More than just a buzzword, “neurodiversity” promotes the inclusion of individuals with neurological differences, such as dyslexia, autism, ADHD, anxiety disorders, and dyspraxia, in the job market and workplace. However, these “neurological differences” can also describe the stark contrast between a left-brained, systematic thinker and a right-brained, imaginative thinker.
Some of the globe’s largest, most successful corporations, including Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Microsoft, JP Morgan, Chase, Ford, Airbnb, Salesforce, and Facebook, have launched HR programs specifically targeted to recruit and hire neurodiverse individuals, broadening their talent pool and reaping the benefits as a result. The following three reasons illustrate why your business should consider adopting a neurodiverse approach.
No. 1: Although some neurodiverse individuals at extreme ends of the spectrum require accommodation in the workplace, you can expect a return on investment via innovation, streamlined operations, and increased productivity. According to the Harvard Business Review, Hewlett Packard’s neurodiverse software-testing team is 30 percent more productive than its “neurotypical” counterparts.
No. 2: Perhaps less obvious, but no less important, hiring a range of neurodiverse individuals improves the culture of the business and boosts overall employee morale. Hewlett Packard’s neurodiverse recruitment program has experienced a 98 percent retention rate with the autistic software developers they hired. In turn, when “neurotypical” employees are educated about neurodiversity and their “neurodivergent” colleagues, a better understanding and appreciation for these differences are created. As a result, all employees become motivated and inspired to work to the very best of their abilities.
No. 3: When it comes to your business’ marketing strategy, neurodiversity is also a key factor. As marketing transitions from traditional to digital media, it is important to think about the brains behind your social media content, press campaign, and e-listings. Just because marketing is becoming more data-driven doesn’t mean your marketing strategy is best carried out by only analytical, tech-savvy individuals, nor is it realistic to expect each individual on your marketing team to be both a human calculator and creative problem solver. Mark Evans of Direct Line offers us this bit of insight: “Everyone’s brains are wired differently. It’s marketing as a whole that needs to be whole-brained.”