How to celebrate neurodiversity in the workplace

In honour of Neurodiversity Celebration Week (21st-27th March), we’re sharing some tips on how workplaces can celebrate and promote neurodiversity.

What is neurodiversity?

For anyone unsure of this relatively new term, neurodiversity, describes the diversity of human brains. It recognises that all humans are different and don’t think alike. The phrase is used to identify and celebrate those with minority neurotypes, such as autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD.

Why it’s important to celebrate neurodiversity

It’s important to bring awareness to neurodiversity in workplaces as it:

  • helps recognise how different everyone is
  • can provide life-changing support to someone
  • encourages anyone who feels different to be proud of who they are
  • recognises all forms of achievement

How can you celebrate neurodiversity in your workplace?

There are many ways you can promote and celebrate neurodiversity in your workplace:

Promote a neurodiverse workforce

Create a work environment in which employees are comfortable to openly talk about their neurodiversity.

Invest time in training your employees, upskill and train them in diversity and inclusion so they are well equipped with understanding neurodiversity in their colleagues.

Attract neurodiverse candidates

With your recruitment process, ensure that it is clear to anyone outside the organisation that neurodiversity is respected in your business.

Additionally, be mindful of adjusting the recruitment process, identify ways that will help put minority neurotypes at ease. For instance, a neurodiverse person may prefer submitting a piece of work instead of having a face-to-face interview.

Learn how everyone prefers to interact

Find out from your employees how they prefer to interact and ensure that everyone in the workplace is aware of everyone’s preferences. Some employees may prefer having a written brief of instructions, whereas others may want to discuss tasks in person.

You could hold workshops to help yourself and your employees become familiar with different professional ways of interacting that suits your team.

Frequently ask for feedback

Asking for feedback within your workplace can reveal things that could be bothering your workforce. Have conversations, meetings and create surveys. A survey is probably the best option to go for if your workforce prefers to voice their opinions anonymously.

Remember not to take the feedback personally, just learn from it.

Employers need to keep in mind

There are a few key things to remember when considering neurodiversity:

Be compassionate

Always have a compassionate tone. People with minority neurotypes may understand things through the tone you use. If you are trying to be constructive then remember to keep a compassionate tone when doing so.

Using a negative tone when being constructive could be received negatively, even if you didn’t intend on sounding negative.

Be positive

From your values and mission statement to the culture within your business, ensure your business promotes positivity in every respect. This will help attract and retain neurodiverse candidates.

For additional support and information on how to celebrate neurodiversity in your workplace then seek an independent HR adviser for guidance.