4 Oct 2022

Embracing neurodiversity in the workplace

What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity covers a range of conditions such as ADHD, Autism, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia and Tourette Syndrome. These conditions are more common than you may think – approximately 15% to 20% of the population is thought to be neurodivergent, i.e. one in seven people in the UK is neurodivergent.

To reap the benefits of what neurodivergent individuals have to offer, companies need to stop and think about their recruitment and internal processes to reflect a broader definition of ‘talent’, and more importantly, they could strive to reshape their understanding of the neurodiverse population to embrace different ways of thinking.

"The workplace doesn't need just one skillset or approach, and we should all recognise the value that different employees can often bring with them." - Theo Paphitis, Dragon from BBC’s Dragon’s Den

 

What does embracing Neurodiversity look like?

There are some everyday actions that will help and empower neurodivergent employees within the workplace. These may look like: 

  • Raising awareness and understanding of neurodiversity and the different forms of neurodivergence;
  • Sharing knowledge is the key and will create and empower a diverse team of people;
  • Creating a culture where employees feel comfortable to disclose and talk openly about their neurodiversity – this includes recognising each person as an individual and establishing that what they need may be different;
  • Fostering trusting relationships between managers and employees;
  • Highlighting the employer’s commitment to diversity and inclusion;
  • Proactive and reasonable adjustments being utilised, regardless of whether or not employees are identified as neurodiverse;
  • Inclusive recruitment policies and procedures;
  • Having accessible software for all;
  • Communicating clearly, e.g. clear signage around the building, meetings followed up with a summary email;
  • Having environments that are conducive to the employee’s needs, such as quiet break-out areas, dividers to reduce noise or inclusive pods.

 

What action can you take?

By law, an employer must consider making reasonable adjustments when an employee with a disability or medical condition is having difficulty with any part of their job. Should reasonable adjustments not be considered or implemented, it may be considered as discrimination.

We have created a service tailored to our clients to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for reasonable adjustments. We have a designated team of administrators and clinicians who assist in delivering the Workplace Adjustments service, from referral to the delivery/implementation of adjustments which are recommended during a Workplace Assessment, conducted by a clinician. The service provides expert clinical pathways for the four key support areas:

  • Physical
  • Disability
  • Neurodiversity
  • Mental Health