Supporting Neurodiversity in your Organisation

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Health Assured team

16 February 2024

In this article, we will discuss how organisations can both support and celebrate neurodiversity and mental health within the workplace. When properly supported, having a neurodiverse workforce can bring a diversity of thought and a wider range of skills.

There are natural variations in how people think, learn, and see the world. An accepting perspective celebrates the variety of human consciousness and considers ways in which we, as employers, can adapt to bring the best out of neurodiverse people.

What do we mean by neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways. It refers to the diversity of all people though it is often used in the context of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and other neurological or developmental conditions such as ADHD or learning disabilities.

Supporting every individual to perform at their best and reach their full potential means taking people’s needs and differences into account. A happy, healthy workspace is one where individuals feel comfortable in their environment, considered by their managers and confident with their responsibilities.

Research from the ADHD Foundation suggests that 1 in 5 people are neurodivergent so learning to accommodate everyone is not just a ‘nice to have’, it’s critical for success. For people who aren’t familiar with neurodiversity, it can be difficult to understand how others work in different ways, and this misunderstanding can lead to communication problems that can make it hard for individuals to discuss their needs, feelings, and thoughts.

Neurodiversity considers a range of psychological conditions, including:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Epilepsy
  • Intellectual disability
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Other learning disabilities

Strengths of a neurodiverse workforce

Neurodiversity challenges our preconceptions, encouraging us to consider neurological differences not as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but simply as variations of the human mind.

Neurodivergent minds are capable of great achievements, not only despite, but because of their disabilities. Bill Gates, Emma Watson, Emily Dickinson, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Charles Darwin are all famous examples of neurodiverse minds. There are several strengths associated with neurodiversity:

  • Prolonged focus time
  • Analytical thinking
  • Calmness under pressure
  • Depth of knowledge
  • Multi-tasking
  • Attention to detail
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Visionary thinking

What can I do to support neurodiverse individuals in the workplace?

Neurodiversity brings both benefits and challenges. It’s about leveraging the strengths of all your people and finding ways to assist them with any challenges that they might be facing. But keep in mind, that people's needs may vary; there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Neurodiversity affects people in different ways, so it’s always best to provide support on an individual basis. Here are some tips to get you started.

Educate your teams

Another great way to help increase understanding of neurodiversity is by providing workshops to managers and team leaders. Here at Health Assured, we provide a fantastic neurodiversity workshop that walks attendees through the best ways to support their teams. We’ve had fantastic feedback from these sessions, and we’d highly encourage them to anyone serious about making their workplace neurodiversity friendly.


We’re all different. And sometimes these differences can be hard to understand and make sense of; they even cause tension in some areas of our lives. For example, emails can be a frustrating task for people with dyslexia - and it might take them a little longer than others. Sometimes when we are going through challenges, it can feel like we’re alone in our struggles.

Ask about their needs

When employees disclose any neurodiverse conditions, it’s worth having a meeting to understand exactly how their working life is affected. This conversation provides an open space for you to work out any helpful adjustments and supportive measures that might be of benefit. When staff feel heard and understood in this way, it encourages a pathway for future communication.

A lot of neurodiverse conditions will be considered as a disability and fall under the protected characteristics of the Equality Act (2010). This means that employers have a legal responsibility to make workplace adjustments to support neurodiversity. These can include:

  • Short movement breaks
  • ‘Do Not Disturb' working time
  • Office mentors
  • Minimising sensory distractions
  • Flexible working
  • Clear and specific instructions
  • Assistive technology (noise-cancelling headphones, ergonomic keyboards, assistive text software)

Supporting your organisation's mental health challenges

With a Health Assured Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), we can offer you practical advice and support when it comes to dealing with anxiety, and depression, and how to improve your work-life balance.

Our EAP provides guidance and supports your employees with their mental health in the workplace and at home. We can help you create a safe, productive workspace that supports all.

We support your employees' mental wellbeing with any problems they might be facing in their professional or personal lives with our 24-hour counselling helpline.


Find out more about EAPs


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