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8 Tips On Embracing And Supporting Neurodiversity In The Workplace

8 Tips On Embracing And Supporting Neurodiversity In The Workplace
8 Tips On Embracing And Supporting Neurodiversity In The Workplace
Neurodivergence incorporates individuals who may have Autism, Aspergers syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder embracing and supporting in the workplace is a must.
Posted in: Culture
8 Tips On Embracing And Supporting Neurodiversity In The Workplace
8 Tips On Embracing And Supporting Neurodiversity In The Workplace

Neurodiversity isn't something everyone fully understands, but there have been many movements over the past couple of years to change this. Being neurodiverse means that a person could have various degrees of special needs, but some of these individuals could function just as well as a neurotypical team member with just a few minor adjustments to the workplace.

Although some employers could be hesitant to embrace and support neurodiversity, it comes from not having all the facts about these individuals to make an educated decision. When companies do the necessary research about the type of employees they can accommodate at their offices, they may be pleasantly surprised.

Some individuals with neurodiverse characteristics can be knowledgeable and diligent workers that require minimal support, becoming an asset to the team. Here are some more tips on how a workplace can embrace and support neurodiversity among their teams:

#1. Ensure To Hire The Best Candidate

Ensure To Hire The Best Candidate

Businesses differ regarding their operations and the range of skills needed to complete work-related tasks effectively. When looking for a candidate that can perform these tasks, it'd help to consult with a reputable recruiting agency like Hirect that can match the available position with the candidate's skill set.

Matching the candidate to the company culture would also be essential for the business and the individual. If the company is very social, for example, and the candidate struggles with social interactions, it may not be a good fit.

#2. Use Inclusive Terms And Language

Person first language is the most preferred among neurodiverse individuals, which places the importance on them being humans first before their condition. The correct way to incorporate this would be to say: 'a person with autism,' for example.

When everyone remembers to treat them with the same respect and courtesy as any other co-worker and not to see them as being different, it'll strengthen the work relations between everyone in the workspace.

#3. Create A Buddy System In The Office

Create A Buddy System In The Office

Most neurodivergent individuals prefer to be as independent as possible, but sometimes they could be overwhelmed by the daily demands they face. Some could be sensory-sensitive, and loud noises, too much movement, visual stimulation, or touch could trigger a fight-or-flight reaction, especially in a person with autism.

Assigning a team member to assist the individual with this can make a massive difference and help them calm down faster. The buddy shouldn't be there to check up on them but rather to offer a helping hand when they realize the other person needs it.

#4. Incorporate Various Levels Of Support

Depending on the needs of the person with neurodivergent traits, there could be physical adjustments that a workplace can make. It could be that the person has trouble focusing in a noisy open office, and they'd function better when in a less busy environment.

The best thing companies could do to support them with their needs is to ask the individual for what they'd need to do their work comfortably. It shouldn't stay at that as companies must incorporate these various levels of support for them without making them feel different from the rest of the team members.

#5. Assign Tasks According To Ability

As with any other team member, not everyone will have the same skills and strong suits for each task. When there's something specific that the person can do exceptionally well, the company should assign them those.

Again, the focus falls on their strengths, not their differences, making them feel more included in the workplace. Giving any person an activity they aren't able to complete would set them up for failure, whether they're neurodivergent or not.

#6. Include Team Members In Development

Everyone in the workplace deserves the opportunity to learn and grow, even if they're neurodivergent. Having different needs from other employees doesn't mean they won't be able to thrive and grow.

Look at the specific areas that the person would need development, and give them the same development opportunities as the other team members. They could surprise management by becoming even more efficient with the new skills they acquire.

#7. Structure Company Policy Accordingly

Companies should remember to update their policies and procedures to make provisions for the adjustments and exceptions for people who are neurodiverse. Knowing that everyone can follow the rules and regulations of the office comfortably gives management and teams peace of mind.

The business should set up policies so it doesn't discriminate between any specific groups of people. When everyone feels included, they're more likely to work together as a unit coherently.

#8. Offer Training To Neurotypical Employees

 Each person with neurodivergent characteristics will have their way of doing things and varying levels of support they need or preferences about their office environment. Educating other employees about this allows them to understand instead of judge the individual.

There are brilliant programs available online and in-person to make neurotypical team members aware of how to work alongside a person who's neurodivergent effectively. Teams who attend the training will enrich their knowledge about the specific needs and considerations of the person they'll be working with and could use this in other relevant situations.

The Inclusive Final Word

Whether a person is neurodivergent or neurotypical, they want the same thing—for society to accept them amongst their peers. Although navigating the business world could be challenging, companies can do their best to assist all employees in achieving their best.

The right work environment makes all the difference for these individuals, and the minor adaptations won't take anything away from the company's performance. On the contrary, it should add a valuable new member to the team that brings with them some unique insights.

Preparing the workplace and its employees for a person with neurodivergent traits will ensure that teams continue to grow and learn together. Neurodivergent doesn't mean helplessness or them being a weak link to the chain. They bring their strengths to the table like any other team member, and inclusivity could mean more to them and the business than anticipated. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you plan and prepare.

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Wednesday, 17 April 2024
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