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How To Be Neuro-Inclusive Throughout The Employee Lifecycle

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December 2, 2021

To be truly neuro-inclusive in the workplace, employers need to increase the awareness and knowledge of neurodiversity for all employees and appreciate the individuality of neurodiverse conditions so that they can provide adequate support. We understand that it can be challenging to know where to start, so we have outlined three considerations for each stage of the employee lifecycle that would support neurodiversity in the workplace. Approaching change in a neuro-inclusive way is key, and should underpin all elements of the employee lifecycle. 

Recruitment

The recruitment process should focus on getting the right people in the right roles. To ensure you are getting the best from neurodivergent candidates, you need to ensure that your recruitment process is neuro-inclusive. Here are three ways you can do this: 

  1. Make job adverts and JD’s simple and accurate
  2. Ask applicants what they need
  3. Adjust your interview/assessment process 

Onboarding

Starting a new role can be daunting and anxiety-provoking for any individual, but particularly more so for those who are neurodivergent. To make onboarding more neuro-inclusive, here are three implementations you may want to consider:

  1. Provide information on the work environment prior to the first day
  2. Create a jargon handbook
  3. Take time to ask and understand individual challenges and strengths

Performance Management

Quite often, neurodivergent individuals face formal capability procedures unnecessarily because the organisations’ processes are not neuro-inclusive. Here are three ways you can best support your neurodivergent employees to enhance performance to benefit both the individual and the business:

  1. Identify skills gaps and implement initiatives to close these
  2. Closely monitor changes in performance
  3. Provide regular check-ins and mentorship opportunities

Development

Employee development aims to improve the skills and knowledge of employees and if done correctly can improve retention. It is therefore important to consider whether the development activities and learning opportunities are engaging, motivating and inclusive for neurodiverse colleagues.

  1. Set stretching goals and projects with adequate support
  2. Involve neurodiverse employees in key project teams
  3. Train for growth by asking employees what they want/need

Retention

Effective employee retention is key to business success and it is important to recognise that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach here. Here are three things you can do to increase the retention of your neurodiverse talent:

  1. Keep the work environment optimal and stable
  2. Understand what engages and motivates neurodiverse employees
  3. Ensure that your workplace culture is open, supportive and inclusive

Change

Approaching change in a neuro-inclusive way should underpin all elements of the employee lifecycle. Change is inevitable within organisations, however, it can be a huge source of anxiety or distress for neurodiverse colleagues. It is therefore important to capture their needs when carrying out any form of change, whether at an organisation or local level as the smallest amount of change may negatively impact employees. 

  1. Include neurodiverse employees in change programmes
  2. Give notice of changes and be clear on future expectations
  3. Utilise different communication channels to ensure accessibility for all

To download our summary poster of how to be neuro-inclusive throughout the employee lifecycle, click here.

To access the full HR Guide which provides detailed information for each point, click here.

We also have an awareness poster that can be shared with your employees, download it here.

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