Neurodiversity refers to the different ways a person’s brain functions and interacts with the world around them.
Sometimes it is used as an overall term to define neurodivergent differences, thinking and learning styles such as autism 2, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.
How can we observe it within the workplace?
Difficult team members or team members with difficulties?
It is important to foster an environment that is conducive to neurodiversity, and to recognise and emphasise each person’s individual strengths and talents while also providing support for their differences and needs.
What are the benefits of supporting neurodiverse people in the workplace?
Studies show that increased diversity in the workplace sparks innovation, which can accelerate market growth.
Higher levels of diversity in leadership make businesses 45% more likely to experience market share growth and 70% more likely to capture a new market. More diverse management teams can achieve a 19% higher revenue, driven from innovation.
Diversity in the workplace is an important recruitment and employee retention tool for businesses today. So how can employers and employees alike better support neurodiverse individuals?
- Offer small adjustments to an employees’ workspace to accommodate any sensory needs, such as:
- Sound sensitivity: Offer quiet break space, communicate expected loud noises (like fire drills), offer noise cancelling headphones
- Movements: Allow the use of fidget toys, allow extra movement breaks, offer flexible seating
- Use non ambiguous / explicit language
- Avoid sarcasm, euphemisms, and implied messages
- Provide concise verbal and written instruction for tasks, and break tasks down into small steps
- Gain an understanding of individual preferences, needs, and goals
- Consider assigning a supporter within the team
There is a global initiative that challenges the stereotypes and misconceptions about autism and learning disabilities. Each year it is recognised by Neurodiversity Celebration Week which in 2023 took place 13th – 19th March.
If you and your team want to learn more about neurodiversity from one of our experts, ‘GET IN TOUCH’ to find out more.