How to future-proof your business with neuro-inclusion

Companies that champion disability and neurodiversity inclusion report 30% higher economic profit margins, 28% higher revenue, and double the net income. In fact, neuro-inclusive businesses could also be better equipped for the future.

A recent report from Ernst & Young (EY) and Made By Dyslexia found that Dyslexic strengths align to the skills of the future (as identified by the World Economic Forum). These include visualization, creativity, cognitive flexibility, logical reasoning, complex problem solving, and more. 

Below, we share 8 tips to help your business attract and retain neurodivergent talent.

  1. Foster an inclusive hiring process
    Many job postings and job criteria can put off potential neurodivergent candidates. That’s because, often, job requirements can place an unnecessary focus on social and communication skills. Instead, write descriptions that focus on the specific skills related to the actual job role. It can be helpful to provide training to help your HR team and Hiring Managers improve the way they write job descriptions. 

    The interview process should also be inclusive. For some, a traditional Q&A style interview may not be the best way for them to share their talents. Consider alternative methods, such as setting a project or task. Ask what you can do to make the experience better.  

    This will go a long way in hiring neurodivergent people and supporting them right from the start. Having staff that consists of neurodivergent people can help in recruiting other candidates. It reassures them your organization prioritizes inclusion
  2. Post positions on Neurodiversity Boards
    Advertise your job positions on accessible platforms, such as Evenbreak. As well as through dedicated neurodiversity groups and social media boards. This will ensure that your job opportunities can be easily found by neurodivergent talent. It will also showcase your commitment to neuro-inclusion, and encourage neurodivergent individuals to apply.
  3. Don't expect neurodivergent employees to self-advocate
    To ensure all employees have what they need from their first day in your company, and beyond, be proactive in your support. A truly neuro-inclusive environment will accommodate individual needs without employees having to ask, or having to educate their employer on diverse ways of working. Some considerations include identifying what sensory barriers may exist in the physical workspace. As well as what modes of communication are available for staff to communicate internally. 
  4. Provide inclusive technology
    Creating a flexible work environment that allows for different ways of working and communicating is an important step in becoming a neuro-inclusive organisation. This can include a variety of different strategies, such as providing inclusive technology.

    Providing specialized software can help employees to achieve in their own way. It creates a working environment where employees can harness their unique ways of thinking and working. This helps to demonstrate your commitment to neuro-inclusion, because employees are able to see that you value diverse thinking.

    In an upcoming webinar with Texthelp, Ernst & Young will be sharing how they provide inclusive technology to all their staff across global locations.
  5. Raise awareness of neurodiversity
    Neurodiversity encompasses a wide range of conditions and abilities. These conditions include, but are not limited, to autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. Each neurodivergent individual is unique and may have different strengths, challenges, and ways of communicating and interacting with the world. In addition to creating flexible work environments, organizations should also create a culture where neurodiversity is understood and celebrated. 

    One way of doing this can be to hold training sessions around neurodiversity. These sessions would raise awareness of neurodiversity and the value of different thinking. They can also help managers and colleagues to understand how best to support neurodivergent colleagues. 
  6. Share success stories
    Research shows that 61% of neurodivergent individuals have experienced stigma or felt misunderstood at some point during their careers. Stigma exists through lack of awareness around neurodiversity. In addition to neurodiversity awareness training, we can also address stigma through the power of storytelling. 

    Shine a light on the strengths of neurodiverse teams, by sharing success stories of neurodivergent talent. Hearing stories that celebrate neurodiversity can help employees to open up, and feel confident to be who they are. It can also help to positively impact perspectives across your organisation. And, help shape a prospective candidate’s experience with your company at first glance.
  7. Address unconscious-bias
    1 in 3 people show unconscious bias against people with disabilities (including neurodifferences). Unconscious bias affects how we see, behave and make judgments about others who are different from us. Unconscious bias training helps us to develop self-awareness, which can enable organisations to address bias at both a systemic  level (across their policies and procedures), and an individual level.
  8. Work with experts and specialists
    An environment that is neuro-inclusive must be worked on, planned, and thought out. But it’s important to realize that you’re not alone.

    Organizations exist to help you improve your hiring and talent management processes. Companies that are leading the way also openly share their success stories and strategies. Listen to, work with and learn from them. Replicate their strategies into your own organization.