What is Neurodivergence?

The term “neurodivergent” describes people whose brain differences affect how their brain works.

That means they have different strengths and challenges than people whose brains don’t have those differences.

The possible differences include medical disorders, learning disabilities and other conditions. The possible strengths include better memory, being able to mentally picture three-dimensional (3D) objects easily, the ability to solve complex mathematical calculations in their head, and many more.

Did you know that 15-20% of people are neurodivergent which means that your workforce is likely to include neurodivergent employees.

What are the legal implications of not training your leaders to accommodate Neurodivergent employees?

When it comes to managing your neurodivergent staff, are you meeting your employer obligations?

Did you know you may face a claim of direct discrimination if you don’t make reasonable adjustments for a neurodivergent employee?

How Neurodivergence can give you the competitive edge.
One big benefit of an inclusive work culture is that it fosters diversity of thought, different approaches to work, innovation, and creativity.

Diversity represents the community. If an organisation doesn’t embrace diversity, in particular neurodiversity, they’re really missing out on having staff who think differently, solve problems differently and give them a competitive advantage,

Increased Productivity and Company Culture

Research suggests that teams with neurodivergent professionals in some roles can be 30% more productive than those without them. Inclusion and integration of neurodivergent professionals can also boost team morale.

Companies with inclusive and diverse cultures are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets.

Neurodivergent employees can improve team morale, offer higher than average attention to detail, can apply a more creative approach to problem solving.

Create a Neuro-friendly work environment

Organisations should create a culture and workplace where both neurodivergent and neurotypical individuals can thrive. Below are some key considerations.

What organisations do to provide an inclusive environment for their neurodivergent workforce can have spillover effects on the entire workforce.

What leaders and managers learn from finding solutions for the unique needs of neurodivergent professionals can be applied to the entire workforce.

Common considerations for neurodivergent professionals may alter traditional HR practices but can inevitably make the workplace a better, safer, and more inclusive place for everyone.

Respect individual differences

Different professionals (whether neurodivergent or neurotypical) may have different working styles: some may need clear, multistep instructions once; some may need regular reiterations; others may be comfortable with broad asks and can break them into multistep activities themselves.

Managers should find out how each professional works best, how they best understand assignments, and adapt their style accordingly.

While it may seem obvious, minor tweaks to communications, such as being more specific or including action (verbs) can go a long way.

Additionally, communicating in the virtual or hybrid environments could be a challenge to some. Individuals consume and process information differently, so miscommunication is always a risk.

Following up on calls or virtual chats with an email that reinforces the message and sending notes or a transcript or recording of the call could help mitigate this risk.

Provide a mentor

Mentors provide much-needed support to all workers’ careers, but they are perhaps even more important for the development of the neurodivergent workforce. Organisations that provide mentors to professionals with a disability reported a 16% increase in profitability, 18% in productivity, and 12% in customer loyalty.

Create a culture that offers and encourages both flexibility and inflexibility

As is the case for many workers, flexibility can be especially important for neurodivergent individuals. A flexible work schedule can allow people to take time off for therapy appointments and self-care. Organisations can foster a culture of flexibility by making it part of their policy, rather than placing the responsibility on individual workers.

However, while flexible schedules may be desirable for some neurodivergent individuals, for others, a routine is what makes them thrive. Knowing what they have to do and when they have to do it may make them feel more comfortable and be more productive.




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