By Heather Suttie
We live in a world where diversity is celebrated, and inclusivity is a driving force behind positive change. When talking about diversity, equity and inclusion, the main groups that many employers look at are gender, race, sexual orientation, and disability. However, one aspect of diversity that often goes unnoticed is neurodiversity.
Neurodiversity encompasses a range of cognitive differences, such as autism, dyslexia, and ADHD, among others. It affects approximately 15-20% of the population, including individuals from all walks of life. It’s time to shine a light on neurodiversity and explore the benefits of creating a neuro-inclusive workplace.
Angela Prentner-Smith is the founder and MD of This is Milk and the woman behind the neurodiversity ed-tech platform Neve Learning. She shares her personal insights on embracing diversity and unlocking potential.
The Power of Neurodiversity
Neurodivergent individuals possess unique skills, perspectives, and talents that can greatly benefit organisations. They bring fresh approaches to problem-solving, think outside the box, and offer innovative ideas that may not have been considered otherwise.
Neurodivergent individuals often exhibit exceptional focus, concentration, and accuracy, making them valuable assets in tasks that require attention to detail. Their ability to recall information and facts with precision is also a strength that can enhance productivity. Moreover, neurodivergent individuals exhibit high levelsof engagement, reliability, and persistence, ensuring their commitment to achieving goals.
Studies have shown that when neurodivergent individuals are placed in roles that align with their strengths, they can be up to 140% more productive than their neurotypical counterparts. JPMorgan Chase’s Autism at Work initiative has demonstrated this first-hand, revealing that professionals in the program make fewer errors and exhibit higher levels of productivity. By embracing neurodiversity, companies can tap into an underutilised pool of talent and unlock the full potential of their workforce.
The Business Case for Neuro-Inclusivity
Creating a neuro-inclusive workplace not only fosters diversity but also delivers tangible business benefits. Research conducted by Forrester shows that more diverse organisations are more profitable and have higher levels of employee engagement and retention. By embracing neurodiversity, companies can improve their bottom line while simultaneously cultivating a positive and inclusive corporate culture.
Fostering a Neuro-Inclusive Workplace
Building a neuro-inclusive workplace starts with dismantling the stigma surrounding neurodiversity. It requires a shift in mindset from viewing cognitive differences as disorders to recognising them as variations in human cognition. Just as being left-handed is a natural variation, neurodiversity should be seen in the same light. By reframing our understanding, we can create an environment where all employees feel accepted, valued, and empowered.
Start at the Start
Creating inclusive workflows throughout the recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding processes is crucial.
These stages can often be barriers for neurodivergent individuals, but with thoughtful staffing solutions, employers can level the playing field and foster a more neuro-inclusive workplace. By focusing on removing obstacles and providing support, organisations can create an environment where all employees can thrive and reach their full potential.
One Small Step
Embracing neurodiversity in the workplace is a journey toward inclusivity, innovation, and success. By recognising and valuing the unique strengths and perspectives of neurodivergent individuals, organisations can unlock untapped potential and drive positive change. The business case for neuro-inclusivity is clear – it leads to increased profitability, improved employee engagement, and a more vibrant and diverse workplace culture. Together, we can build a neuro-inclusive future that empowers everyone.
The team at This is Milk can support you with a range of services:
Equality and Inclusion Training
We can advise on how to make your workplace a more inclusive environment through our award-nominated equalities training. A workplace in which everyone feels like they can be themselves and use their full skillset is a powerful thing. We believe that creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is the key to unlocking the potential of your business. Our workshops will help your team learn how to work better together in multi-disciplinary and diverse teams.
Psychological Safety Indexing
We provide a psychological safety indexing service where we carry out a simple scan that allows teams and their members to understand the level of psychological safety within their teams/organisation. Psychological safety creates a sense of belonging and inclusivity, enabling individuals to collaborate effectively. When team members trust one another and feel safe sharing their thoughts and concerns, they can build stronger relationships, solve problems together, and achieve collective goals.
Neve Learning platform
Neve Learning is our ed-tech platform that recognises your individuality and has been designed with a focus on inclusion and accessibility for the trainer as well as the learner. By designing a product with inclusion at its core, we are designing a more equitable way of learning. We are levelling the playing field of personal and professional development. Neve Learning can be used for employee onboarding to continuous professional development, ensuring learning is delivered in a flexible and inclusive way.
We specialise in helping organisations navigate the complexities of digital transformation, adopt agile practices, and optimise team performance. Agile practice promotes inclusion by forming cross-functional teams that bring together diverse perspectives, encouraging collaborative decision-making and regular feedback. These practices create an inclusive environment where all team members feel valued, can contribute their ideas and opinions, and work towards innovative and inclusive outcomes.
Based in Glasgow and with a network of global clients, This is Milk was founded eight years ago by the award-winning entrepreneur Angela Prentner-Smith. She has gained a gold-standard reputation for This is Milk’s human-centred approach to its training and consultancy services. This is Milk helps training providers and organisations manage and deliver learning in a more inclusive way, one which is aligned with a future-focused educational framework.
To discuss any of the services above or discuss any business needs not mentioned, please contact This is Milk’s Sales and Innovation Manager, Lauren Toal firstname.lastname@example.org
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