Help me help my husband see the pros and cons (but especially the pros) of telling his employer about his ADD.
My husband works in the HR department of an large company with very progressive and pro-employee policies on everything from diversity to job site safety to benefits to discrimination. The company's corporate culture, from what he's described, is remarkably positive. In the 3 months he's had this specific position, he's impressed a lot of people with his abilities. Several people have made comments about plans they have for his advancement. He has a great relationship with his supervisor. He's really happy with all aspects of the job and finds it satisfying. He's really good at what he's doing. However, he's made a few flubs recently and has faced some very minor disciplinary action as a result. It's my opinion that the mistakes (involving things like completely forgetting about paperwork he himself has left right on his desk-- visible, central, yet totally spaced on) trace directly back to his ADD. I'm not seeing it as an excuse for past mistakes he has made, but it does provide some context, and talking with his boss about it might help prevent future work flow fumbles. If his boss doesn't know about my husband's ADD, he can't be flexible and creative around it. Which is exactly what this guy has been trained to do in his specific role in HR. It's my assertion that he should tell his boss about it so they can work together on setting him up to be as effective as possible at work.
He has told me he's worried that talking to his boss about it will lessen the respect he has for him, destroy his chances for future advancement, or even result in him being fired. Those are certainly scary things to think about, but I find them all to be very unlikely results of opening up about an actual, diagnosed condition to an HR manager in a very progressive company that has shown itself to be supportive and accommodating to the differently-abled. He works alongside others who have had accommodations made for the way they need to work, and it hasn't held them back at all. And nobody is going to be fired from this
company for having ADD. I feel he (unconsciously) believes that not addressing the ADD at work it means it doesn't exist at work. Except, it does.
His first performance review is coming up. I think he should get out in front of it with a sit-down with his boss about the ADD. I think it only helps him. That allows his boss to say, "okay, it's not that Mr. pajamazon doesn't care enough
to file my reports before he goes home. It's really that when five people throw stuff on his desk 5 minutes before quitting time, it's hard for him to process it all. Maybe I can catch him like half an hour before quitting time." Or whatev.
So yeah, I know I can't make him talk about it at work if he doesn't want to. This is his private medical information and he gets to choose who knows what about him. But I do want to help him see the advantages and be less worried about any fallout.
What was it like for you (or someone you know) to tell your employer that you have ADD or a similar thing going on? How did you approach it? Or, why did you decide to keep it to yourself? How did things at work change or not change as a result?
I've read this
already, but I'd like to hear from people who actually made a decision like this at work, and how that worked for them.