These days, businesses across all industries have begun to realize the importance of establishing and developing a culture that is focused on accessibility. Not only can it help bolster employee engagement and performance by creating a workspace that is inclusive. But in doing so, it will help elevate a company’s overall operational productivity. However, it is by no means an easy task to transform an organization and make it more accessible. So in the interest of helping you achieve this goal, we’ve listed down the steps that will allow you to build the awareness and support that you require to implement an accessibility-centric culture within your business.
1. Assemble your team
To establish accessibility as a culture in your business, you must first assemble a team of individuals who share the same passion for this objective. The group can be composed of anyone – be it designers or managers. However, they must all be interested in the creation of an experience of accessibility for the organization. While the depth of everyone’s knowledge and expertise can help, you don’t need to worry about it too much at this stage; as the group continues to work together, each member will grow. The important part is that they all have an understanding of how practices and tools on accessibility can affect their respective roles in the company. For example, captioning software can be integrated into web-based conferencing platforms to improve engagement. Or how those in leadership roles can make use of specific strategies to encourage more productivity.
2. Determine the core values and objectives of your team
Once you’ve assembled a team to lead the development of the culture, the next step is to determine the core values and objectives that you’re looking to achieve. For instance, you can begin by centering your values in the establishment of a safe and inclusive working environment to give your employees a much better experience and motivate them to perform better. Simply put, these values will serve as your guide and give you direction to ensure that your decisions steer you towards the desired goal of accessibility. But don’t forget to document everything and make it available. It will make it much easier for everyone else to follow you.
3. Conduct an audit of your work with accessibility
Arguably the most essential task in the process of establishing accessibility in your business is to conduct an audit of what your team has managed to achieve. Make sure that you conduct a thorough audit; don’t limit your evaluation to any one area. And be sure to focus your efforts on improvement and intent – not just compliance. Not only will this allow you to make it the center of the company’s culture. But it will also help you cement a mindset of growth instead of merely checking things off your checklist.
Accessibility is a lot more important in the growth and development of a company than people realize. And by following the above-mentioned steps, you’ll help your organization become more accessible and, in turn, elevate its chances for success, whether you’re running a startup or a small business.