Author and leadership expert John Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” This maxim is very true when companies target prospective employees and consumers with disabilities. The leadership practices of disability inclusive companies have done the following:
- Complete an internal assessment that outlines the gaps in employment, customer service, and marketing;
- Obtain support and commitment from executives who understand the business impact of reaching the market. Further, there is a senior level champion who is responsible for ensuring that performance measurements are developed;
- Provide resources (staff and budget) to support disability employment, customer service and marketing;
Without leadership commitment, any outreach to the disability market will be lack heft and will be taken by other priorities. The senior level champion’s involvement is mandatory. SMG suggests starting with an internal assessment. Some basic questions we provide clients include:
- What’s the gap between what you’re doing and where you would like to be?
- What is the first thing that comes to mind when you consider interacting with a person with a disability?
- What do you want to come to mind?
- What do you think is important regarding people with disabilities as employees, guests and consumers?
For Your Company:
- What happens when your company considers targeting, serving and/or employing people with disabilities?
- What do you want to happen when your company considers targeting, serving, and employing people with disabilities? How do you define success?
- What are your internal stakeholder’s biggest objections about disability marketing, employment and customer service?
- What benefits does your company gain with an integrated disability marketing, customer service and employment strategy?
We invite you to use these questions to guide the disability inclusion strategies in your company.
Want to learn more? Start by downloading our FREE guide Turning Difference into Dollars: Reaching America’s Untapped Minority and follow up by contacting us to learn exactly how we can help your inclusion and outreach efforts.