Follow this three-pronged model.
In today's economic climate, businesses need to take full advantage of the skills their employees have. Doing so keeps workers engaged and productive and helps companies' bottom line. Individuals who are neurodivergent—including those with autism spectrum disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder—can be innovative thinkers, have a strong pattern recognition capability, be creative, and have superb attention to detail.
According to the Korn Ferry report Neu-rodiversity: The Little-Known Superpower, individuals who are neurodivergent comprise an estimated 20 percent of the global population. That means your organization likely employs some, and that means it needs an inclusion strategy.
In "Welcome Neurodiversity," Beth McCormack proposes a three-part model for building inclusion in your company:
Accommodate. Providing accommodations, which often come at low or no cost for the business, may include an alternative keyboard and mouse, a behavioral coach, time-management apps, a flexible work schedule, or noise-reducing acoustics.
Individualized development. You are likely quite familiar with personalized development planning for staff. Providing individual development goals and training methods can aid neurodivergent employees.
Support. Offer company-wide training, leadership training, mentorship, and active employee resource and affinity groups. That will help you build community and boost awareness and allyship for all individuals but especially for those who are neurodivergent.
Consider what tools your company currently has in place to serve neurodivergent employees, tools you could acquire in the future, and how you can use universal design principles to modify existing L&D programs.
These tips were adapted from the July 2022 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at td.org/TDatWork.