The guide aims to raise awareness among employers of neurodiversity in the workplace and to inspire more employers to take action to create more inclusive workplaces where neurodivergent individuals can thrive.

In this video, Jill Miller introduces the new CIPD and Uptimize Neurodiversity at work guide, asking how it benefits organisations, and how employers can support neurodivergent people in the workplace.

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Wilson Wong

We’re delighted to be bringing you our new guide on Neurodiversity at Work, in collaboration with Uptimize.
 
Neurodiversity refers to the natural range of difference in human brain function, but in a workplace context, it's an area of diversity and inclusion that refers to alternative thinking styles, such as dyslexia, autism, ADHD and dyspraxia. And these alternative thinking styles can be associated with some unique strengths, such as an ability to spot patterns and trends, a capacity to process information at extraordinary speed, and with data-driven thinking, all of which I’m sure you’ll agree are really valuable within the workplace. 
 
However, despite around 10% of the UK population being estimated to be what we refer to as neurodivergent, workplaces are still typically designed for neurotypicals, which means we’re not enabling everybody to be performing at their best within work, and we’re not making full use of a really valuable talent pool.
So we’re really pleased to be bringing you this guide, and the aim of this is to increase awareness of what neurodiversity is. Also we provide some practical recommendations of some really simple things that you can do in your own workplace which enables everybody to be performing at their best. We talk about how you can adapt recruitment practices, the way you need to think about management style, and also the physical work environment. And what we’ve found is that some of the simple adjustments that organisations are making are actually good for everybody, they’re universal adjustments. 
 
So we very much hope that you enjoy this guide.

About this guide

This guide is for HR professionals and leaders across functions who want to learn more about neurodiversity, the benefits for their organisation, and how they can support neurodivergent people to be comfortable and successful at work.

The guide has two main aims: first, to raise awareness of neurodiversity in the workplace among employers; and second, to inspire more employers to action – to take steps to encourage neurodiverse job applicants, remove potential ‘friction points’ in the hiring process and to support their staff to achieve their potential.

In this guide, you’ll find practical examples from organisations already appreciating the benefits of a neurodiverse workforce and actively supporting their staff. Through our case study research, it’s clear that adjustments made to enable neurodivergent individuals to thrive at work frequently benefit everyone. Most are low-cost and easy to implement – and can make a significant difference to an individual’s working life, their potential to contribute to the organisation and to build a lasting career.

This guide provides the starting point for both greater awareness and action. Sections of the guide cover definitions and understanding of neurodiversity as it relates to the workplace, the case for action (and risks of inactivity) and how you can make both your people management approach and workplaces more ‘neurodiversity smart’. There is equal emphasis on the necessary culture change needed for greater understanding and acceptance of neurodiversity – and its value to employers – and tangible action steps that can be taken to create a more inclusive, engaged, and potentially more innovative organisation. 

This guide is intended to spur on action from employers to create more inclusive workplaces where neurodivergent individuals can thrive. We hope the practical suggestions in the last two sections are useful as a starting point for action and help develop greater confidence in talking about and embracing neurodiversity at work. 

Ed Thompson, CEO, Uptimize
Dr Jill Miller, Policy Adviser, Diversity and Inclusion, CIPD 

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