Statistically, your organization’s workforce is already neurodiverse, but the staff is likely not managing, coaching, and retaining those employees effectively. You can also improve hiring practices, placement, onboarding, and management of new employees to be inclusive of neurodiverse individuals who can become assets to your organization.
With the rise in the diagnosis of autism, ADHD and other cognitive differences, along with the large number of adults who have never been formally diagnosed as neurodivergent, comes a strong call to action in the workplace for organizations and workers to understand the diverse group of individuals on their teams and in their applicant pools and take appropriate steps to make sure those team members are given what they need for success. Organizations that are not prepared to focus on this now could be left behind as the workforce, and the expectations evolve.
Here are four things to consider to ensure you include neurodiversity in your Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and your workplace culture:
Hiring ProcessIs your hiring process inclusive? Do you specifically state you are a welcoming environment for neurodiverse applicants? Many individuals look for this when choosing where to apply. You may miss out on a talented applicant because you don’t appear to take into account their specific needs or desires in the workplace. Also, think about how you interview and interact with applicants - what is really necessary for the job performance, and what is an outdated practice or requirement that some neurodiverse candidates may not meet?
Company CultureCompany culture is huge in ensuring your existing team members are comfortable accessing supports or just letting their team or manager know they are neurodiverse. Often, when we work with organizations going through training on how to better meet their customer’s needs, they discover they have individuals on their team who had not come forward previously who are autistic or have another characteristic that makes them neurodivergent. By focusing on a neurodiversity program and ensuring all areas of your organization understand how to communicate and manage a diverse team, you open up the conversation and let your team know it is a safe place to divulge personal information about their status or needs.
Success and Performance MetricsStatistics for neurodiversity programs show that the results are overwhelmingly positive when an effort is made to welcome and promote neurodiversity. However, how are you managing performance metrics, annual reviews, and feedback to ensure that you are not discouraging, or in some cases misplacing, the talent on your team.
IndividualityThere is no “one size fits all” method to ensuring everyone is accounted for and taken care of - other than looking at your team as a valuable resource and considering each one as an individual human first and foremost. Neurodiversty, skill assessment, management, and hiring for specific talents isn’t easy, but the rewards are great!
So, what’s next?
IBCCES offers a Certified Neurodiverse Workplace (CNW) program that helps organizations attract, hire, and retain talent that thinks differently. This certification educates employees and management about neurodiversity at work and how to create a more accepting, inclusive work environment so all members of the company can thrive. This program also provides management and HR recruiters with tactical training in hiring neurodiverse individuals.
Find Out More About Becoming A Certified Neurodiverse Workplace
https://www.siliconrepublic.com/future-human/gartner-neurodivergent-talent, https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/3989958/neurodiversity-is-the-secret-to-bridging-the-talent-gap, https://www.investmentnews.com/bill-gross-explains-why-being-an-asperger-made-him-a-better-investor-78407