Identifying the right people—both internally and externally—for your initiative’s implementation team is crucial for the program’s success.

Typically, there are three distinct groups to think through when it comes to your internal team structure:

1. Project Sponsor:

Ideally a C-level executive

2. Site Champion:

Ideally a senior site operations manager

3. Working team:

Pulled from relevant functions across the site(s) where the program is being implemented, including HR, Operations, Training, Diversity and Inclusion, Marketing, Communications, Safety, Workers Compensation, Return-to-Work, and Information Technology (IT).

Here’s how that model might look in terms of responsibilities and minimum time commitments. (Of course, you should amend this to develop the structure that best suits your organization.)

Project Sponsor — Two hours/month

  • C-suite executive
  • Sets targets (i.e., determines percentage of total workforce with disabilities) )
  • Actively and publicly sponsors initiative
  • Clears roadblocks (i.e., helps expedite changes)


Site Champion — Two hours/week

  • Site-level employee, ideally in a senior position within the site’s operations team
  • Creates buy-in with management team and workforce
  • Brings together the work of the broader working team and pushes implementation agenda


Site Working Team — Five hours/week/person

  • HR, Operations, Accommodations, Diversity, etc.
  • Broader working team that makes operational decisions to push implementation forward
  • Responsible for day-to-day workstream tasks including communications and other necessary work product

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