3 Reasons Employers Should Support Neurodiverse Employees

CoachHub · 10 August 2022 · 2 min read

Lately, a shift in employers’ perspectives on diversity in workplaces has encouraged hiring of neurodivergent employees. While they were excluded from recruitment processes in the past, modern employers are continually accepting the benefits of a neurodiverse presence in work teams.

This changing mindset is a result of several factors. Here are a few reasons other employers should encourage neurodiversity in their companies.

Legal and moral obligation

Employers have a legal commitment under the Americans with Disabilities Act to include neurodivergent employees in their organizations. The law also requires them to make reasonable adjustments to work environments that enable them to perform their best. It is up to employers to protect them from workplace discrimination, harassment and victimization.

In addition to their legal responsibility, employers have a moral duty to provide everyone with equal and fair job opportunities. Moreover, knowing that neurodiverse employees have unique needs, employers should strive to create a work environment that encourages growth.

 

Increased productivity

Neurodivergent employees can view problems from different perspectives, allowing them to develop unique and innovative solutions. Apart from this creative approach, neurodiverse people are more productive than neurotypicals. 

According to a report by Harvard Business Review, neurodiverse employees are 30% more productive than their peers. The autistic workers’ program by JP Morgan Chase showed that the productivity level of autistic employees was 90% more than their non-autistic counterparts. And when these talented individuals were matched to projects that they loved, their productivity rose to a staggering 140%.

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Neurodiverse employees have many special skills that enable them to achieve exceptional levels of productivity. While they vary from person to person, some skills you can expect to see include:

  • Looking at the bigger picture
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to absorb information quickly
  • Quick problem-solving
  • Creativity
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure
  • Communicate ideas articulately

Employers should create an ideal work environment and clarify priorities to help neurodiverse employees feel more in control and productive.

A diverse work culture

Employers should encourage neurodiversity within the workforce if they want to experience greater financial returns and gain a competitive edge over their counterparts. When work teams have different perspectives and approaches, their chances of capturing new markets are higher. In fact, companies that have a diverse work culture are 70% more likely to enter different markets.

Neurodivergent employees perceive and process information differently. They possess unique strengths that enable them to out-perform neurotypical employees in certain areas. Here are some benefits of having a neurodivergent workforce.

  • People with autism are known for their focus, analytical thinking, and attention to detail. They usually excel at spotting irregularities and pattern recognition. 
  • Dyslexic and Dyspraxic employees can take highly creative approaches to problem-solving making them valuable assets for any organization operating in a dynamic environment.
  • People with ADHD can focus on complex and repetitive tasks, allowing them to sustain concentration over a longer period. They are experts at multitasking and remaining calm even under pressure.

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Bottom line

The idea that ‘great minds think alike’ needs to be challenged in the workplace. Accepting the benefits of alternate thinking, employers should play an active role in hiring and sustaining a neurodivergent workforce.

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