There are many benefits to hiring neurodiverse people, but like everyone, each neurodiverse person has different skills and support needs in order for them to thrive.
Neurodiversity covers a whole range of conditions such as autism, dyspraxia, ADHD, and dyslexia. Everyone has unique qualities that can develop an organisation.
Talking openly: When around neurodiverse colleagues, try to make them feel part of the team but also do not make them feel exposed. Let them talk about their neurodiversity to workmates and others around them. It will help them at work and will also help the employer to learn more about the condition and to make accommodations.
Breaking stigma: As stated above, part of breaking the stigma around people with neurodivergences is to have an open mind and inclusive culture. Ask about their lives and their hobbies, make them feel at home and do not judge. There are special days dedicated to neurodiversity, you can include the team in that, as an example.
Delivering awareness training: This is best done as soon as possible and makes the team aware of neurodiversity in the workplace and offers advice on how best to help them thrive in the workplace. Exceptional Individuals offers workshops for your workplace.
Creating a neurodiversity policy: This is now vital to any workplace in the 21st century as now there is a lot more acceptance and understanding around neurodiversity and it is best to have a neurodiversity policy written up in clear writing before hiring and it not only makes it good for prospective employees but other neurodiverse recruiters too.
Neurodiversity is just an umbrella word for a section of cognitive differences. Not every condition is the same so the needs of each person will be different and the response would have to be tailored to them.
These and many more can make a huge difference in the long run and will help both the workplace and the surrounding community at large.
There are many workshops available to teach employers not to fall into the unconscious bias trap and Exceptional Individuals offers such workshops here. Biases and stereotyping have been around for many years and it is only just recently that employers have come to really understand the benefits of hiring neurodiverse employees. Sadly, these still persist, especially in places that are not disability confident. To make interviews more comfortable for neurodiverse hires the employer first has to ask if the person has any direct needs and how the interviewer can address them. For example, if the person wants the questions in advance to prepare for the interview, you could forward the questions to them, or in the days of face to face, a quiet room, water, fewer people in the room, etc.
These days most of the interviews are done remotely. A good thing to do in this case is to first see which conference programme the person is most comfortable with. Another is getting rid of any distractions around the interview so the interviewer can choose to utilise a virtual background to not trigger sensory issues. In the case of the interviewee asking for a recorded version to look back on, it is wise to provide one.
At Exceptional Individuals, we provide full audits for our partner organisation’s recruitment processes and provide key recommendations to ensure your processes are inclusive.
When a neurodiverse employee is first hired, a workplace needs assessment can be undertaken, if the employee would like this. Exceptional Individuals can conduct workplace needs assessments, and these are usually funded through the UK Government’s Access to Work fund. The employee may request small adjustments such as dimming the lights near them or working closer to the window, to assistive technology such as:
Contact us to find out more about how you can support your neurodiverse employees and enable everyone in your organisation to thrive.