Supporting Neurodiverse Employees: 3 Essential Strategies for Employers

In today's workforce, neurodiversity is a reality for many individuals. With approximately 20% of the population having a neurodiversity diagnosis (if we included un-diagnosed cases, the figure would be a lot more), it's crucial for employers to understand what this entails and how they can better support their neurodiverse staff.


Neurodiversity includes a range of conditions such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and more. Despite the prevalence of neurodiversity in the workplace, a recent study revealed that 62% of neurodiverse staff don't feel adequately supported at work. This lack of support can have significant consequences for both employees and businesses alike.

When neurodiverse employees don't receive the support they need, it can lead to disengagement, increased absenteeism, high staff turnover, and underperformance. Take, for example, a scenario with one of our FTSE 250 clients: a staff member struggling with performance issues, constantly on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), and frequently calling in sick or avoiding office work. This situation not only impacts the individual but also consumes valuable time and resources for the line manager. However, by providing adequate support and encouraging awareness, the individual's ADHD was acknowledged, understood, and addressed with tailored strategies. The outcome? Improved performance and a content, self-assured employee.


Why is it important for employers to support their neurodivergent team?

  • Promoting Inclusivity and Diversity; Embracing neurodiversity creates an inclusive and diverse workplace culture. Every person, no matter their neurological makeup, should feel valued and part of the team. When employers actively support neurodivergent employees, they show their dedication to diversity and establish an environment where everyone can succeed.

  • Utilising Talent; Neurodivergent individuals often bring unique skills, perspectives, and talents that can lead to innovative solutions. By supporting neurodivergent employees, employers access a wider pool of talent and creativity, which drives innovation and gives their organisation a competitive edge.

  • Employee Well-being; Offering support to neurodivergent employees enhances their overall well-being and job satisfaction. When employees feel understood, accommodated, and supported at work, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and productive. This ensures higher retention rates and creates a positive work atmosphere for all.

  • Legal Obligation; Employers have a legal duty to offer reasonable accommodations for neurodivergent employees, as mandated by anti-discrimination laws. Neglecting this responsibility can lead to legal ramifications and damage to the organization's reputation. Moreover, it's a matter of ethical obligation, ensuring fairness and equal opportunities for all employees. According to the Equality Act 2010, employees aren't required to disclose their disabilities, and self-diagnosis suffices to qualify for support. For further discussion, please email

  • Social Responsibility; Supporting neurodivergent employees aligns with broader societal efforts to promote inclusion and equality for people with disabilities. Employers play a crucial role in shaping societal attitudes towards neurodiversity by creating inclusive workplaces that embrace differences and respect all individuals.

When employers don't support neurodiverse staff, it can cause a lot of problems. Firstly, employees might find it hard to do their job well, which can make them feel frustrated and unhappy at work. They might also feel left out and anxious, which isn't good for their mental health. Without the right help, they might miss out on chances to grow in their careers and move up in the company. Plus, when employers don't support neurodiverse staff, it can make the workplace feel unwelcoming and unfair for everyone. So, not supporting neurodiversity doesn't just impact the employees – it impacts the whole team and the company too.


However, when employers implement strategies to support neurodiverse staff, the results can be transformative. By focusing on three key approaches, employers can create a more inclusive and productive work environment for all employees:

Neurodiversity Awareness Training for Leaders:

Ensure that all leaders and managers undergo neurodiversity awareness training. This training provides them with valuable insights into how neurodiversity shapes individuals' experiences in the workplace. By creating a culture of awareness and empathy, leaders can better support their neurodiverse team members through inclusivity and understanding. This, in turn, enhances team dynamics, boosts morale, and promotes a more positive and productive work environment overall. Neurodiversity awareness training is a must for all leaders. 

Offer Individualised Accommodations:

Get to know each and every one of your neurodivergent employees and identify the specific accommodations and support they need to excel in their roles. These accommodations may vary, ranging from adjustments to the physical work environment, such as providing noise-cancelling headphones or creating quiet spaces, to flexible work arrangements like modified work hours or remote work options. Tailoring accommodations to individual needs ensures that neurodivergent team members can perform at their best. There are several ways to achieve this, such as engaging in open conversations to understand their needs and how you can support them. However, the most effective approach is to offer workplace needs assessments conducted by qualified experts. These assessments will provide invaluable insights into your team's requirements, allowing you to make informed decisions and provide the necessary support. Here at the neurodiversity academy, we work with some amazing workplace needs assessors, if you want to discuss this further we are an email away. Email Tamzin today

Neurodiversity Coaching:

Provide specialised neurodiversity coaching to neurodivergent staff members. This form of coaching aids individuals in leveraging their strengths, conquering challenges, and thriving in their professional roles. Employers can explore various funding options, including programs like Access to Work, to ensure accessibility to coaching for all employees, irrespective of the company's size. Through neurodiversity coaching, workplaces can empower neurodivergent individuals to reach their full potential and contribute meaningfully to the organisation.


By implementing these three simple strategies, employers can create a more inclusive and supportive workplace for neurodiverse employees. Not only does this benefit individual staff members, but it also fosters a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion that drives innovation and success for the entire organisation.


In conclusion, embracing neurodiversity in the workplace isn't merely a moral obligation - it's also a smart business decision. It goes beyond mere checkbox exercises; it's a crucial conversation that, if overlooked, can lead to negative consequences. However, when prioritised, supported, and fully embraced, it fosters high performance and innovation. By prioritising support and inclusion for neurodiverse employees, employers can unleash the full potential of their workforce, paving the way for a more dynamic and resilient organisation poised for future success. If you want to discuss this further, let's chat -