Executive convening focused on engaging employees with disabilities

ICS contributing partner to $4m Employment and Disability Institute DOE grant
Thursday, September 25, 2014

Organizational culture and employer practices with respect to persons with disabilities

Roughly 20% of people with disabilities (including those newly returning veterans with disabilities) are active in the U.S. labor force, compared to some 70% of Americans without a current disability.

“We'd like to see more people with disabilities and wounded warriors being hired and retained, more being able to advance in their careers, and fewer being disparately affected by layoffs. Often, people with disabilities can be marginalized when there’s an economic crunch," said Susanne Bruyere, Director of the Employment and Disability Institute and the Principle Investigator for the multi-year U.S. Department of Education grant to improve career outcomes for people with disabilities.

The 13 research projects comprising the multi-year initiative include focus groups and surveys with human resources executives, as well as in-depth analysis of employer practices with private and public sector organizations. Several research activities will focus on how compensation affects employees with disabilities. The Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS) and the Employment and Disability Institute, supported by the Institute for Compensation Studies (ICS), are holding multiple “working group” meetings with executives on the effectiveness of HR policies and practices related to hiring, retention, and engagement of employees with disabilities. The first such CAHRS-convened executive meeting “Attraction, Retention and Reward for Employees with Disabilities” (pdf) was held October 14th 2011.

The project’s second joint CAHRS working group, Organizational Culture and Employer Practices with Respect to Persons with Disabilities, will be held on February 15, 2012 in San Francisco, CA. The meeting will follow a flexible schedule to allow for ample interaction and networking - something we consider critical to the goal of CAHRS working groups.

At this convening, Cornell professors Lisa Nishii and Susanne Bruyere, diversity & inclusion and disability experts, will lead the discussions and share some findings from their recent work. Professor Nishii’s ongoing research examines how the cultural context influences the effectiveness of HR "best practices." Her work on diversity and inclusion focuses on climate for inclusion and the diversity-to-performance relationship, with consideration of how the interplay of organizational practices, leader characteristics, group processes, and employees' perceptions and experiences drive individual and unit performance.

For more information on the criteria for participation in the executive peer-to-peer meeting, see: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/cahrs/events/021512-Organizational-Culture-and-Employer-Practices-with-Respect-to-Persons-with-Disabilities-Working-Group.html

For a summary of the first executive meeting in conjunction with CAHRS, “Attraction, Retention and Reward for Employees with Disabilities,” see: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/cahrs/research/upload/exec-summary_CAHRS-Working-GroupDisabilities10-14-11.pdf

The Institute for Compensation Studies is among a group headed by the Employment and Disability Institute of Cornell University’s ILR School awarded a $4 million grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Education to improve career outcomes for people with disabilities. For more on this exciting multi-year project, see: