Neurodiversity in the workplace

Embracing neurodiversity in the workplace is not only a social justice imperative but also a significant driver of creativity and innovation. At Skills Alliance, we have seen firsthand the numerous benefits that a neurodiverse workforce can bring, ranging from fresh perspectives on problem-solving to a more inclusive and productive work environment.

In this podcast, listen to how Tanesha Brown, Global HR and Compliance Director and Kayley McGillivray, Global HR Manager discuss the benefits of a neurodivergent workforce as well as the workplace considerations required to ensure neurodivergent employees succeed.

Creativity and Innovation

Neurodivergent individuals think differently, and this diversity of thought is a valuable asset. By capitalizing on the unique perspectives of neurodivergent employees, companies can address issues from various angles, fostering creativity and innovation. This diversity can lead to groundbreaking ideas and solutions that might not emerge in a more homogeneous workforce. And a number of neurodivergent traits are extremely beneficial for a role in recruitment. Some of our top billers at Skills Alliance are in fact neurodivergent.

Social Justice

Incorporating neurodiversity in the workplace is also a moral obligation. It helps eliminate prejudice and promotes equality, ensuring that all employees, regardless of their neurodivergent status, are treated with respect and dignity. This commitment to fairness not only boosts morale but also aligns with broader societal goals of inclusion and justice.

Wellbeing in the Workplace

An ethos of inclusion and acceptance significantly enhances employee wellbeing. Happier employees are more productive, and fostering a supportive environment benefits everyone. At Skills Alliance, we prioritise creating a welcoming atmosphere for all, including neurodivergent employees. Our Wellbeing Days and the presence of qualified mental health first aiders are just a few examples of our commitment to supporting our team’s mental and emotional health.

Management Training and Support

60% of managers worry about getting support wrong so training can help give them confidence to be effective. So understanding and managing neurodiversity effectively requires proper training. Initially, we would address accommodations on a case-by-case basis for an employee but we recognised the need for a standardised approach to educate the entire business.

Our management training covers the four main types of neurodivergence—Autism, Dyspraxia, ADHD, and Dyslexia—common within our organisation with 10% of our workforce having disclosed as being neurodivergent. This training is interactive and focuses on debunking myths while highlighting the strengths associated with these traits and the strategies needed to accommodate and support a neurodivergent employee.

Individualized Support

Each neurodivergent individual has unique needs. At Skills Alliance, we have developed a system to listen, act, and ensure positive outcomes. This involves understanding how a disability personally affects an individual, making necessary adjustments, and continuously refining these accommodations through trial and error. Clear and concise written communication is emphasised, allowing employees time to process and respond. Meetings should be scheduled well in advance with detailed agendas to enable thorough preparation. This actually encourages more meaningful discussions for all attendees if materials are given ahead of a meeting.

Inclusive Recruitment

Our recruitment process is designed to enable neurodivergent candidates to showcase their strengths without the disadvantages of traditional interview methods. We strive to create a safe environment where employees feel comfortable disclosing their conditions, knowing they will receive the necessary support from day one.

Inclusive Culture

Socialising may be difficult for someone who is neurodivergent so they may prefer not to take part in social activities in the workplace. It is important to acknowledge that this won’t affect their ability to do the role. An organisation’s culture needs to therefore reflect and embrace these differences and not to show prejudice or bias towards an employee if they do not want to take part in some social aspects in the workplace.

Technological and Environmental Support

We utilise technology to support our neurodivergent employees, such as noise-cancelling headphones and AI tools like Otter for transcribing voice notes. Additionally, our Wellbeing Room provides a quiet space for employees to take a break when needed.

Commitment to Continuous Improvement

We recognise that accommodating neurodiversity is an ongoing process. Managers are trained to actively listen and prioritize the needs of neurodivergent employees, ensuring that their issues are taken seriously. By integrating training and accommodations into all our processes, we aim to create a workplace where everyone, neurodivergent or not, can thrive and succeed.

A neurodiverse workforce brings a wealth of advantages, from enhanced creativity and innovation to improved employee wellbeing and social justice. At Skills Alliance, we are dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment where every employee can reach their full potential.


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