This month the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in collaboration with Uptimize (an online training provider) released a guide for employers and HR professionals, relating to neurodiversity in the workplace. The purpose of the guide is to raise awareness amongst employers of the benefits of employing neurodivergent individuals (i.e. those who have autism, dyslexia dyspraxia, ADHD or similar neurological conditions). Often individuals who are neurodivergent have a natural entrepreneurial flair, creativity and are able to identify the bigger picture well before others.
The guide highlights that the total number of individuals who are diagnosed with neurodivergent conditions, is widely accepted as over 10% of the population. This percentage may even be higher, as many individuals who are neurodivergent are often unaware of their condition, due to lack of diagnosis. The guide also explains some of the risks employers’ may face, if they fail to adopt an inclusive response towards employment of these individuals:
- Lost productivity and associated costs arising from not getting the most out of your neurodivergent employees,
- Losing talented neurodivergent employees to employers who offer a more inclusive working environment,
- Missing out on, the ‘diversity of thought’ that neurodivergent employees can bring to the workplace may cause lost opportunities with regard to product innovation,
- Recruitment processes which are designed for individuals who are non neurodivergent can ultimately result in excluding talented neurodivergent individuals.
The guide provides a number of inclusion strategies that can be put in place by any sized employer to support neurodivergent employees and help remove barriers to inclusion within the workplace.
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“While neurodivergent people may face their own, specific challenges in the workplace environment, or with particular tasks, they can bring unique and valuable strengths to their work.”