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Why Personalized Training Is Vital in Today’s Neurodiverse Workforce

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A new study found that 38 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds identify with neurodivergent conditions such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and dyslexia. The findings also suggest one-size-fits-all approaches to workplace training could form a barrier to success for more workers than previously thought.

Adequately accommodating neurodiverse workers can profoundly enhance your workforce’s creativity and innovation and create a more positive environment. If you’re still using traditional training methods, you may be leaving out much of the workforce.

Tailored and inclusive training programs are crucial to ensure all individuals can thrive professionally, regardless of their neurocognitive profile. Embracing personalized training not only enhances employee skills but also provides a competitive edge for your business.

What Is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is the natural variation in human brain function and behavior across the population. It encompasses neurological differences such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and more.

Just as biodiversity is essential for a thriving ecosystem, neurodiversity is vital for a vibrant and inclusive workplace. Each neurodivergent individual brings unique strengths, and tapping into these via personalized training can give businesses a competitive edge and a more positive work environment.

Benefits of Neurodiversity in the Workplace

There’s a common misconception that people with ADHD have an inability to focus. While that’s true in some contexts, ADHD learners also have a hidden superpower—hyperfocus.

Hyperfocus is a state of intense concentration where you lose track of time. ADHD learners can achieve this state if they’re focusing on something they really enjoy doing. Hyperfocus is also common among those with autism.

A high level of concentration is just one of many strengths neurodiverse workers bring to the workforce. Other skills and talents may include:

  • Innovation and creativity
  • Technical, design, and creative strengths
  • New ways to solve problems
  • Keen accuracy and ability to detect errors
  • Strong recall of information and detailed factual knowledge
  • Reliability and persistence
  • Ability to excel at work that is routine or repetitive in nature
  • And more

According to Graham Glass, founder and CEO of CYPHER Learning, “It has been reported that neurodiverse groups are better at creative and unconventional thinking, pattern recognition, stronger observational skills, and the ability to stay focused. Adapting the workplace to suit their needs isn’t just a nice to do—it’s a smart business decision.”

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Barriers Faced by Neurodivergent Workers

Unemployment rates among neurodivergent adults are estimated to be as high as 30 to 40 percent. Plus, individuals with conditions like ADHD are at a higher risk of chronic employment issues and job loss. These challenges highlight the urgent need for tailored support and training in the workplace.

More than one in five neurodivergent workers (21 percent) reported that the workplace training they receive does not meet their needs—a figure that rises to 26 percent for those aged 16 to 24. With some 28,000 graduates within this age group expected to enter the workforce this September, businesses need to ensure now more than ever that their learning and development plans are suitable for all workers.

Neurodivergent workers often face various barriers in the workplace that affect their participation and success. Some people continue to view neurodivergent traits as deficits, rather than just differences. These outdated, and frankly incorrect, perceptions contribute to systemic challenges such as discriminatory hiring practices and lack of awareness about neurodiversity.

Some neurodiverse individuals also face obstacles related to communication, social interaction, and sensory sensitivities. Using standardized training, rather than training tailored to each individual, assumes every worker has the same strengths and weaknesses. Not only does this practice fail to adequately address challenges, it also wastes valuable time and resources.

Addressing these barriers requires proactive efforts from employers to promote inclusivity, provide reasonable accommodations and tailored training, and foster a supportive work environment where all employees can contribute meaningfully.

The Need for Personalized Training Programs

With nearly 40 percent of the incoming workforce identifying with neurodiverse conditions, traditional one-size-fits-all approaches to workplace training and development exclude a significant portion of the workforce.

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“An untapped well of potential is about to enter the workforce, and HR teams should welcome the challenge of leveling up their L&D programs to get the most out of their new employees,” said Glass. “This is where personalized training comes in—if an employee knows they’re receiving the best training for them, they’re being set up to succeed.”

Many companies that have reformed HR processes to accommodate neurodiverse talent have seen productivity gains, boosts in innovative capabilities, and increased employee engagement. Personalized training may be the secret to a more inclusive workplace.

Personalized training accommodates the diverse ways in which individuals process information, learn skills, and navigate their work environments. By personalizing learning paths and providing audio, video, and written versions of lessons, businesses empower employees.

How CYPHER Accommodates Neurodiverse Learners

Personalized Learning Paths and Goals
Trainers can set personalized learning paths, which guide learners through courses, media options, quizzes, and more. Learners can also take charge of their learning journey by setting their own learning goals. CYPHER then offers targeted recommendations and resources aligned with their goals, which enhance their understanding.

Diverse Reading Support
CYPHER provides a diverse range of reading materials and formats, including text-to-speech options, dyslexia-friendly fonts, and adjustable text sizes to ensure accessibility for all learners. Our artificial intelligence (AI) voiceover feature can also read any microlearning course aloud to better accommodate learners.

Multiple Content Delivery Options
We recognize that learners have diverse preferences for accessing content. CYPHER offers interactive multimedia presentations, textual materials, audio recordings, video lectures, and more to accommodate different learning styles.

Gamification
Elevate learner engagement through CYPHER’s advanced gamification, encompassing group or individual gamified elements within courses and learning paths, leaderboards, and periodic leveling.

Accessibility Features
Accessibility is a top priority, and our platform adheres to the highest standards of inclusivity. From customizable color schemes and keyboard navigation to alt text for images and closed captioning for videos, we ensure that all users can engage with content comfortably.

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