If you’ve recently picked up a write up on Most Loved Workplaces or Best Places to Work, you may be surprised to see that good benefits and higher than average salaries aren’t contributing to those titles anymore, but then neither is having a Foosball table. Employees (and customers) want more.
While many businesses are launching diversity initiatives, there’s one area of diversity you may not have considered—neurodiversity. There are several ways to be designated a neurodiverse-friendly business, whether that’s creating a more inviting atmosphere for neurodiverse customers or creating a workplace where all employees are comfortable and valued.
Over the past two decades, identification as a neurodiverse individual has increased 600% so ensuring your business embraces this aspect of diversity is growing in importance.
Neurodiversity in the WorkplaceIf you want to make your business more diverse from this perspective, you’ll want to consider:
For smaller businesses, these programs may seem out of your reach. However, you can still incorporate aspects of them on a smaller scale. For instance, be cognizant of the interview process and inquiries you receive from potential employees. You may need to alter your expectations on things like eye contact from every interviewee. Understanding the neurodiverse job candidate can help you create a more diverse employee base.
Welcoming the Neurodiverse CustomerIn addition to creating a more diverse work culture, think about how you can improve the experience of your customers. The Autism Society is challenging businesses to create more friendly experiences for everyone. You can fill out their form to become listed as an Autism-friendly business. They’re looking for businesses that do things like:
Over 3.5 million people are estimated to be diagnosed with autism in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rate of autism among children is 1 out of 59, and that does not span all neurodiverse diagnosis, only autism and its spectrum. If you are considering a commitment to diversity in your business, you may want to consider neurodiversity as well.
Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and believes the world would be a better place if we all had our own theme song that played when we entered the room. What would yours be?
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