How to Embrace Neurodiversity in the Workplace

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Neurodiversity is a term that refers to people whose brains function in a different way compared to the average population. These people may have different requirements and behavioural habits. For example, a person with ADHD may be described as neurodivergent and thrive better in specific working environments compared to others. Those on the autism spectrum are also often referred to as neurodivergent and often exhibit behaviours such as repeating phrases or avoiding eye contact.

The chances are you already have neurodiversity in the workplace – and, if not, it’s vital to be open to hiring neurodivergent people in the future so that you maintain a diverse and fair business. Either way, it’s best to know how to embrace neurodiversity, as not only will it help those who are neurodivergent feel more comfortable working for you, but it also means you’ll get better work out of them. Keep reading to learn how to do it.

Educate the Managers

Before you can fully embrace neurodiversity in the workplace, you must be educated on the matter. How much do you know about neurodiversity? It’s okay if it’s not a lot! You can educate yourself and the key managers in the business through neurodiversity speakers. By listening directly to those with experience being neurodivergent in the workplace, you’ll have a better time creating a neurodivergent-inclusive business. It’s an invaluable kind of insight.

Hire Neurodiverse Employees

It should go without saying, but it’s important to hire neurodivergent workers if you want to embrace neurodiversity. Many neurodiverse people have specific sets of skills that can help your business, such as excellent memory or pattern recognition. So, you can help build a more inclusive workforce while encouraging the business to thrive.

Be Fair with Recognition

It’s easy to show recognition of the most obvious forms of success in the workplace. However, not everyone is as open about the great work they have achieved. Embracing neurodiversity means being fair, which means recognising and rewarding all types of success, even if that success isn’t as crystal-clear at first looking. That often means paying a little more attention to the work everyone does.

Accommodate Varying Needs 

Some neurodiverse people have specific needs in order to feel comfortable and able to work to the best of their ability. To embrace neurodiversity, accommodate these needs. For example, some of your employees may work best in a quiet, distraction-free space, and you should offer this. It can also help to offer remote roles for those who prefer to stay at home while getting the work done.

Have Open Communication

One of the best ways to make the workspace a better place for neurodiverse employees is by talking to them. A simple conversation can open so many doors. Let them know you are there to help them thrive and ask them if they need specific support. By doing this, you’ll learn how to create a workspace that caters to everyone. After all, not every neurodiverse person has the same set of requirements.