CORPORATE NEURODIVERSITY RETAINER
Did you know nearly 40% of the UK population are thought to have
a neurodiverse condition of some sorts and this is just the ones
with a formal diagnosis? Despite neurodiversity awareness and
support being on the rise, many employees still hide their condition
from their employer. Reasons for this can include, feeling judged,
misunderstood, condition being viewed in a negative light. Many feel
that by disclosing their neurodiversity, it may also hinder their chances
of career progression.
By providing the support to employees, this will improve their
wellbeing, which in turn can led to them being happier in their role,
being more productive and feeling more valued. Companies can
tap in and make use of any neurodiverse strengths. Companies’
equality, diversity and inclusion is strengthened and employee loyalty
can increase not to mention what this demonstrates to the younger
generation and recruiting staff.
The support required can take on many forms, from standing desks
to having a quiet place to work, being able to wear noise cancelling
earphones, being able to take their lunch break at a certain time or
installation of specialist software. Not all the support required will
come with costs attached. Companies are able to access government
grants to help with any costs, and reports show that many of the
support strategies which are implemented can also benefit other
neurotypical employees as well.
It is my mission to help other neurodiverse people like myself feel
more confident about sharing their condition with their employer and
colleagues. I was one of those employees that suffered in silence. I
didn’t apply for promotions as I felt I would be found out about my
dyslexia. Previous workplace experience had led to me feeling nervous
about sharing this. When I took on management positions, I realised
I could not hide my dyslexia anymore and nor did I want to. I realised
how many others were suffering in silence and realised as an HR
manager I needed to lead by example, which is what I did.
Within my HR and Operations management roles I realised how many
other people were suffering in silence just like I once was. It was
this that made be change direction and I became a coach working
predominately with dyslexic and other neurodiverse people. Through
my coaching experience I have designed a package which will help
companies to support their neurodiverse employees. This package
will enable companies to identify the barriers within their organisation
which are preventing employees disclosing their conditions and
therefore enable them to make the changes required for employees
to feel safe and supported when disclosing their condition. Cultural
change takes time.
My package provides the layer of support between the employee
and the employer which is required to enable this change to take
place. It demonstrates to the employee that their employer is being
supportive and wants to understand, learn and help its employees
whilst also letting the employer know why employees don’t currently
feel comfortable to disclose their conditions at this time. This enables
them to address any issues and make the necessary internal changes
• 1 - 4 hours of support per month depending on employee numbers. Support can be delivered by
phone, text, email or zoom
• Support for neurodiverse employees could include: -
- Provide coaching or mentoring support
- Discussing tools or strategies
- Discussing sharing their condition with their line manager and HR department
• Other support could include: -
- Support for employees managing a neurodiverse employee within their team
- How to approach team members about their condition
- Discussing how to support team members with the tools and strategies they have suggested could
• Monthly emails
- To raise awareness around the support available and how to access it.
• May also include:
- Other wellness matter
- Information about different neurodiverse conditions
- Example tools or strategies.
- Include other company initiatives
• Article for company newsletter (if relevant) once a quarter
• Confidential monthly feedback to the company, on the number of calls/contacts received
- Dependent on department size, department information can be reported.
- Providing feedback on why employees have not felt comfortable sharing conditions directly with
- Suggestions of ways employers could create an open culture so employees feel more comfortable
with opening up.