A workplace is made up of many cultural elements and personalities that can contribute to or hinder its success. These aspects are usually tackled through cultural awareness and team training exercises.
- What about how people learn and the challenges they may face during their time at work, is this talked about and trained for?
- Does a manager or human resources staff member know how many of the staff members are Nerudiverse and do they even know what that means?
Relates to learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD and visual perspective, to name a few. These all relate to how different brains function in how we learn and do tasks.
Even though learning difficulties are usually associated with children, children grow up. People do not grow out of neurodiversity and no medication can be taken in order to rewire the brain in the manner people would like to believe. The truth is, neurodiverse children are taught how to cope and process knowledge differently. They grow up and enter the workforce with these coping skills as neurodiverse adults. There is another side to this though, which is what happens when children go through the school system and eventually enter employment without ever having been diagnosed.
As you can see there are many variables to take into account on this subject. There isn’t enough awareness about neurodiversity in the workforce. Managers may see these team members as difficult or a challenge to work with and this can lead to mistreatment or in the worst cases wrongly fired.
So what is the organisation to do in order to be inclusive and how can we create a welcoming and productive environment?
1. Create awareness
We must first learn about neurodiversity and understand the rewards and challenges that this can bring to a business. This comes from educating and engaging with your employees or team members.
We need to learn how to communicate effectively as everyone processes information differently. Communicating with a neurotypical person can differ from a neurodiverse.
3. Organisations must adapt
Now, this is a challenge for the organisation because the assumption is that the employee must fit into their place of employment. This is true to a point but on the flip side, the employer must also apply strategies that fit their neurodiverse employees so that they may function and perform their duties to the best of their abilities.
If one of your employees was in a wheelchair, there would be no objection to building a ramp or installing a special desk for that employee. So in cases where the employee is neurodiverse, which is an invisible disability, the same scenario should apply.
Neurodiverse employees have a wide range of talents and shouldn’t be defined or hindered by their place of employment. Employers need to know their team and how to best provide what they need to be both productive and an asset to their place of employment.