Nicola Branagh

Top Tips to Unwrapping Neurodiversity at Work


Recruiting the right candidate, for the right role (and keeping them there for as long as possible) will undoubtedly do wonders for any business. But organizations are in danger of missing out on top talent due to a lack of knowledge around neurodiverse candidates, their strengths, challenges, and unique approaches to working.




Recruiting the right candidate, for the right role (and keeping them there for as long as possible) will undoubtedly do wonders for any business. But organizations are in danger of missing out on top talent due to a lack of knowledge around neurodiverse candidates, their strengths, challenges, and unique approaches to working.

An umbrella term for a group of hidden disabilities, neurodiversity encapsulates dyslexia, autism, asperger’s, dyspraxia, ADHD and others. It’s a variation of neurological wiring and, while in the past these traits came with attached stigma, they’re now rightfully celebrated for their many positive aspects. 

So how should organizations go about recognising and nurturing neurodiversity at work?

1. Each strand of neurodiversity comes with a variety of advantages that can be applied daily in the workplace - dyslexia is more likely to yield creativity and lateral problem solving, autism inherently connects productivity with concentration, while ADHD can boost hyperfocus and resilience when working on challenging tasks.

2. Recognise those employees who exhibit neurodiverse traits and make them feel comfortable. This means educating senior staff, training line managers to offer appropriate support, and consider adopting a ‘Neurodiversity Champion’ to help inform recruitment and adjustment policies. 

3. Technology has long been considered the great enabler, and for good reason. Providing the right tools to empower and support those with neurodiverse traits allows them to work with confidence and independence. Tools like Text-to-Speech, advanced spelling, grammar and contextual homophone checkers, as well as predictive text can be hugely powerful supports.

4. Take a flexible approach and allow those with neurodiverse traits to work at their own pace and in an environment that’s comfortable for them. This can include providing a quiet, personal space or even extending the offer to work from home. Recognise that conventional timekeeping may not be the best way to elicit success in neurodiverse staff and plan accordingly.

5. Build a bank of useful resources and keep learning! New studies and initiatives are forever evolving and offer fantastic advice for those interested in attracting and retaining staff with neurodiverse advantages. It’s critical that when neurodiverse staff are welcomed into an organization that a lasting relationship of respect and support continues to grow. 

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It’s essential that every member of staff in any organization has the means to thrive, and realizing the potential of neurodiversity should stretch from the top of the staffing structure right down to the foundations of any business plan. 

Of course, this is just a quick summary, but to learn more, download our comprehensive guide to Neurodiversity in the Workplace for free, and get in touch with any questions you might have.

>>Get the guide<<

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Nicola Branagh, Workplace Solutions Champion
Helping private sector organisations in the UK & Ireland embrace and foster inclusion through assistive technology solutions. Self-professed HR geek with a passion for building inclusive workplaces where everyone can grow together, to meet tomorrow's business challenges.

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