In our schools, a shift is happening. Many parents are rejecting the traditional, standardized curriculums, testing, and systems that leave out countless students in favor of more inclusive individualized instruction that aims to reach the needs of everyone in the classroom.
Now, the workplace is following suit, prioritizing inclusion and diversity among their employees. Instead of requiring all workers to conform to a certain standard, research has shown that making small accommodations to include all can have enormous advantages. As a result, companies who intentionally search for diverse talent are seeing immense benefits in both productivity and results.
October is ADD/ADHD Awareness Month, which honors those who bring a wealth of innovation, intelligence, and creativity to our workforce every day. With that in mind, here are three ways your business can benefit from more inclusive hiring practices.
More People Included = More Perspectives Offered
A diverse pool of talent automatically means your team is made up of a variety of backgrounds and past experiences, all of which add to the general knowledge the company possesses. Communication styles, ways of looking at problems, and manners of interpreting surroundings differ, which tend to lead towards innovation and creativity.
Some who are neurodiverse, for instance, may be able to focus more intensely for periods of time. Others may be extremely observant and able to notice what coworkers missed. These skills are often undiscovered during the initial hiring process, but are advantageous skills to any company.
Inclusive Workplace Accommodations Help Everyone
The fear businesses have when intentionally hiring a diverse pool is the accommodations that may have to be made in order for employees to maximize productivity. However, often these low-cost accommodations benefit more than just the person for whom they are intended to help.
Typical workplace accommodations for neurodiverse employees, such as more direct transfer of information and more advanced notice of changes in the schedule, likely help every employee and improve communication company-wide. Changes in the environment made for those sensitive to light and sound could also help neurotypical employees who focus better in a more quiet setting.
A Shift In Company Morale
When employees begin to see the inclusion around them, and the appreciation of every voice, respect automatically becomes a part of the company culture. Since empathy and understanding become essentially mandatory, employees learn how to work with each person and gain respect for the way in which they work.
In addition, because employees see their colleagues seeking and acquiring accommodations, they have less hesitation to make their own requests. This allows morale to increase, and along with it, a boost in productivity.
What You Can Do
If your business is looking to create more diversity within your staff and reap these benefits, you will need to take a couple of steps:
- Take a look at your hiring process. Often, superb candidates go unnoticed due to weakness in interviewing or solely calling in those who meet the typical standards of a “good” employee: communication skills, charisma, emotional intelligence, etc. Revise any process that could leave out these workers.
- Train your employees. This can just be an informal training coaching your employees on what to expect and how to act in various circumstances. Such meetings will inform your company culture.
- Remember that the way a person acts or their tendencies most often has nothing to do with whether or not they can excel at a job.
Reach out and talk to us about how you can make inclusion a priority in order to strengthen your organization as a whole.