The British researcher and management consultant, Meredith Belbin who is the creator of the Belbin Team Roles tool that helps to build effective teams, once said “A team of specialists will always beat a team of all-rounders.”
What he was alluding to was the need for diversity within teams in order for them to perform at a higher level. What indeed would be the point of having every member of the team thinking exactly the same? Every team needs a mix of skills and ways of thinking to be able to deal with the challenges that teams or companies are set up to address.
In a previous article on this website entitled “How are companies supporting Neurodiversity within their work environments?” we shone a spotlight on the work that companies such as EY, GCHQ, SAP, and more were doing to embrace the strengths that people who are neurodiverse bring to their workplaces.
How to change company culture to become inclusive and harness the strengths of Neurodiversity.
So whilst it is encouraging to see companies becoming more innovative as a result of developing a more inclusive work environment, we have to acknowledge that change has to be put in place for this to happen and that change has to be accepted across company culture.
So how do the senior management teams of companies go about changing the culture to incorporate and benefit from neurodiversity?
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development released a guide for HR professionals and leaders across functions who want to learn more about neurodiversity, the benefits for their organisation, and how they can support neurodivergent people to be comfortable and successful at work.
The guide has two main aims: first, to raise awareness of neurodiversity in the workplace among employers; and second, to inspire more employers to action – to take steps to encourage neurodiverse job applicants, remove potential ‘friction points’ in the hiring process, and to support their staff to achieve their potential.
An example of culture change that became more inclusive.
In the guide, CIPD quote the experience of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory that founded their Dyslexia Working Group as a result of one of the scientists struggling to access and process written content on their internet, despite that particular scientist delivering groundbreaking research. The DWG now has a membership of 40 and feed into company culture such as making changes that enable staff to work at their best. An example of that culture change was to provide a business case to purchase assistive technology to support staff as they go about their work.
The benefit of this change was to help scientists with dyslexia who experienced difficulties with writing and publishing academic papers. Lack of progress in this area was found to be career-limiting and caused frustration despite the scientists being exceptional at delivering presentations on pioneering and complex research. Group members benefited from receiving extra training on assistive technology so that the challenges didn’t limit their value to the organisation. We hope that you found the CIPD Guide to Neurodiversity At Work as useful as we have and if you would like to know more about how assistive technology could be useful in unlocking the value of your neurodiverse staff then do get in touch.
An example of Assistive Technology that can help with writing.
A piece of technology that we find can make writers more accurate with spelling and punctuation as well as make them more productive by saving time is Lightkey.
Watch the video below to see how it works.
Would you like to know more about Lightkey? Click here to arrange a demonstration with our specialist Nikita Archer.