More Important Things to Know About Supporting Neurodivergent People in The Workforce (Part 2)
Welcome back! Or if you only just finished the first part of this blog post, welcome to Part 2! Keep reading to find out how to support and embrace neurodivergent people in the workplace.
Be Ready and Willing to Accommodate
Create an environment that is both welcoming and accessible to neurodiverse people. This can be done by considering how you structure your workspace. A fluid office that provides plenty of options to work solo or collaborate with coworkers gives people options. For instance, having designated quiet areas and providing noise-canceling headphones for those who prefer them can be balanced with communal areas with interactive games that stimulate creativity. There is no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to the workplace but recognizing that people work differently is key to being accommodating to all. An atmosphere that may help some thrive can seem overwhelming to others so providing choices is crucial to helping support everyone on your team.
Offer Flexibility and Training
Having a company-wide handbook expected to encompass everyone at your company is unrealistic if you want to attract and retain those within the neurodiverse community. Instead, focus on recognizing that everyone brings strengths to the table and create a supportive environment that encourages this. Craft your policy to integrate a wide variety of individuals into your company’s culture. Educate your employees about neurodiversity and make a point to focus on people’s capabilities. Some ways that you can offer flexibility to your staff include:
- being open to working from home for those who need that freedom
- offering 24-hour access to the office so early birds and night owls both feel welcome
- having a generous break policy for everyone
Assume your employees understand their responsibilities and your expectations, then let them work in whatever way they see fit. Being an organization that serves neurodiverse individuals is a sign of a healthy, supportive workforce that will be appreciated by all your employees regardless of their status.
Imagine a world where those with brain differences are regarded as simply having distinct and unique skills instead of being viewed as having a disability? That’s exactly how understanding and accepting neurodiversity can elevate your workplace. Hiring those who are neurodiverse not only benefits them but your organization as well because you’re gaining team members who think in new, creative ways and can provide innovative solutions. Not only are you becoming a more inclusive place for your employees, but you’re widening your prospects with a new, and virtually untapped, pool of talent. Through educating your employees, listening to those with neurodiverse behaviors, and finding ways to implement inclusivity, you’re creating a space that works for all your workforce – not just some.