3 Tips to Embrace Neurodiversity in the Workplace

People talking to their colleagues and sitting in front of laptops

An estimated 30-40% of the population is neurodivergent, and it’s Burke’s belief that we can evolve the workforce into a more neuro-inclusive space to gain greater workplace engagement, innovation, and collaboration. Here are 3 tips on how.

When it comes to ensuring a diverse workplace, one characteristic that’s often overlooked by employers is neurodiversity.

The topic of neurodivergence has been on the rise in the past few years, and with good reason! An estimated 30-40% of the population is neurodivergent, and it’s Burke’s belief that we can evolve the workforce into a more neuro-inclusive space. To ensure your business strategy works and that your employees are taken care of, we need to evolve our conversations, hiring process, and delegation in the workplace.

When it comes to embracing neurodivergence, employment agencies, leaders, and workers a like stand to benefit. Having a team of dynamic talent can lead to greater workplace engagement, innovation, and collaboration when we normalize the conversation and seek solutions together. This article will cover 3 ways that you can make sure you have a neurodiversity strategy that works.


Embracing Neurodiversity

While our workplaces have traditionally not been designed to help neurodivergent individuals “fit in,” there’s a world of innovation we've yet to tap into with this population. And yet, just 21.7% of autistic individuals are employed. According to a study by Canada.ca in 2017, only 16% of ASD individuals report “excellent” or “good” mental health, compared to the much higher 70% of the average Canadian household. With that in mind, it becomes clear why embracing neurodiversity is so important.

Although these examples will be excellent for improving your neuro-inclusivity, they’re also advantageous to undertake for your workforce as a whole. As an executive recruiting agency and a team of HR specialists based in St. Catharines, Burke’s experience has shown us that a people-first workplace is the key to business success.


  1. Update your interview process

Many interview questions are created without a neurodivergent candidate in mind. Because of this, employers may end up deciding against a candidate based on a false assumption.

For example, ADHD-ers may face attention challenges during the interview, but their imaginative nature can lead to creative problem solving. While those with autism may find some social situations challenging, tasks like coding, mathematics and research may suit their needs well. However, without awareness around these needs, employers may make false assumptions about the individual’s character and ability to perform the job.

As you enter the interview process, be sure you’re prepared to be mindful of your interview questions so you’re prepared to be flexible as you discover their talents.


  1. Accommodate when possible

Employment agencies, businesses, and leaders alike are responsible for ensuring the success of their employees. So, when an issue arises in the workplace, be prepared to offer tools as the leader to help your people succeed.

Neurodivergent individuals may benefit from noise-cancelling headphones, project management tools, the option between written and verbal communication, or simply a moment to step away and take a deep breath when things become stressful. Give your employees their best chance to succeed by being communicative, patient, and adaptive as a leader.


  1. Nurture unique talents

Memory, problem-solving, pattern recognition and creativity are just a few of the valuable skills that employment agencies, businesses and team cultures stand to gain from neurodivergent individuals. By alleviating environmental distractions, such as high stress or background noise, these gifts can translate into more intuitively designed products, non-conventional solutions, and productivity that steps from passion, not deadlines.

Having support systems for cognitive diversity allows you to advance both your mission and workplace culture towards better solutions.

Many neurodivergent individuals have experienced dissatisfaction, alienation, and social stigma in the workplace. But Burke’s dedication to success sees this differently. We believe in the power of real power, and we specialize in nurturing teams, businesses, and individuals towards their greatest potential.

Burke is always ready to talk. We’ll help you create a plan that works. Request a consult with Burke’s team of experienced professionals in St. Catharines. We’ll bring together your HR and business strategy and accelerate your workforce today!