5 min read
Neurodiverse workers can provide great benefits to organizations that tap into this often overlooked talent pool. Unfortunately, neurodiverse people often go unhired and are left out of the workforce. So, why is that? It seems to result from a lack of understanding of neurodiversity, and what benefits it can bring to organizations. In this article, we look at why the neurodiverse talent pool is worth tapping into.
1. A Unique Perspective
Neurodiverse workers often experience the world differently, and in turn, have a different understanding and perspective on things. Some neurodivergent workers may be more emphatic, others more resilient because of their challenges. It’s always a benefit during discussions that people have different ways of thinking and looking at a problem.
Imagine if you asked a group of people how to solve a problem in your business and everyone provided the same answer, it may not be the best solution but it’s the only one they can think of. Now imagine a group of diverse people who have different life experiences and you ask them the same question, you may then be provided with a multitude of solutions and a great discussion.
Every organization hopes to have a workforce full of hardworking and loyal employees who are genuinely happy to be there. In fact, neurodiverse people are often known to be more loyal and engaged workers.
The Great Resignation is a phenomenon that still affects many firms to this day. It describes a period of time where over 38 million workers resigned during a 7 month period in 2021. This has made employers desperate to find improved ways to retain their talent. Thousands of firms are raising wages, providing more perks and benefits such as the option to work flexibly. This in turn has given workers the upper hand to choose a job that best fits their needs.
Neurodiverse workers often tend to be loyal and stay in a job long term. This was recognized by Goldman Sachs who announced its plans to run a neurodiversity hiring program as neurodivergent workers tend to have “higher retention rates”. This is similar to a US software and quality assurance testing non-profit company Aspiritech, whose workforce consists entirely of people on the autistic spectrum. And their statistics show that the hiring neurodiverse workers offers long-term benefits.
Aspiritech has a retention rate of 95% and team leaders and managers are hired from within the organization.
3. Unique Talents and Skills
Many neurodivergent workers have different skills compared to neurotypical workers. For example, some people with dyslexia are more creative and have exceptional problem-solving skills. Many incredibly talented famous people you recognize have/had dyslexia – big names include Albert Einstein, Steven Speilberg, Picasso, Guy Richie, and Richard Branson.
People on the autistic spectrum are often known for having a great attention to detail, memorization skills, fast learning, and the ability to focus for long periods of time when in the ‘right’ headspace.
4. Company Culture
One of the most important things today’s candidates look for is an inclusive and positive company culture.
A survey by Microsoft found that a positive work environment is one of the most important aspects a candidate looks for when applying to jobs. Having a neurodiverse workforce can do just that.
There is a common misconception that neurodivergent more specifically people on the autistic spectrum are more anti-social, don’t enjoy socialising. However, this is often not the case, but even the opposite
Spectrum Designs – a company with over half of their workers on the autistic spectrum prides themselves on their company culture. People are encouraged to sing and dance, joke around, and give more compliments to one another. Sometimes hiring neurodiverse workers can bring about an inclusive and accepting environment where people aren’t afraid to be their true selves.
Overall, there is strong and compelling evidence that hiring neurodiverse workers can offer a multitude of great benefits for organizations.
Spectrum Designs, a company where 44 out of 70 workers identify as being on the autistic spectrum, have seen a year-over-year growth rate of 30% over the last 11 years.
It goes to show that more organizations need to give neurodiverse workers a chance. This leaves the question: Is your organization missing out on your neurodiverse quotient?