Neurodivergence at Work

Is your company talking about Neurodivergence in the workplace yet?

Neurodivergence is an umbrella term that includes those on the Autism Spectrum, those with ADHD, and even individuals with OCD, PTSD, brain injury, giftedness, executive functioning disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Tourette's syndrome, learning disabilities, and sensory processing disorders. Far from being a minority of the population, Neurodivergent individuals make up 15-20% of the population.

With 1 in 50 people being diagnosed as neurodivergent (ND) and even more going undiagnosed and silently struggling, it is clear that we need to pay more attention to how companies and cultures make space for neurodivergence. Neurodivergent individuals bring key skills, perspectives, and talents. However, ND individuals are also more likely to experience Mental Health issues, burnout, and difficulty with interpersonal relationships at work. They are also more likely to experience trauma as a result of workplace experiences that do not understand them and therefore cannot adequately support their needs.

It is true that ND individuals process work differently. Some ND conditions classify as disabilities. However, the strategies that would create safe and supportive workplaces for ND individuals to thrive, are critical strategies that help every employee become happier, healthier, more productive and more engaged at work.

So what holds companies back from creating environments that are safe, supporting, inclusive and engaging? The short answer is fear. Companies want to do right, but they lack information in how best to approach, address, and support ND issues and individuals. Further, neurodivergent representation in the media has led to a stereotyped picture of what ND is and how it will show up at work. Understandably, managers and leaders are worried about having to take on more than they can handle with their already over-burdened loads. Companies want to know exactly what they are taking on and what it will mean for their workforce as a whole.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore the current landscape of neurodivergence (who it is, what it is, what it means and what it doesn’t mean)
  • Learn what it is like to be neurodivergent
  • Learn how neurodivergence affects work
  • Uncover the stereotypes of what neurodivergent people are like and reframe your assumptions (without feeling shamed or judged) – expand your awareness and understanding of neurodivergent people
  • Understand what support needs are and how to navigate between high and low support needs
  • How neurodivergence intersects with the 13 factors that create psychologically safe and healthy workplaces
  • What struggles and strengths do Neurodivergent people experience and bring to work (from focus and productivity, to interpersonal relationships and emotional wellbeing)
  • How stigmatzsing company cultures can lead to “masking”, which is correlated with severe mental health outcomes
  • What unrecognised neurodivergence can feel like and show up as (signs and symptoms) and the implications of that on inter-personal effectiveness
  • What neurodivergent burnout is, how it relates to masking, and the direct implications it has for mental health, disability, and work-leave policy
  • What it means to start from a place of competence
  • Discover common mis-diagnoses and the implications of that for ND employees

Take-Away Strategies & Tools:

  • What terms are appropriate to use and in what ways
  • How to gain confidence interacting with and effectively supporting neurodivergent employees
  • What changes can you make now as a company to welcome the new future of the workforce
  • How to protect yourself and your team from burnout and compassion fatigue
  • Know what your responsibilities are and aren’t
  • Small shifts in every day work interactions and accomodations that have massive positive outcomes for the employee and the company
  • How to recover from mistakes and blunders and keep learning without stigma or shame
  • How to create a safe, supportive, and engaging workplace in order to cultivate “unmasking”

Additional Information:

  • This talk has been developed for leaders and their teams
  • Standard length is 3.5 hours. It can be shortened to more of an overview, and can be covered at a high level in a keynote.
  • This session is available for virtual or for in-person delivery
  • Client will be responsible for speaker travel costs, plus a per diem over and above the speaker fee
  • Need additional tailoring of content, or a fully customized session?  We're here for you. Book a free needs assessment today so we can uncover exactly what you need and how we can help
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