Do you know what ‘neurodiversity’ means, or that it affects around 18% of the population?
Simply put, ‘neurodiversity’ describes those people that share a different method of processing information, including individuals with hidden disabilities such as autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Until now these individuals have been considered as needing extra help both in the workplace and educationally, but recently a new wave of thinking is changing perceptions. Companies are now starting to recognise the value of these individuals in the workplace. Their cognitive differences mean they can complete tasks with much more accuracy and as such can be a tremendous asset to any organisation.
For example, people with autism are known to pay rigorous attention to detail and are often extremely focused individuals who are likely to carry out tasks with precision and accuracy. Employees with dyslexia are also thought to have a certain advantage in that they can often spot similarities and patterns that others don’t see and are often more inclined to ‘think outside the box’.
There are therefore clear advantages for hiring neurodiverse individuals, with continuing research supporting these advantages.
However, despite the clear advantages from an employer’s perspective, many managers may have concerns that hiring someone with severe neurodiversity may be hard to manage and require changes to policies and procedures to facilitate their different neurological ways of thinking.
However, instead of anticipating the worst it’s best to look at the possible advantages to a neurologically diverse workforce. More and more companies are realising the benefits of hiring those with different ways of processing information and the alternate dimensions they can bring to a business. Recruiting a diverse workforce with attributes such as focus, exceptional memory and attention to detail can unlock the potential to bring a new lease of life into your business.