Neurodiverse workers can provide great benefits to organizations that tap into the talent pool. However, they often go unhired and are instead left out of the workforce. So, why is that? Well, I believe it’s from a lack of knowledge on neurodiversity, and what it can bring to organizations. In this article we’ve come up with 5 benefits that hiring neurodiverse workers could bring to an organization, to present why it is a talent pool that needs to be tapped into.
Additionally, this is not a talent pool without strong credentials. These people have got skills. The candidates of SAP’s Autism at Work programs had degrees, dual degrees, masters, and even a patent. Most of these candidates had very high grades, so it’s an intelligent talent pool to tap into.
#1 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.
One value an organization can have is hardworking, loyal workers. This is something that neurodiverse workers are often known for. The Great Resignation was a topic that was highly discussed this and last year, and this phenomenon has affected a lot of organizations. The issue was that workers were leaving their jobs – over 38 million to be precise. This in turn provided workers with the upper hand, which forced a lot of organizations to act and change their ways.
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 (QA) testing non-profit called Aspiritech. As their workforce consists entirely of people on the autistic spectrum and their stats are astounding. The statistics show that the benefits of hiring neurodiverse workers are long-term.
Aspiritech has a retention rate of 95% and team leaders and managers are hired from within the organization.
#3 Unique skills
Neurodivergent workers may have different skills than neurotypical workers. For example, some people with dyslexia are generally more creative and have better problem-solving skills. I mean, look at all the famous people who were/are dyslexic: Albert Einstein, Steven Speilberg, Picasso, Guy Richie, and Richard Branson – big names.
Whereas, someone on the autistic spectrum could have heightened skills in attention to detail, and be able to read something so complex as code very easily. Neurodivergent people can have skills that are often not found in neurotypical people, which could provide massive benefits to certain job roles and in turn benefit organizations.
#4 Company Culture
One of the things candidates look for when applying to job roles is inclusive and positive company culture. As proven by Microsoft who in a survey found that a positive work environment is one of the most important aspects an candidate looks for when applying to jobs. Having a neurodiverse workforce can dojust that.
There is a common misconception that neurodivergent more specifically people on the autistic spectrum are anti-social, and it’s not something they enjoy. However, this is often not the case but the opposite. Spectrum Designs – a company with over half of their workers on the autistic spectrum prides themselves on their company culture. People start singing and dancing, make new jokes daily, and compliment people on a new aspect of themselves. It really is the opposite, and instead hiring neurodiverse workers can really bring about an inclusive and accepting environment where everyone can be themselves.
Overall, there is strong and compelling evidence that hiring neurodiverse workers can benefit organizations. For example, Spectrum Designs who out of 70 workers, 44 identify as being on the autistic spectrum have seen a year-over-year growth rate of 30% over the last 11 years. This goes to show that hiring neurodiverse workers can and does benefit organizations. This leaves the question: Is your organization missing out on your neurodiverse quotient?