When it comes to attracting and retaining top talent, HR professionals are always looking for ways to help their organization stand out from the crowd.
What if I told you that many companies are effectively shutting out a large portion of their workforce, their potential talent, by failing to grasp digital accessibility?
Assistive technology can level employment opportunities for people with disabilities
How to make it easier for employees with disabilities to work
Adopting more people with disabilities does not happen by chance
Most sectors are highly competitive for talented employees, and those who need access make up a significant percentage of the talent pool.
However, in a hybrid world of work, many people are still effectively excluded from an underperforming digital environment.
This can be due to a variety of conditions such as visual impairment, hearing impairment, reading or cognitive impairment, fine motor impairment (making it difficult to control the mouse), or more common impairments associated with aging. .
This “exclusion” often begins with the hiring process. This means employers are effectively falling at the first hurdle.
latest report immature reaction?Why organizations are failing to build digitally accessible products and servicesreveals the need to increase awareness and buy-in of digital accessibility among senior HR professionals.
Encouragingly, nearly a third (30%) were seen as very enthusiastic about the issue.
However, one-fifth of organizations said their HR director “didn’t know about digital accessibility,” and nearly half (47%) don’t have a board of directors responsible for leading the issue.
This spills over to the operational level, with only 6% of organizations consistently confirming that their suppliers have been trained in digital accessibility and can deliver it with their digital solutions.
Given that recruitment and other critical business functions such as e-learning delivery are often outsourced, it is imperative to apply best practice approaches throughout the supply chain.
For employees who need digital access, this report can be a rather depressing read.
More than a third (37%) of organizations launch digital products without an accessibility check in place, and one in three (35%) do so even though they know the product is inaccessible. He said the sale will continue.
Imagine how demotivating it would be to work for a company that created digital products and services that you don’t have access to. If companies cannot consider their customers’ access needs, they are unlikely to consider their employees’ access needs when using digital tools procured to enable work in a hybrid environment.
Differentiation through digital accessibility
Many HR professionals today rely on technology for hiring, onboarding, training, and generally communicating with employees. Getting accessibility right has many benefits, including:
higher returns Accenture research shows that companies that hire people they need access outperform their peers, earning an average of 28% higher revenue over four years.
more innovation A diverse workforce brings new and valuable perspectives to an organization. For example, neurodiverse employees are often creative thinkers and strategic problem solvers.
Increase inclusiveness Ensuring that digital accessibility is built into your entire organization will inevitably lead to greater inclusivity and increased awareness of its importance across your workforce.
Increased loyalty Data shows that employees whose access needs are met tend to stay with the company longer.
Defender Creation If an employer demonstrates a positive approach to accessibility, it may create a long-term advocate for the organization, even if the employee leaves the company. This proof of the company’s values of equality, diversity and inclusion has a positive impact on reputation and is ideal for hiring.
Improved reputation Through our work, we have helped our clients win multiple awards for their digital inclusivity. Incorporating digital accessibility demonstrates alignment with the values of potential customers, employees, and other stakeholders.
A more inclusive future
A proactive approach to digital accessibility benefits everyone across your organization. Doing it right unlocks a whole world of latent talent that could have gone unnoticed.
Additionally, digital accessibility maturity is a hallmark of organizations with innovative and pioneering approaches to diversity, equality and inclusion. Eventually everyone will come to expect it. Can your organization afford to be left behind?
Jonathan Hassell is CEO of Hassell Inclusion.