Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological imbalances are identified and acknowledged like any other individual differences. These differences can be individuals with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum, Tourette Syndrome, and more.
Presently, companies like Microsoft and EY are regulating plans to enroll people with neurological disorders like Asperger syndrome (AS), otherwise known as Asperger’s. People with this kind of disparity have limited and repetitive patterns of behavior, and they find it difficult to socialize and have nonverbal communication with others.
Different organizations are keenly taking an interest in the concept of neurodiversity, including the U.S.A. and progressively in the U.K., says Charlotte Sweeney, founder of Charlotte Sweeney Associates. It is significant for organizations to develop a comprehensive understanding of neurodiversity to benefit from it.
According to George Selvanera, director of the strategy and external affairs for the Business Disability Forum, there are numerous advantages in recruiting people with neurodiversity. He says,
“”Diverse teams are more profitable and deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction. It’s important not to over-generalize, but there are particular roles where there are unquestionable strengths that people who have a different way of processing information will bring to bear in the workplace.”
Sweeney suggests organizations to find the role that best suits the people with neurodiversity. For instance, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), these individuals pay attention to detail and are well versed with facts and figures, so organizations should find a place that best fits the individuals with ASD. “The Danish software company Specialsterne specializes in creating software code – three-quarters of their workers have autistic spectrum disorder. The work is routine and detailed and plays to their strengths.”
Neurodiversity in the Workplace
As per the research conducted by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one among sixty-eight children in the United States of America has ASD (or 14.6 per 1,000 8-year-olds). With this view in mind, many companies are trying hard to find out various ways to help them utilize the strengths of people with autism or ASD. This highly expanding inclusion into the businesses or firms will bring neurodiversity into vogue.
Various companies are introducing programs that can make them reach people with autism or ASD and provide them with opportunities to work with them. This includes companies like Microsoft, EY, Freddie Mac, and the international technology giant, SAP. With their program “Autism at work,” these companies aim to employ an initiative to integrate one percent of autistic or ASD workforce into their companies.
These programs endeavors to recruit, train, and onboard autistic individuals by the year 2020. According to these companies, autistic individuals should be encouraged and given a chance in software development and software testing. This inclusion will help and bring success to both employers as well as employees.
Overcoming the Challenges
It is a challenge for organizations to train their employees on the characteristics of ASD, autism, or other neuro disorders that, if achieved successfully, will help them create a desirable environment that will not only welcome but also embrace diversity. To achieve this, organizations must search for multiple ways to help them understand diversity and bring in employees a sense of respect and appreciation for people with different needs.
Another challenge is a change in the routine of individuals with neurodiversity. It is difficult for them to cope with these changes as people with neurodiversity follow their own schedule, work at their own time and pace. Any alteration in it will lead to an inconvenience for the people with neurodiversity. Other factors that need to be addressed by the organizations are work consistency, the work’s timing, and a quiet working environment, which are all important for any organization’s success.
Benefits of Neurodiversity
Organizations are making efforts to uncover the unexplored potentialities that individuals with neurodiversity, or other forms of diversities, possess. The benefits that diversity brings to an organization are more than a variety of giving attention to detail. The inclusive working environment provides opportunities for people with neurodiversity who also come with a wide range of economic and racial backgrounds. With their distinct ability to perceive the world, these individuals bring in a different kind of creativity to the workplace that will help attain what it intends to achieve.
It is observed that people with Asperger syndrome usually have an average or above-average intelligence and are generally highly educated. Still, it is difficult for them to maintain social relations. EY company facilitates its newly appointed employees to examine the effectiveness of account operations and study its customers’ requirements. Not only this, but it is also lending a hand to know the inconsistency in documents to operate robotic auditing device.
The success of any organization is highly dependent on how differently it works when compared to other organizations. This difference between organizations and their working patterns can be achieved by providing an opportunity to people with neurodiversity in companies and giving them a platform to showcase their creativity that will give a completely different angle to the business world that was never experienced before.
However, people with neurodiversity might look content with the business firm’s present condition, but the quality that sets them apart from others is that they do not take things at their face value. This trait was found in prior scientists and researchers like Darwin and Einstein, who perceived the world and contributed to it differently.