Embracing neurodiversity in the workplace - image by Menzies LLPIf you are a business leader, business owner, or involved in recruitment for a business, this article is for you.

Did you know that at least one in seven people are neurodiverse? That’s a lot of people who have brains that operate differently. I.e., they interpret information and processes and generally behave differently from what is considered ‘typical’ or neurotypical. If you work in a profession, you may find more of us. If you’ve ever felt that you differ from others around you or believe they differ from you, you may fall under the umbrella of neurodiversity.

In this article, we discuss how embracing neurodiversity within the workplace could be key to unlocking the full potential of your employees. It looks at the effects of neurodiversity on employment and how to adapt your organisation to accommodate neurodiversity and drive your business forward.

The Effects of Neurodiversity On Employment

Neurodiversity can affect your chances of employment and the ability to maintain a job for long periods. Also, work opportunities may be limited further if a prospective employer doesn’t offer the individual support, you require as a neurodiverse person.

The world is built for neurotypicals to prosper, and your business may be in exactly that position. That is why there may be no room for neurodiverse individuals, and this could impact your business. How? If neurodiverse people are placed in a neurotypical environment, it could look like they are failing. For example, tasks are not completed on time, and individuals interact with others differently. They may be prone to bouts of emotional reactions, shutting down, or difficult-to-understand communication.

Influencing Change and Innovation

Despite their chances of finding employment or adapting to neurotypical surroundings and people, neurodiverse individuals are yet seemingly the most successful drivers of change and innovation in business and other fields. Why? It’s their ability to think outside of the box that gives neurodiverse people an advantage. Their unique vision, determination, and passion are difficult to replicate. It can also be contagious to colleagues. With the remit and authority to transform their surroundings to suit themselves, neurodiverse individuals can flourish.

Adapting Your Business to Be Neurodivergent-Friendly

With neurological differences being diagnosed at various stages, younger talent today is more likely to have a diagnosis, especially if they are male. The older generation and women may not be so lucky, however. And with resources, such as talent, so difficult to find and businesses subject to sudden changes, how can you ensure your organisation is neurodivergent friendly and maximising the unique talent you have?

Ensure job specifications are not too prescriptive

Recruitment requirements should not be overly explicit in terms of wanting someone with timely task completion and the ability to interpret instructions. Although these are important facets of most roles, there are subtler ways to deliver this message, whereby you can assist neurodiverse people with deadlines, so your company can benefit from the mind of a creative thinker.

Interview Preparation

When you are interviewing:

  • It’s advised to provide interview questions upfront
  • Ensure the interviewee understands neurodiversity, what it is and how it affects people differently
  • Offer flexibility as to how they can work and when
  • Offer noise-cancelling headphones to anyone who needs them
  • Avoid demanding interviewees to turn their cameras on in virtual interviews
  • Grant coaching and mentoring as a standard

Accommodating Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity and adapting your business to set it free can seem daunting. However, it is best for businesses to adapt and be accommodating to individuals that display atypical characteristics. If you don’t, you risk driving neurodiversity out of the business. Companies should embrace the advantages that individuals with diverse and creative thinking can bring to the organisation. Unlocking your employees’ full potential will benefit your business while ensuring your continued compliance with legal policies and ESG Frameworks.

How can we assist you?

For further information, or to discuss your specific circumstances, please contact John Cullen, Business Recovery Partner and Head of Menzies Diversity and Inclusion team.

Menzies LogoOffering the full range of accountancy services, Menzies is headquartered in London (with a network of offices across Surrey, Hampshire and Cardiff), and has a global reach through the HLB network. Described as the ‘best performing firm outside of the top 10’ by Accountancy Magazine, Menzies has over 500 employees and an annual turnover of more than £50m. Menzies is a member of HLB International, a global advisory and accounting network.

An award-winning firm, Menzies was 2022 Finalists at the Tax Tolley Awards for: ‘Best Business Tax Team’; ‘Best Employer in Tax’; ‘Best Specialist Tax Team’ (Innovation & R&D); ‘Best Regional Tax Team’. The firm also won the title of ‘Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency Team of the Year’ at the Credit Awards 2022 for the second year in a row and was ranked 6th in the Accountancy Age Mid-tier Power Index 2022. Menzies won the ‘Diversity and Inclusion Award’ at the Tri Awards 2022.

Menzies offers a full range of services – tax (business & personal), corporate finance, audit & assurance, business recovery and forensic accounting, as well as strategic advisory, outsourced services, people solutions, wealth management and business valuations. Visit here for more information.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here