering environments through mentoring and coaching initiatives.

An estimated 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have a disability. As the population ages — combined with more people working longer — this number will only rise, experts say. Still, as Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Conn.) wrote in an op-ed article in The New York Times last December, “Many employers have yet to recognize that people with disabilities can contribute economically if sought out and accommodated. Americans with disabilities — a population of 50 million people, more than 1 in every 5 — still face numerous challenges in entering and participating in the workforce.”

Kennedy cited Bureau of Labor Statistics data saying only 29 percent of Americans ages 16 to 64 with a disability were employed as of June 2018, compared with nearly 75 percent of those without a disability. The data also showed the unemployment rate for people with disabilities who are actively seeking work is 9.2 percent — more than twice as high as for those without a disability (4.2 percent).

A quality automated leave management solution like Optis LeaveXpert will meet the critical capabilities for leave management and disability inclusion. Depending on the version you select, features range from automated updates of federal and state FMLA regulations to reverse data feeds and custom reporting to a system built specifically for organizations with complex leave and absence management needs. 

But fully adapting to disability inclusion requires more than leave management and accomodations. Reporting on ESG or CSR initiatives and developing inclusive hiring and training strategies are significant undertakings for larger companies. An integrated data warehouse system for all of your people data can mitigate those challenges and positively impact all five of the key characteristics of companies that are exemplary at hiring and retaining people with disabilities.

Optis Insights, for example, is uniquely designed to support the complex people-data needs of enterprise employers, insurers, and third-party administrators. It’s employee and HR data-management software that mitigates risk and delivers greater insight into the data that lives in all of your HR data systems. 

To support ESG, CSR, and inclusion efforts, Optis Insights puts you in control of the data you need to remove the uncertainty and drastically cut the time for getting high-quality, centralized data and total transparency into your people data.

The bottom line is that disability rights, hiring strategies, leave management, and workplace accommodations will increasingly grow as trends U.S. business should be aware of and respond to.