10 Surprising Advantages of Neurodiverse Employees
1 June, 2023, 09:23am GMT
By Eve Bluma
There remains a lack of understanding and awareness about neurodiversity among employers, who may not be familiar with the strengths and unique perspectives that neurodiversity brings to the table.
What neurodiverse people require is a supportive employer who recognises and welcomes their potential, willing to adapt as needed. Embracing neurodiverse hiring not only promotes inclusivity and diversity, but also offers substantial advantages to your organisation. Unique perspectives, skills, and cognitive abilities contribute to a more innovative, successful work environment. Here are 10 examples of the advantages of having neurodiverse employees:
1. Enhanced pattern recognition
2. Intense focus and perseverance:
3. Hyper-attention to detail
4. Strong memory and recall
5. Innate problem-solving abilities
6. Heightened sensory perception
7. Enhanced analytical thinking
8. Exceptional numerical and mathematical skills
Some neurodiverse individuals, particularly on the autism spectrum, exhibit a keen interest in and understanding of numerical concepts and mathematical principles, and have an innate ability to manipulate numbers, solve complex equations, and grasp abstract mathematical concepts with ease. Their proficiency in these areas can be a valuable asset in various professional domains, e.g. fields such as accounting, where precision and accuracy are crucial. Such individuals can excel in tasks that involve financial analysis, budgeting, or auditing, utilising their proficiency in numbers to ensure meticulous record-keeping and financial integrity.
In the field of statistics, they can navigate complex statistical models, analyse data sets, and derive meaningful insights from quantitative information. The ability to apply statistical principles and methodologies can enhance decision-making processes, inform business strategies, and drive evidence-based practices.
In data analysis, these skills are useful for processing and interpreting large sets of numerical data, identify patterns, trends, and outliers, and derive valuable insights. The ability to apply mathematical models and algorithms can contribute to the development of predictive analytics, optimisation techniques, and data-driven decision-making.
Proficiency in numbers can extend to fields such as engineering, where mathematical principles underpin the design and analysis of structures, systems, and processes. Here mathematical skills can be leveraged to solve complex engineering problems, perform simulations, and optimise design.
It’s important to note that while exceptional mathematical skills are commonly associated with neurodiverse individuals, not all neurodiverse people possess this specific strength. However, for those who do, their proficiency can be highly advantageous.
The renowned physicist and mathematician, Albert Einstein, is often speculated to have been neurodivergent. His intense focus, exceptional attention to detail, and difficulties with social interactions have led to retrospective analysis suggesting he may have been on the autism spectrum.
By recognising and utilising their exceptional numerical and mathematical skills, organisations can benefit from enhanced financial management, data analysis, and evidence-based decision-making.
9. Unconventional creativity
In creative fields such as art, music, design, or writing, neurodiverse individuals can bring a fresh and unconventional approach. Their unique cognitive style helps in generating original ideas, explore new concepts, and push the boundaries of traditional practices. They may have a knack for combining unexpected elements, creating thought-provoking compositions, or developing innovative designs.
Moreover, divergent thinking can contribute to innovation in various industries. In fields such as product development, neurodiverse individuals can offer novel ideas that challenge existing paradigms. Their ability to approach problems from unconventional angles and consider alternative solutions can lead to the development of groundbreaking products or processes.
Unconventional creativity can also manifest in problem-solving and decision-making processes. The ability to make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts or ideas can lead to unique insights and innovative solutions.
A study published in Personality and Individual Differences suggests that adults with ADHD exhibit higher levels of creativity when compared to peers.
By embracing the unconventional creativity of neurodiverse individuals, organisations can tap into a wealth of fresh ideas. Creating inclusive environments that value diverse thinking styles empowers neurodiverse individuals to contribute their unique creativity and foster a culture of innovation.
10. Strong work ethic and loyalty
While it is not accurate to generalize that neurodiverse individuals are universally more loyal or have a stronger work ethic than neurotypicals, some neurodiverse individuals may exhibit positive work-related attributes. Factors such as passion, alignment with their interests and abilities, attention to detail, sense of responsibility, integrity, and desire for excellence can contribute to a strong work ethic.
However, work ethic and loyalty are influenced by various factors beyond neurodiversity, including individual personality, values, job satisfaction, and the work environment. To foster loyalty and a strong work ethic, it is important to create an inclusive and supportive work environment that accommodates the needs and strengths of all employees, including those who are neurodiverse.