Guernsey Press

Putting the ‘neuro’ into diversity and inclusion in the workplace

FOSTERING a more neuro-inclusive workplace could help to overcome recruitment challenges, increase productivity and profitability.

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It would also help businesses to become an employer of choice and would support individual mental health challenges, both recognised and unrecognised, as well as addressing diversity in the workforce.

‘Creating more neuro-inclusive workplaces can be achieved in a variety of ways, many of which are not what you might think,’ said Alison Rimington, senior HR business manager at Law at Work CI.

She was speaking at a Guernsey Chamber of Commerce lunch that looked at putting the ‘neuro’ into diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She said that it not only made good business and economic sense, but was legally, morally and ethically the right thing to do.

The event covered an introduction to neurodiversity, including the lived experience of autism. The audience took part in an autism quiz, which quickly highlighted and busted many myths.

‘Autistic people have many employment strengths that can be attributed to being on the autism spectrum for example, because of their ability to concentrate on tasks, being hyper-focused, having creative-thinking skills, and can excel at research,’ said Julia Watts, Autism Guernsey services manager.

Practical examples to help people pre-employment included providing an application form in different formats, modifying interview questions or provide them in advance, and avoiding idioms but being specific and using straight language.

‘We work with a pool of untapped talent. Embracing autism and other neurological differences in the workplace not only fosters an inclusive culture but also fuels creativity and unlocks limitless possibilities for growth,’ said Nikki Ioannou-Droushiotis, chief executive, Guernsey Employment Trust.

The talk was timely as the Guernsey discrimination legislation comes into effect on 1 October this year.

Law At Work, Autism Guernsey and Guernsey Employment Trust can all support businesses in creating an environment that helps to support and develop all staff equally.