Diversity As A Business Strategy

High-achieving companies foster inclusive workplaces where employees with diverse skills and backgrounds work together to advance company goals. Many companies sponsor internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs to recruit and hire untapped talent from diverse gender, ethnic and (dis)ability groups. Increasingly, companies view recruitment of diverse employees as a key strategy for improving productivity and managing labor shortages.

The Neurodiversity Advantage

Neurodiversity refers to the differences in how people learn and process information. Autistic individuals, who may communicate in ways not generally accepted as a social norm, are neurodiverse. Non-autistic individuals are neurotypical.

A workplace that supports neurodiverse employees will benefit from their unique skills and varied life experiences. Neurodiverse individuals are rule-based thinkers who can add unique ideas and perspectives to the workplace. When given the support they need for a job role, they can be more productive, more efficient and less distracted than their neurotypical co-workers. With an estimated 80+% of autistic adults who are un- or underemployed, they represent a huge untapped resource that’s well positioned to improve profits and add social value to a company.

Building Effective Neurodiversity Programs

Companies may support the idea of neurodiverse employment, but are often unclear about how to execute a neurodiversity plan that supports all employees while improving the company’s bottom line. Good intentions, on their own, don’t guarantee that neurodiverse employees will succeed over the long term. Unintended biases and hybrid or remote workplaces, where everyone isn’t communicating in the same place or at the same time, make it easier for segments of the organization to be left out of key conversations.

Effective neurodiversity programs include training for employees that offers insights into the learning and response patterns of neurodiverse individuals. The training doesn’t just focus on behaviors. It provides a broader perspective about the reasons for their behaviors. With this training in hand, co-workers and managers can develop positive relationships and work more effectively with their neurodivergent counterparts.