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Training for Inclusive Workplace

Training for Inclusive Workplaces

The Benefits of a Neurodiverse Workforce

There are many benefits to a neurodiverse workforce, yet this is the most under-employed group in society. If you are looking to expand your talent pool, they are the hidden resource. However,

the majority of teams lack the training and understanding to make the workplace accessible and inclusive for neurodiverse individuals. How can we change this and open up fresh opportunities?

Your Ideal Candidate Could be Neurodiverse

Would you like to recruit an employee who pays incredible attention to detail and is a natural problem solver? Are you looking for a candidate with a fresh perspective who is innovative and creative? Do you need a strategic thinker or someone you can rely on to be consistently productive?

These are all skills that many neurodiverse individuals excel in, however, they are under-represented in the workplace. The challenge is that this pool of talent finds standard recruitment processes difficult or inaccessible. What’s more, a lack of understanding and support can make it challenging for them to fit in and thrive at work.

What is Neurodiversity?

The human brain is a complex system that continuously comprehends and processes information that enables us to live, understand the world and operate within it. No two brains are wired the same, so we are all unique. This explains why we have a natural affinity to certain activities or ways of learning, yet find others a struggle.

Neurodiversity is a term used to describe individuals whose brain is wired in a non-typical way. This includes people with dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism. It is believed that 15% of the UK population is neurodiverse.

Neurodiverse individuals process the world in a way that neurotypical individuals can’t understand. For example, they often have intense sensory awareness, so get overwhelmed in environments that are loud, bright or scented. A neurotypical individual filters out most of this sensory information, so they don’t experience the same heightened awareness of their environment.

Why Employ Neurodiverse People?

You might be wondering why it is worth including neurodiverse individuals in your workplace.

Let’s begin by looking at some big names who have been credited with great inventions, insight and thinking that changed the world. Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, Greta Thunberg, Alan Turing and Michelangelo. They didn’t just accept things as they were, they challenged the norm, saw things from a different perspective, were dedicated in their pursuit and innovated. They are all known or believed to be neurodivergent.

A neurodiversity document published by recruitment company Badenoch & Clark* references the introduction of an Autism at Work policy introduced by the international banking group, JP Morgan. The first cohort of neurodivergent employees proved to be consistently more productive and faster than their co-workers. The success of the initial programme led the company to recruit over 150 neurodiverse individuals to their team.

These examples turn the table and question why only 21.7% (ONS data 2021) of autistic people in the UK are employed.

Recruitment Challenges for Neurodivergent People

Many neurodivergent individuals do not showcase their strengths in standard recruitment processes. Completing an application form is a huge barrier for someone with dyslexia and a team activity could push someone with autism far out of their comfort zone.

Neurodivergence can make it difficult to make eye contact or read social cues. They might answer questions honestly, with no filter; giving very brief or highly detailed long responses. In an unfamiliar setting, they may be easily distracted as they process the environment or fidget. For untrained interviewers, these behaviours are not desirable. It might seem as though the individual isn’t interested in the role.

At JP Morgan, they used Pymetric games as part of the interview process. These focused the candidates on a range of tasks which provide an overview of cognitive, social and behavioural attitudes. Other ways to find the right candidate might include offering work placement opportunities or setting a task for them to work on in advance and bring to the interview.

Neurodiversity Training

Many employers are reporting skill gaps, yet there is a pool of highly talented individuals who are currently being overlooked. I can see strong benefits in training teams to be more aware and open to possibilities. A fresh approach will surely be beneficial to individuals and companies.

I’m undertaking training this summer, which will equip me to add neurodiversity awareness webinars and Neurodiverse Workplace Champion courses to my workplace training services. I believe that this will improve understanding and help businesses make reasonable adjustments. This will reduce the barriers to applying for positions and doing the job for highly competent individuals.

Raised awareness may also help companies to recognise the neurodiverse individuals within their current workforce. People who maybe like things a certain way, ask a lot of questions, favour routine, are persistent or like to work alone.

Keep an eye out for details of future courses in my newsletter and social channels.

Discover a Pool of Talent

In a world where fresh thinking, innovation, a productive workforce and great attention to detail can give a company a competitive edge, we are missing a trick by not adapting our recruitment processes and workplaces to make them inclusive for neurodivergent individuals. It is time to discover an overlooked pool of talent and fill those skill gaps.

Discover a Pool of Talent

In a world where fresh thinking, innovation, a productive workforce and great attention to detail can give a company a competitive edge, we are missing a trick by not adapting our recruitment processes and workplaces to make them inclusive for neurodivergent individuals. It is time to discover an overlooked pool of talent and fill those skill gaps.

Contact me to discuss your training needs and to reserve a place on neurodiversity training that I will launch this September.

* https://www.badenochandclark.com/~/media/uk/bac%20uk%2006%202021%20-%20neurodiversity%20report.pdf/

Designed for Learning - a group of people sitting at a desk learning from a trainer

Designed for Learning

The value of training and development comes when the knowledge is received, retained and applied. To achieve this outcome, we need to ensure that our