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Deloitte: Retaining a High Performing Employee Through Workplace Accommodations

Employer Case Study: Learn how a small monetary investment helped a high performing employee return to work after developing a physical disability.

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Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, commonly referred to as Deloitte, is a multinational professional services network with offices in over 150 countries and territories around the world. Deloitte's continual efforts to ensure an inclusive workplace environment supports its mission to “attract, develop, retain and advance the best talent representing the broadest range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences.”

Deloitte inclusive programs and activities focus on five key priorities:

  1. Achieving greater representation at all levels throughout the organization.
  2. Improving acquisition of the best talent representing the broadest range of backgrounds, generations, perspectives and experiences.
  3. Expanding marketplace eminence.
  4. Promoting inclusive behavior.
  5. Working collaboratively, capturing synergies and leveraging best practices.

Opportunities to participate in or champion inclusion efforts are open to all Deloitte employees, as the company believes having both allies and members of the specific communities as champions is key to the success of these efforts.

As part of its inclusion efforts, the company implements return-to-work and retention strategies such as providing workplace accommodations. One example of this involves a valued Deloitte employee who was diagnosed with a rare disease and subsequently developed a physical disability and became a wheelchair user. After a leave of absence, the employee was able to return to work with some workplace accommodations. 

Since the employee's position required him to travel, Deloitte worked with him to determine what adaptive equipment and other accommodations he would need for work-related travel, such as a travel chair, spare tires and rims for his wheelchair, and portable hand controls for use with rental cars. The employee reached out to his health insurance company to determine which equipment was covered under his healthcare plan. Deloitte then purchased the equipment he needed for work travel that was not covered under his insurance. 

To further assist the employee, Deloitte used an interactive process to determine what other accommodations he might need to perform the essential functions of his job, such as adaptations to his physical workspace and schedule adjustments to allow him to attend physical therapy appointments. The company also consulted various websites, such as the Job Accommodation Network, for ideas on what workplace accommodations could help the employee be as productive as possible.

The results of these efforts were two-fold - the employee was able to achieve his desire to perform at the same level, do the same type of work (including travelling both nationally and internationally) and be as productive as he was prior to his leave of absence, and Deloitte was able to retain a valued employee.