What is Neurodiverse?
“Neurodiverse” is a term used to describe the natural variation in neurological characteristics among individuals. It emphasizes the idea that neurological differences, such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, and others, are a normal part of human diversity rather than disorders or disabilities.
Neurodiversity encompasses a range of conditions, including autism, ADHD, dyslexia.
ADHD and ADD: 2023: ADHD affects a significant portion of the adult population in Germany and USA.
Those who received the ADHD diagnosis as children typically continue to exhibit corresponding symptoms as adults – according to recent American studies, between 30 to 50 percent of adults are affected. As a leader, you will also encounter
Autism: 2023: In Germany, the prevalence of autism is 1 in 100 individuals (ascending trend), in USA 1 in 54 individuals according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (ascending trend.
Neurodiversity advocates argue that these neurological differences should be recognized since THEY are are the “outside of the box thinkers” and are able to bring the big success to your organization. They should be and respected, just like other forms of diversity such as gender or race.
“The Slightly Different Employee”
When you hear ADHD, a picture quickly forms in your mind: a child fidgeting in their chair, dawdling, and daydreaming. A child who causes restlessness and struggles to concentrate.
One prejudice must be immediately discarded: ADHD is not an illness. ADHD is a personality trait, just like some people are extroverted, while others are introverted. And, to use the concept of Neurolinguistic Programming: people with ADHD have a very personal map, even a “pattern,” that shapes their way of perceiving, feeling, thinking, and acting.
How People Analytics can help your Neurodiverse Employees to contribute to your organization?
At PHR I am is using People Analytics which is playing a crucial role to support neurodiverse employees and help them contribute effectively to your organization. Here are some tools I use:
- Tailored Workplace Adjustments: People Analytics can identify specific workplace adjustments or accommodations that can enhance the performance of neurodiverse employees. Tools like SAP SuccessFactors offer workforce analytics that can help identify these needs.
- Skill Matching: Analytics tools can assess the unique skills and strengths of neurodiverse employees, matching them to roles where their abilities are a strong fit. Tableau can be used for data visualization to understand employee skills and job fit.
- Performance Tracking: Tracking and analyzing the performance of neurodiverse employees allows HR teams to measure their contributions and identify areas for improvement. Microsoft Power BI can provide insights into performance data.
- Inclusive Recruitment: People Analytics can assist in identifying the most effective recruitment strategies for neurodiverse talent, including which job boards or outreach methods yield the best results. Google Analytics can track website traffic sources.
- Training and Development: Analytics tools can identify gaps in training and development programs for neurodiverse employees and help tailor these programs for maximum effectiveness. Cornerstone OnDemand offers talent management analytics for this purpose.
- Employee Well-being: Monitoring well-being metrics can help HR teams ensure that neurodiverse employees are supported and engaged. Tools like Qualtrics can be used for employee surveys and well-being assessments.
- Diversity and Inclusion Metrics: Analytics can provide insights into the diversity and inclusion efforts in the organization, helping track progress and identify areas that need improvement. Workday offers diversity analytics features.
- Feedback Analysis: Analyzing feedback from neurodiverse employees and their colleagues can help identify issues and develop strategies for improvement. Tools like IBM Watson can assist in natural language processing for feedback analysis.
By leveraging these People Analytics tools and strategies, organizations can create an inclusive and supportive environment for neurodiverse employees, ensuring that they can contribute their unique skills and perspectives to the organization’s success.
Further Tips for Managing Employees with ADHD
As a leader, you are in demand. An employee with ADHD can deliver good, even top-notch, performance when the conditions are right. Therefore, ensure suitable structures.
Tip 1: Quiet Workspace Instead of Open Office
Minimize as many sources of distraction as possible. A private office or one shared with a colleague who has a calmer temperament can support the employee with ADHD in focusing on their work.
Tip 2: Clearly Communicate and Set Priorities
Provide clear and structured guidelines. As a supervisor, clarify task priorities and the scope of work. Specify clear criteria. Differentiate between task packages. Offer the structure that the individual needs for their work.
Tip 3: Work in Stages
Discuss with the employee which tasks and/or work steps need to be completed in which stages. Ensure that the stages are not too long to allow for focused work.
For recurring tasks, it is recommended to create checklists. Checklists always redirect the focus to individual work steps. Also, the use of an electronic calendar provides excellent support. Especially the “reminder function” should be actively used for time management.
Tip 4: Smartly Structure Meetings
Lengthy meetings with a lot of talking and perhaps no resolutions are a challenge for any employee. However, people with ADHD are completely overwhelmed in such meetings precisely because everything comes at them unfiltered. Therefore, plan meetings wisely and keep them short.
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