Retaining A High Performing Employee
The focus of this case study was return-to-work and retention strategies for a valued Deloitte employee who developed a physical disability and became a wheelchair user. Since his position required travel, Deloitte worked with him to determine what he needed to travel and what adaptive equipment was covered by his insurance provider. Any equipment that was not covered was purchased by Deloitte. As a result of a small monetary investment, the employee continued his same level of productivity and the company retained a strong performer.
Company Background in Diversity Inclusion
Deloitte LLP continually focuses on strengthening our inclusive environment. We work towards a shared mission: To help us attract, develop, retain, and advance the best talent representing the broadest range of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.
Our inclusive programs and activities focus on five key priorities:
- Achieving greater representation at all levels throughout the organization
- Improving our acquisition of the best talent representing the broadest range of backgrounds, generations, perspectives, and experiences
- Expanding our marketplace eminence
- Promoting inclusive behavior
- Working collaboratively, capturing synergies, and leveraging best practices
Opportunities to participate in or champion All Inclusive efforts are open to all our talent. Having both allies and members of the specific communities as champions is key to the success of these efforts.
This case study is specifically related to one employee and an issue that was solved in a compassionate and thoughtful way. The subject of this case study is a practitioner within our business who was diagnosed with a rare disease. Upon the practitioners return we reviewed the following considerations:
- Could our employee travel – an essential component of his job.
- Did his workspace need to be changed/updated to ensure his ability to work productively
- How would we accommodate his physical therapy sessions.
We worked with our employee, through an interactive process, to determine what he would be able to do and what he would need, realistically, to perform the essential functions of his job
There were a number of items that the employee would need to purchase in order to travel safely and effectively.
- Travel chair for bathroom/shower
- Spare tires and spare rims for hsi wheelchair to have on-hand should his wheelchair get a flat tire
- Portable hand controls for driving should the rental car facility not have its own available
We wanted to be supportive of our employee and take responsibility for those items which were necessary to the essential functions of his job, which, in this case, included traveling. Some, if not all, of the items requested were not only necessary in the workplace but also essential to the employee’s functioning outside of the workplace.
We worked with the employee closely to understand the issues and his needs. He provided us with information, both from his physician, as well as various websites, to help us understand the nature of his disability, as well as the needs related to that disability.
Resolution & Results
We took the following steps:
- Our employee submitted the needed equipment purchases to his medical carrier to determine what they would cover.
- We reviewed the outstanding items not covered by his medical carrier and covered the cost of those items necessary to do his job.
- We provided our employee with the flexibility he needed to attend his physical therapy sessions.
- We worked with our employee to achieve his desire to perform at the same level, on the same engagements, and travel both nationally and internationally – similar to the work he performed prior to his leave of absence.
The result has been twofold – we have an employee who is able to continue to perform his job at the same high level as prior to his leave, and we have an organization that has been able to retain a strong performer.