Around 15 to 20% of the global population is neurodivergent. Unfortunately, these individuals are often overlooked during the hiring process because social communication challenges can get in the way during the interview process. Or conversely, they may not have an extensive work history because they’ve previously been overlooked for positions they’re qualified for due to their differences from the neurotypical population.
However, overlooking neurodivergent people isn’t only unfair. It restricts companies from reaping the benefits of neurodiversity among their workforce. Today, we’ll explain what neurodiversity is and how companies can benefit from it.
What is Neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity is the concept that certain conditions result from natural (and normal) variations in the human genome. Conditions that fall under the category of neurodivergent are wide-ranging and include autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It also includes people with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia – or trouble with reading, writing, or math, respectively. Of course, this is not a comprehensive list.
Historically, neurodivergent individuals were looked upon as having something that needed to be fixed or cured. As such, it’s always been challenging for neurodiverse people to find jobs. But things are changing, and many are now looking at neurodiversity as something that should be embraced and accommodated instead of excluded in the workplace.
What Are The Benefits of Neurodiversity In The Workplace?
Although many neurodivergent people don’t interview well due to social communication challenges, they bring their own distinct benefits to the workplace. The most important benefit? Neurodiversity introduced a new way of thinking and doing things that companies may not have previously thought about. With a brand new view of the world, companies may uncover creative new approaches to current operational processes that save time and manhours while subsequently increasing productivity.
Other benefits of neurodiversity your company might receive include:
- More Creativity
- Out-of-the-box thinking
- A broader talent pool
- Access to employees with better pattern recognition
- Long-term employment from ASD employees who value routine
- Access to different ways of problem-solving
How Can We Ensure Neurodiversity In the Workplace?
The best way to ensure neurodiversity in the workplace is to overhaul hiring practices and build supportive programs. Many neurodivergent people don’t do well during interviews, but they have a lot to bring to a team and make excellent, hardworking employees. We need to train human resource departments and hiring managers to include neurodivergent people when sorting through the talent pool.
Exploring reasonable accommodations for neurodivergent employees also helps. Any accommodation you can make without too much trouble should be considered reasonable. For example, someone with ADHD may need more frequent breaks but do as much (or more) work as a neurotypical employee in the time between. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to look at employees as individuals.
Learn More About Neurodiversity Today
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of neurodiversity (within the workplace or daily life), contact the Sachs Center today. We provide online diagnostic evaluations, coaching, therapy, and in-person neuropsychological testing. We’re more than happy to answer any questions or connect you with services that can help you begin reaping the benefits of neurodiversity in your workplace today.