How high on your agenda is neurodiversity?

The business case for diversity is now generally accepted in most organisations – in principle, at least.  And, it is claimed that neurodiversity now appears to be moving up the organisational agenda.[1]

But is it?  Take a moment to think about your organisation:

Is neurodiversity included in your diversity policy? Your training?

To what extent have policies, procedures and practices been reviewed to ensure that potential recruits, new and existing employees not excluded or disadvantaged because they are written with the neurotypical person in mind?

And, how well do managers understand their responsibilities, or feel confident and competent when dealing with issues that arise?

In my experience – as both a coach and facilitator of training – it seems that neurodiversity still has some way to go before it truly moves up the agenda.  All too often the focus has been put on what people can’t do rather than what they can do.  Managers and colleagues need to look beyond the label, stereotypes and myths.

It is so wrong to assume that someone with Dyslexia is ‘slow’, ‘stupid’, ‘forgetful’, or, just ‘needs to try harder’.  Or, that someone on the Autistic Spectrum will always have ‘difficulty’ in forming relationships or is ‘over-sensitive’.  Or, that someone with ADHD is going to be ‘a problem to manage’.  Yet, these are descriptions that I have heard applied.

We need to look at neurodiversity differently.  This is superbly illustrated in a short animation produced by the British Dyslexia Association

 

‘To be neurodiversity smart, firms should strive to develop a language and acceptance of neuro-difference, and to celebrate and leverage neurodiverse strengths while taking steps to accommodate – and not belittle – any specific challenges that an individual may face.”

 

To explore ways in which you can move neurodiversity up the agenda – to the benefit of your organisation, employees and customers – please contact me: [email protected]

 

[1] CIPD, February, 2018.  Neurodiversity at work