11 tips to creating an inclusive workplace that supports neurodiversity
Recently, we hosted our first ever Festival of Workplace Inclusion. On this day, 26 speakers joined together to explore how we can create a better working world for those of us who think, work and learn differently. We hosted sessions based around 3 key themes: Inclusive recruitment, retaining and developing diverse talent, and creating an inclusive culture. Our speakers shared some great advice around each theme. Below, we highlight 11 key takeaways from the event.
A way of recruiting that recognises, understands and values differences in every part of the process.
Carla also shared a important reminder;
“Be mindful of individual needs. Respect and be open to these. No two people will experience a neurodiversity in exactly the same way, and a person’s needs may also change over time. For example, perimenopause and the menopause can affect people who are ADHD because of the hormone fluctuating that goes on in relation to the front of the brain. A change of jobs and the stress that comes with it, or a change of teams and a lack of structure, or perhaps a break up of a relationship. So be mindful that solutions may need to change along the way too.”
Retaining and developing diverse talent
Success happens when we create environments that encourage employees to bring their whole selves to work.
Speaking on these findings Leila said;
“In summary, we're looking at the will and the want being there. But we are seeing less so with the tangible, actionable initiatives, because, well, only just over half say that they identify and share best practices for recruiting retention, when it comes to those who have disabilities….it's key that we look at the policies and procedures, whilst not forgetting, of course, about the stories, the hearts, the minds, in order to engage and encapsulate our workforce.“
You can discover more by watching the recorded session.
Creating a truly inclusive culture
A truly inclusive workplace celebrates differences, amplifies employee voices, and creates a sense of belonging for all.
Paulette Cohen MBE, Head of Diversity and Inclusion (UK, Europe and ME) at Barclays, shared how Community Initiatives can help drive change;
“At Barclays our Employee Resource Group is called Reach. It’s our disability, mental health and neurodiversity resource group. It has around 3000 members around the world…There are Co-Chairs in each region, and they lead the community. They innovate and bring about change…For example 9 years ago they initiated the ‘This is Me’ campaign…our storytelling campaign…9 colleagues told their story about mental health…it builds understanding and awareness, it challenges stigma…a few years colleagues with other conditions wanted to share their stories. Today over 250 people have shared their stories.”
The future of workplace inclusion
Commenting on how driving change can benefit a business Dan Harris, CEO of Neurodiversity in Business said;
“If we think about why business should do this, it’s not just because it’s the right thing to do and in line with our cultural values. There’s also a big aspect here that there are significant skills shortages in our economy that neurodivergent staff can and should fill. We have countless examples within Neurodiversity in Business with some of our corporate members who are now tapping into very particular skill sets and reaping significant rewards.”