Why Neurodiversity Matters at Your Office

neurodiversityCompanies around the world have started to embrace the value of having diversity in the workplace. It’s time to do the same with embracing people with different mental capabilities. Viewing people with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Asperger’s syndrome, Dyspraxia, etc. in a positive light will let employers see past their differences and harness their strengths. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.

Neurodiversity is the inclusion of people with different brain make-ups in the workplace.

It’s high time companies start to include these people who have long been excluded from offices. On the Human Resources front, neurodiversity is a new area of interest, one that will hopefully result in a more inclusive workforce worldwide.

Here are some of the benefits of neurodiversity at the office:

  • People on the autism spectrum have often been shown to excel at subjects such as cryptography, programming, and mathematics. This is due to their disposition to recognizing patterns, intense focus, and strength to do repetitive tasks.
  • As with the inclusion of most diverse groups, adding such professionals into the workforce can give your team a fresh perspective. This can lead to new ideas and different approaches to tackling problems.
  • Giving someone an opportunity who may otherwise not have had one often times results in an extremely loyal, hardworking employee.
  • Hiring people without discriminating on the basis of ethnic, racial, or mental make-ups is what will ultimately give a company a competitive edge in today’s world. It’s not about fulfilling a basic CSR program anymore; it’s about distinguishing yourself as a company that values talent no matter where it comes from.
  • JPMorgan, for example, found that autistic workers took just three to six months versus the usual three years to do the same level of work in its Mortgage Banking Technology division. They were also 50% more productive, according to the CIPD report.

How to implement neurodiversity in your office:

  • During orientations or job fairs, make the term NEURODIVERSITY visible. Have a few brochures on the topic and make sure to ask your HR team to discuss your company’s philosophy on neurodiversity with visitors.
  • Offer non-traditional interviews, assessments, and training as some neurodiverse employees have social difficulties and their innovative ideas, mechanical aptitude, technical abilities, and focus shine in different ways.
  • Offer employees the choice between open spaces or private work stations. Consider allowing candidates to work virtually if their work can be done at home. Different people work best in varying environments and by offering options it allows you to attract a dramatically wider range of candidates.
  • De-stigmatize mental health issues by offering regular meetings on mental health, stress, self-esteem, communication, and burn out.
  • Encourage employee wellness programs that focus on mindfulness, mental, and physical health.
  • The neurodiversity movement is picking up pace and this is one bandwagon that every company would be wise to explore.

Educating ourselves on the different struggles and challenges that people face and becoming comfortable with bringing candidates in for interviews that have previously been excluded can result in having a richer, more productive work environment.

Ann Zaslow-Rethaber

Ann Zaslow-Rethaber

A recruiter since 1996, Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is the president of International Search Consultants, a global executive recruiting firm launched in 1999.

ISC has become one of the country’s most reputable search firms, earning more recommendations on Linked In than any other 3rd party recruiting agency in the entire country. With a team of 15 talented recruiters, utilizing the very best high- tech tools available, ISC can produce highly qualified candidates for companies with hi-volume recruiting needs.

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