The benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace

In my role of Managing Director, I’ve worked hard to build an equal, diverse, and inclusive workplace at Chorus. We’re all proud of the culture we’ve built and the progress we’ve made, and we will always strive to do more.

Today, I want to discuss neurodiversity, which is a key part of our EDI focus at Chorus, and share my experiences in the hope it can help spread awareness of this under-discussed topic.

A recent research study found that 92% of the employers surveyed had EDI policies, but only 22% had a specific focus on neurodiversity. This shows that far more needs to be done in this area.

Nicola Saner, Managing Director

What is neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is a term used to describe the natural behaviour traits and variations in the human brain function. While most people are ‘neurotypical’, meaning their brain functions in the way society expects, 1 in 7 people are neurodivergent, meaning their brain functions differently in one or more ways than is considered standard or typical.

It’s important to understand that a neurodiverse person doesn’t necessarily have a disability or illness, it simply means they think somewhat differently to the population’s majority.

Some of the main conditions often considered neurodiverse include Autism, ADHD, ADD, Tourette’s, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dyspraxia—and more.

Source: People Scout

Why is understanding neurodiversity important in business?

To create a working environment that is welcoming to all, with a focus on equality and diversity, it’s vital to understand neurodiversity. Approximately 10-20% of the global population is considered to be neurodivergent, so businesses are very likely to employ neurodivergent people—even if they aren’t aware of it.

However, not only is understanding neurodiversity important so you can support your neurodivergent employees in their roles and ensure they have a positive experience and equal opportunities at work, we also know that a more diverse organisational culture results in better business output. This is because neurodiversity can lead to more diverse ideas, enhanced innovations, faster problem-solving, and out-of-the-box thinking. Therefore, neurodiversity can also help the company achieve successes it might otherwise have not.

By embracing and supporting neurodiversity in your business, you’ll contribute to the development of a happier, positive, and engaged workforce, with collective elevation where everyone benefits.

The value of neurodiverse employees in business

Neurodiverse individuals can bring unique strengths and perspectives to the workplace, the value of which should not be underestimated.

By creating an inclusive environment that values diversity, businesses can unlock the full potential of their neurodiverse employees, enabling them to grow and flourish in their careers, while contributing to business success.

It’s important to understand that there are lot of misconceptions and stereotypes about conditions associated with neurodiversity, so it’s vital that you don’t generalise or make assumptions about a person’s capabilities based on a condition. For example, many people associate autistic people with being good with numbers, science, and logic — which is not always the case, and many autistic people are excellent creatives.

So, while it’s important to understand neurodivergent conditions and their commonly associated traits, it’s more important to understand the unique individual and what their strengths and challenges are. This will enable you to truly support them and help unlock their potential in the workplace.


Some examples of strengths associated with various neurodivergent conditions might include:

  • Big picture thinking
  • Problem solving and taking different approaches
  • Focus and attention to detail
  • Emotional empathy
  • Strategic thinking
  • Resiliency and adaptability

On the other hand, depending on the individual and their condition, they might struggle with these areas, and they could prove extremely challenging.

How can businesses support neurodiversity in the workplace?

Because neurodiverse individuals think somewhat differently to those considered ‘neurotypical’, this often means the things around the individual need to be slightly different too. Therefore, employers might need to adapt the working environment to accommodate any needs.

To support neurodiversity in the workplace, management training is therefore key. A study by Neurodiversity in Business and Birkbeck, University of London found that 65% of neurodivergent employees “experience a lack of understanding of neurodiversity by managers and decision makers – signalling a need for wider education and support”.

Therefore, it’s important that both the strategic and operational functions of a business understand neurodiversity and are sufficiently prepared to provide the required support.


The training could cover the following topics:

  • How Neurodiversity can benefit a business
  • The important place it has in business
  • Training on different types of neurodiversity
  • How to support appropriately
  • How to spot signs of neurodiversity
  • How to unlock the potential of a neurodiverse employee and set tasks appropriately—along with the correct communication for that employee (not the manager)

It’s also a good idea to make sure neurodiversity is a discussion point in EDI meetings and discuss ways to raise awareness in the business and discuss how you might create support networks for both neurodivergent individuals and managers to discuss ideas and challenges.

Because neurodiversity could be a sensitive topic for some neurodiverse individuals, it’s also helpful to look at ways people can come forward with ideas and suggestions anonymously or confidentially, such as suggestion box or employee survey.

Based on your discussions, it will become easier to support neurodivergent employees by making various accommodations.

This will vary depending on a range of factors, but common adjustments might include:

  • Flexible working shifts
  • Work from home days for deep focus tasks
  • Noise cancelling headphones to help with sensory overload
  • Screen filters
  • Text to speech options
  • Provide fidget devices or under desk peddles

There are also lots of activities which you could consider running within the business that would benefit both neurodiverse and neurotypical employees alike. For example, mindfulness sessions might be especially helpful for employees with ADHD but would also have huge health benefits for everyone, including neurotypical employees.

Recruiting neurodivergent talent

As discussed, there is a huge pool of neurodivergent talent available to employers. However, not enough businesses are tapping into this potential.

For the businesses that do, the recruitment process should take neurodiversity into account, with adjustments to job descriptions and other elements of the process.

For example, employers might consider making changes to their recruitment processes, such as:

  • Mixture of fonts, text sizes and colours on job adverts
  • Only including the true requirements of a role, rather than always listing the same soft skills on every job spec—which may not actually be required for that specific role
  • Posting video job adverts as well as text-based adverts
  • Allowing people to send video recordings of themselves in an application—not just a written CV and cover letter
  • Giving new employees the opportunity to disclose neurodiversity on New Starter Forms and asking if there is anything the business can do to support

Get in touch

I hope you found this article interesting! There’s so much more I could have covered, but hopefully it was enough to spark some ideas about how you can focus more on neurodiversity in your organisation.

I’d love to hear about your neurodiversity initiatives, or your thoughts on what businesses should be doing to become more equal, diverse, and inclusive. So please do drop me a DM or an email and I’d love to chat.

Finally, I think that we can all agree—it’s time to think differently about neurodiversity in business.