Dec 27, 2023 | Neurodiversity

How to Support Neurodivergent Individuals in the Workplace

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As we head into 2024, we hope that one of your goals for the new year is embracing neurodiversity and educating your employees on the importance of recognizing the strengths they bring to the workplace. As we continue our conversation about making workplaces inclusive, we want to discuss a few things you should keep in mind to support neurodivergent employees and co-workers.  

Provide specifics 

While everyone seems to perform better with clear deadlines and project specifics, it is even more true for neurodivergent individuals. Part of being an inclusive workplace is setting clear expectations for assigning goals, tasks, and expectations.  

Employers should have clear documentation about employee requirements, roles, and when tasks and projects need to be completed. Co-workers can be supportive in those efforts by being mindful of the challenges your team members may face. Give concrete details and deadlines to help ensure productivity and success for everyone involved. 

Make the most of meetings 

When planning a meeting, whether it be a team meeting or individual one, prepare an agenda ahead of time. An itinerary, or overview of what will be discussed is incredibly helpful to help your employees prepare for the conversation, while also calming their nerves by removing any surprises or unexpected items.  

Overthinking, worry, stress, and overwhelm is often caused by the fear of the unknown. Therefore, providing this information will not only help the meeting to move smoothly and stay on task, but it also helps to remove anxiety surrounding meetings.

Address issues one-on-one 

While it is common to send mass emails to staff about issues, this can lead to a variety of issues. Most employees find this unnerving and frustrating as it can be hard to determine who it is addressing and what role they play.  

For neurodiverse individuals, this can lead them to think they are the problem, question the work they do, and assign blame. It is best to deal with matters one-on-one and be proactive with staff as needed. If you do need to address a problem or issue, be clear about what has transpired and the reason for the conversation.  

Provide education and training 

Diversity training is a program designed to help facilitate interaction within a group, helps reduce prejudice and discrimination, and guides teams to work together effectively and collaboratively. Educating leadership and teams within your organization will help further solidify an inclusive workplace.  

Candor Disability Group offers several education and training solutions to fit the needs of businesses to and its employees. If you are interested in finding out more, we would love to hear from you. 

Everyone deserves to feel welcome and included, and we hope these tips serve as a step in the right direction. Providing appropriate accommodations and adequate education to create a diverse and inclusive workplace is best practice for now and for the future.

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