New Year Resolutions to Improve Inclusivity
It’s the turn of a new decade, and the perfect time to reflect and consider your workplace culture. Chris Jay- the Managing Director of the social enterprise, Bascule Disability Training- has six suggestions for pro-active, New Year Resolutions that will enable organisations of all sizes to improve business and customer service- by becoming more inclusive organisations.
Resolution 1- Increase your potential customer base by 22%
What better New Year resolution could you have than to improve your clientele by a vast percentage? By making a few basic changes to the way you run your business, and becoming more inclusive, you’ll do exactly that. According to the latest government reports there are close to 14 million people in the UK living with a disability- (one in five people)- so, gaining access to this potential customer base is certainly worth consideration. Think about making small steps at first- asking yourself whether your website is accessible, whether your premises can better support people with disabilities, whether your recruitment process is inclusive and most importantly, whether your staff have had any disability awareness training.
As staff become more disability aware, and the business becomes widely perceived as an inclusive organisation, your business’s services will reach the radars of people with a disability. After all, can you really afford to ignore a group with the spending power believed to be approximately £1.8 billion per month?
Resolution 2- Enhance customer loyalty
Further to increasing your customer appeal, becoming a business that is renowned for being disability aware, will mean customer loyalty is enhanced, by both the customers you target and the staff you employ. People with disabilities are generally very loyal to any organisation that declares a commitment to inclusivity. By making adjustments, both as an employer and a business, customer loyalty will certainly increase.
Resolution 3- Improve customer communications
When considering the improvement of any form of customer service, it’s a good idea to remember the following statistic- ‘67% of the British public feel ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘awkward’ talking to disabled people’ (Scope 2014). Consider for a moment how this discomfort or awkwardness may impact the way in which your client facing staff communicate. By training staff members, you can, not only change staff perception and understanding of disability, but also gain increased awareness and improve communication. This will make your customer service more efficient and accessible to new customers.
Resolution 4- Create a comfortable working environment where staff work to their best potential
With a vast majority of disabilities being ‘hidden’ (or unable to be visually identified), it is highly likely you already employ more people with disabilities than you already know about. Without an inclusive culture that embraces disability, it may be that they are not comfortable disclosing this, which could mean they are not properly supported and therefore could be unhappy or failing to work to their best potential.
Resolution 5 -Gain access to new talent
Becoming an inclusive organisation means you are able to access a whole new pool of talent. When you stop to think that 18% of working age adults in the UK are disabled, it becomes clear that there is a good case for directly appealing to this group. An inclusive workplace will give your business appeal to a whole new audience, and therefore you will attract a wider audience of high calibre candidates.
Resolution 6- Gain positive publicity
Your journey to becoming an inclusive organisation will present many opportunities to gain positive publicity as you should proudly shout about your achievements and openly display your dedication to inclusivity. On the other side of the coin, a negative occurrence can have a catastrophic impact, damaging your brand and your reputation for providing a good service.