In this blog I will talk extensively about the value that employing Autistic people into organisations brings.
Autism is a neurological condition. The brains of individuals with Autism are wired differently, resulting in sensory sensitivities, repetitive routines, intense hyper focus on often narrow areas of interest, and an inability to read social cues the way the rest of the world does. Colleagues often "interpret" these behaviours as rude, impolite, annoying, or just plain "odd" and assume that they are under the individual's control. Individuals with Autism often use the term neuro-typical to refer to those who are not on the Autistic Spectrum.
Many adults with Autism learn to understand their own strengths and weaknesses and, with appropriate support, can improve their social skills and manage other challenges, allowing them to integrate successfully into the workplace.
In today's economy, it is part of everyone's job to think about how their company performs from a financial perspective. Performance reviews for even the most junior employees will generally have some targets that in some way link back to company performance. Managers care about turnover and productivity, even if it is just within their team. Employees take pride in their company being recognised as the best among the competition, and everyone benefits from a work environment that embraces differences and healthy disruption.
There is a very compelling reason why companies should be interested in understanding Autism and successfully employing individuals on the Spectrum: It's good for business!
Evidence from the Kessler foundation in America found that organisations employing Autistic talent into their businesses saw dramatically reduced employee turnover, within in some instances turnover reducing by as much as 67%. This is largely down to the fact that individuals on the spectrum tend to dislike change and will often stay in the same job for a long time if the work and the work environment are appropriate.
Individuals with Autism are known for their focus, attention to detail, accuracy, memory of facts and figures, and ability to concentrate on repetitive tasks and procedures. They are often more interested in completing the task at hand than they are in socialising in the office with other colleagues. As a result, they are often highly productive employees, particularly of jobs and tasks that others find boring or repetitive.
A growing number of major organisations have taken the lead in employing individuals on the Autistic Spectrum. Yet, this process should not be solely confined to multinational organisations, SME's and organisations of all shape and size should be actively looking at the benefits of employing Autistic talent into your organisations. Given the global size and purchasing power of the Autistic community, any company that allows it competitors to surpass it in the effort to integrate individuals with Autism into their workforce is choosing to cede market share to those who are tapping into this hidden talent pool.
Typically, employees with Autism do not need costly reasonable adjustments. Typical adjustments include clear communication, providing social cues, giving notice of schedule changes, providing short breaks and flexible work hours, replacing fluorescent light bulbs with incandescent lights, and for you as the employer, developing your understanding of the behaviours you might see in the workplace, whilst remembering that no two people on the Spectrum are the same in the reasonable adjustments they require.
The chances are that if you work in a large blue-chip organisation that at least 1-2% of the colleagues you work with are quite possibly on the Autistic Spectrum. These employees will often be found in jobs that are technical in nature, where they perform well on their assigned tasks, but don't fit in with their team or the company culture. More often than not, individuals on the spectrum will be terminated from their job for reasons related to fit, rather than job performance. By recognising behaviours in the workplace and utilising the techniques and strategies that Advance: The Disability Consultants offer you can maximise the potential of an employee on the spectrum, and possibly avoid a costly and disruptive termination.
Advance: The Disability Consultants offer a wide range of consultancy options designed to give your organisation the confidence and knowledge to support, integrate and develop Autistic talent.
Please see our website for more information at: