Harnessing neurodiversity

Support to Win CEO and neurodiversity champion Julie Mills urges channel leaders to kick-start an ND initiative this year by focusing on just one of three areas – education, internal communications or recruitment.

More comms businesses than ever are aware of neurodiversity, which is fantastic news, but as an industry we still have lots of work to do. That’s why I’m laying down a challenge to every kind of company in the channel – from the biggest CSP to the smallest reseller – to make one change that brings you closer to becoming a neuro-inclusive workplace.

Committing to this goal is a great idea for any business looking to make their mark in 2024. And ND-friendly companies can expect to get the maximum in-work value and satisfaction from all of their existing staff, plus access to a massive and largely untapped tech talent pool. But despite these huge benefits, the sad reality is that only a minority have achieved this so far.

Start now and capitalise on a competitive advantage that puts you ahead of the pack in terms of recruitment and retention

Therefore the vast majority are potentially failing to hire the next Bill Gates or Elon Musk into their workforce! So start now and capitalise on a competitive advantage that puts you ahead of the pack in terms of staff recruitment and retention. That’s before we get onto righting the wrong of failing to accommodate existing employees who could otherwise thrive in their roles.

As I’ve said before, becoming an ND-friendly workplace takes more than putting up posters around the office or hashtags on social media. But it isn’t rocket science either. So here’s three areas of improvement comms businesses could explore in the year ahead. Just pick one and do it...

It’s one thing to be aware of neurodiversity, and something else to be knowledgeable about it. Think what a difference it could make to educate all your staff on what ND is and how it applies to the workplace. An education programme helps promote an understanding of ND that everyone shares and is sensitive to, removing stigma and creating a safe space for your ND employees to disclose.

Internal communications
Better internal communications can play a crucial role in making businesses more neuro-inclusive. Clearer, more concise and direct communications helps everyone understand expectations, tasks and processes, allows for more flexible and customised approaches to work, and creates effective employee feedback channels.

While my two previous suggestions focus on existing staff, this third improvement area addresses new staff opportunities. Review your recruitment process from the perspective of someone with ND. Look at everything from how positions are described and advertised, all the way to how you manage the interview process and onboard new personnel.

You could easily make neurodiversity a goal for your business this year, treat everyone fairly, maximise your people strategy and create a win-win situation for everyone associated with your company and brand.

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