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Understanding Neurodiversity and Its Importance in the Workplace


People behave and think in different ways for many reasons. For example, our genes and environment will have an effect on us. So are our education and unique experiences. All bodies function in similar ways. We all need to eat, drink, and sleep. But every brain is unique. This is where neurodiversity comes in.

Neurodiversity refers to the differences between individuals. The term was reportedly coined by sociologist Judy Singer back in the 1990s. Neurodiversity is often used when referring to neurodevelopmental conditions. Especially in the context of conditions like ADHD, autism, and dyslexia. It also accounts for the ways minds process information.

Research shows that about one in seven individuals in the UK has a type of neuro difference. It also indicated these differences are often complemented by above-average skills and abilities. These can include swift information processing and keen attention to detail. Many neurodiverse people show exemplary visual thinking, enhanced memory, and creativity.

The specialized abilities of neurodivergent individuals are pushing more companies to recruit them. It’s believed these workers will give them a competitive edge.

Cielo VP Marita Hazeldene said neurodivergent professionals often bring in fresh perspectives. It’s because they’re wired in a different way from their neurotypical colleagues. The diversity inclusion expert also said many neurodiverse people shine in specific fields. They often bring unmatched lateral thinking and amazing creativity to a company.

Companies that embrace neurodiversity often enjoy many benefits. Their work culture is one that encourages diversity of thought and creativity. They also have various approaches to work and innovation.

Research conducted by Deloitte indicates teams with neurodivergent members are 30% more productive. The inclusion of these employees can also help improve team morale.

Yet neurodiverse professionals and their talents are often untapped. The estimated unemployment rate among these skilled workers is 80%. It’s a shocking figure since there’s a skills shortage in many industries.

The question now is what employers can do to support neurodiverse employees. For one, companies must recognize the challenges neurodivergent people face in the workplace. Companies must make adjustments for them. This can be something as simple as having a dark mode on their computer screens.

Businesses should also work on diversifying their hiring process. They can put out inclusive job ads. These should refrain from using jargon and put more focus on the essential skills needed. Companies can ask prospective hires what they might need during the interview process. For example, do they prefer a remote interview? Should they change the format of the interview or even change the room’s lighting?

Management must become equipped with the right understanding of how neurodivergence works. They must not judge applicants based on their communication differences or body language.

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