Building your team with neurodiversity

Business 19th April 2024

Inclusive Innovation: Bringing Success Through Neurodiversity in Your Workplace

Many of us have family and friends who see – and process – the world slightly differently. The term neurodiversity describes a range of variations in brain processing, with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD, and dyspraxia examples of differences which sit underneath this umbrella term.

According to The Brain Charity, 15-20% of people in the UK are neurodivergent and finding employment can be much harder for them. This might be because of:

  • Unconscious biases which associate neurodiversity with barriers not strengths.
  • Lack of awareness, meaning employers are nervous about how to support those with different needs.
  • Traditional recruitment processes, with standard interviews causing a massive hurdle to many who are neurodivergent.

In this post we’re going to have a look at the many reasons you might choose to bring neurodiverse members into your team and how to support them.

Let’s start by thinking differently

While some employers worry neurodiverse employees might bring more work, we’re going to focus on some of the advantages you’ll see.

It’s important to remember that everyone is unique, you might find two people with the same diagnosis behave very differently. The examples here fit a general understanding of neurodiverse behaviours but – as with every team member or potential recruit – you need to ask questions and get to know the individual to see how they can best support your organisation.

Innovation and problem solving

Neurodiverse individuals often excel at finding new perspectives on problems and identifying creative solutions. Approaching systems in these new ways may challenge the status quo, but in doing so you’ll find breakthroughs you might never have considered.

Great attention to detail

Many neurodiverse people have a keen eye for detail and a talent for accuracy, making them invaluable in tasks requiring precision and focus.

Technical expertise

Some neurodiverse people possess exceptional technical skills and a deep understanding of complex systems.

Diverse skill sets

Neurodiversity encompasses a wide range of differences, each with its own strengths. By building a diverse team you will gain access to a wider talent pool with a variety of skills and experiences. Just as any team benefits from a breadth of perspectives in terms of experience, age, gender (and more), opening opportunities to those with different neural processing is equally important.

Enhanced team dynamics

Often, neurodiverse employees bring different approaches to communication and collaboration, with new ways to brainstorm, share ideas, and reach solutions together.

Making your workplace more inclusive

Your business will benefit from including people with the right talents, particularly if they bring something different with their experience. It’s important, therefore, that you’re not scared to employ the right individual because they may need additional support.

We’re going to look at some of the things you can do to support your neurodiverse people, and don’t forget – we can help.

Your approach

Build awareness of the importance of enabling your neurodiverse team members.

  • Provide education and training to all team members to create a more inclusive environment.
  • Be open with communication so people feel able to disclose.

Your environment

Consider how and where you work.

  • Allow for flexible work arrangements, whether that’s remote or hybrid working, adjusted schedules, or even just increased breaks for those who need them.
  • Consider sensory needs – quiet spaces, flexible lighting, and headphones.
  • Visual prompts including clocks, alarms or notices may be needed.
  • Apps can help, providing text to speech, alarms, distraction blockers and more.

Your practices

You can promote inclusion through changes to workflows and processes.

  • Increased supervision or check-ins mean individuals know what they need to be doing, and get the recognition and reassurance they need.
  • Structure your workflows with tasks broken down, providing clear expectations and defined deadlines.
  • Written instructions and meeting notes are helpful for many.
  • Providing mentoring or a buddy system can help with focus.

Benefit from neurodiverse talent

Building an inclusive workplace that embraces neurodiversity isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good for your business. If you’d like to explore how you can support your neurodiverse team better, get in touch.


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