Top tips for employers

The number of diagnosed children with Autism has increased by 229% in 5 years.  Is your business disclosure ready?

Here are our top tips:

  1. Find reliable partners.  Don’t waste money on going to different psychologists or assessors every time someone discloses.  Formalise your partners so they know what you want in your reports.
  2. Upskill Human Resources.  Everything defaults to HR but without the right toolkit you are not only leaving yourself legally vulnerable but also you could significantly increase the anxiety felt by the individual.
  3. Impact assess recruitment, retention and progression procedures.  Do you make reasonable adjustments at interview?  Are you using multiple choice questions?  Do you encourage attendees to write questions down?  Are your performance reviews timely and relevant to the role?  Do you give extra time for examinations or suggest alternative formats for answering questions?
  4. Encourage employee engagement.  Using lived experience to build trust is vital.  If people see others being treated well and disclosing their difficulties, then they will feel more able to do so.  This also engages you with those supporting the neurodivergent eg family/ friends/ customer
  5. Become better managers.  Research has shown that when someone discloses, the quality of management of the whole team benefits.  Good managers will analyse their communication styles, systems and processes which invariably benefits everyone.
  6. Challenge current working practices – why do we do that?  This can be a rather exciting and cathartic experience as you question why things are done in a certain way and if it would be more inclusive if it were done differently.  In one case a company saved £100’s per month on ‘team building’ that no one wanted to attend.
  7. Create avenues for disclosure.  Support groups, positive skill training, positive action recruitment, anonymous intranet portal, mentoring programmes that pair Neurodivergent and Neurotypical.
  8. Use alternative recruitment techniques eg positive action. Don’t assume you will get a queue at the door if you advertise you are a Neurosavvy organisation.  Utilise the skills of supported employment experts.
  9. Do workplace assessments for hidden disabilities.  We are generally good at doing these for more visible disabilities but not for those which are less apparent.  Assess environment, communication difficulties and work practices.  This then helps give suggestions for reasonable adjustments.
  10. Educate, promote awareness, training and discussion.  Don’t be scared of assistive technology.  Let Neurodivsersity be part of your everyday business and provide the right training to sales teams, managers, recruiters and interviewers.
  11. Use the right terminology in communications.  Don’t alienate your customers and staff by using the wrong wording.  Educating comms teams, policy writers and managers can go a long way to proving your commitment to inclusivity.