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Neurodiversity, Works! HR and Recruitment


ChatGPT Summary:

Neurodiversity refers to the idea that neurological differences, such as those associated with autism or dyslexia, are a natural and valuable form of human diversity. The concept of neurodiversity suggests that these differences should be recognized and respected, rather than pathologized or stigmatized. Neurodiversity can also refer to the diverse ways in which people think, learn, and communicate, and the recognition that there is not one "normal" or "healthy" way of being. Some proponents of neurodiversity argue that it is important to create inclusive environments that support and accommodate the needs of neurodiverse individuals, rather than trying to "fix" or "normalize" them.


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# Neurodiversity, Works! - YouTube


## Transcript:

- ([00:00]( hello and welcome to hosting HR with me Leon Morley founder of HR recruitment Solutions in this show we are going to be discussing neurodiversity we're currently live across Facebook LinkedIn YouTube and also on Twitter uh if you have any questions you can get them across to our lovely panel which we'll introduce to shortly and any comments thoughts opinions we like to hear those too so feel free to get involved I think the only one you can't do that with is Twitter so you can tweet on there but we won't see that on the

- ([00:35]( actual show I should also start with a bit of an apology the last show that we did which was called how to build a high performing team unfortunately there was some sort of technical issue with LinkedIn live and I do apologize because at the end of the show I got quite a number of messages from disappointed people that couldn't get on there was nothing to do with this I'm not quite sure what happened there but I just wanted to apologize for anybody that tried to watch that on LinkedIn live on the last show I missed out the recording

- ([01:02]( is there on YouTube so feel free to tune in and find that one for yourself so Let's uh do some introductions to our panelists shall we so um Mel would you like to introduce yourself to our audience thanks Leon hi everyone my name is Mel Francis I am an HR professional a chartered fellow of the cipd and I am also a neurodiversity champion and it's great to be with you and in this great panel tonight thanks Mel uh in a first for our show actually we've got um two people with the same names this is going to be uh

- ([01:39]( potentially quite interesting so we're just gonna go I think with the um the initials of the surname I think so um shall we go with you Caroline F would you like to introduce yourself yes of course hi everyone I'm Caroline Foster very delighted to be here I'm a long-standing HR Director across a broad very wide range of sectors in and out of the UK I am a strong advocate of representing all my narrators in the workplace and have a keen interest in neurodivergent communities I currently reside as people director with the

- ([02:15]( national autistic society and I have a number of neurodiverse family members across my extended family Thank You Caroline thank you very much for for your time with us today um Caroline B would you like to introduce yourself to our audience hello I am my name is Caroline Bixby and I'm the HDR director at the Scotland Bland a regional accountancy firm based in the east of uh of England so well yeah I'm passionate about inclusion I'm also chair for Trustees of a charity that includes people from a society that aren't included through the

- ([02:55]( power of nature so actually through woods and mental health coming together thank you very much so um it would be great um if anyone's watching on LinkedIn now if they could let us know that the link is working well um so yeah if you're on there please do drop a comment I can see a comment that's come through from YouTube but I've not seen anything on LinkedIn yet so um certainly good to know if you're there and please do drop a comment even if you support hi um it'd be great to know that link is

- ([03:23]( working um so uh for many of you that have watched these shows before you'll be very familiar with what comes next it's time for two lies one trip [Music] that's right so this is where we get to know our panelists in a different way um so each of our panelists have prepared three facts about themselves two of which are lies and one is indeed the truth and we'll go around and hear those facts shortly and then what we'll do is at the end of the show we will all guess as to which is the truth and just

- ([04:02]( to let you know the last few shows by the way if those that watched them would have seen that I've got a really good record on this at the moment so I've missed one in the last show but the show before that I managed to get all three correct so um yeah I'm planning on going to poker after this I think because clearly I've got a good read on people so um but yes so um let's start with our facts then so uh Mel would you like to go first and tell us your three facts my three okay so my first fact is that I

- ([04:30]( have worked in HR for 30 years my second fact is that I have had brain surgery 10 times and my third fact is that I have five cats okay okay have we seen a cat yet because I know I've seen cats on this camera so I know there's definitely one [Laughter] no they're never far away Leon no no I'm sure they'll make an appearance special guest appearance absolutely um Caroline f uh yeah of course so my three facts are number one uh I was mobbed by a drugs cartel in the Amazon several years ago fact number two I have swam with

- ([05:14]( dolphins in the South China Sea and fact number three I have uh visited the orangutan sanctuary in Borneo so all Trump all travel international travel related that first one sounds scary I might have some qualifying questions um if it's true um Caroline B would you like to tell us your three facts yeah sure my three facts are I am diagnosed autistic I'm diagnosed ADHD I am diagnosed autistic and ADHD uh interesting very on theme very own theme I like it okay so those are the three facts from each of our panelists

- ([06:01]( to say if you stay to the end of the show we will do some guessing and find out which one of those facts for each of our panelists is in fact true um so please do stay tuned it looks like we've got so I've had a couple of comments here early Cassidy thank you for joining us Lee uh Louise Berry good to know that linkedin's working and Angela Mortimer who um yeah I worked for her company previously and it's quite an inspiring person in the recruitment space so uh nice to see you Angela thank you for joining us so let's talk a

- ([06:33]( little bit um obviously around neurodiversity and I think firstly we should start to trying to say what we mean when we talk about neurodiversity so Melanie I thought perhaps you could help us out in terms of understanding what exactly do we mean by the term neurodiversity yeah great starting point I think sometimes when we talk about neurodiversity we we have differing views of what we what we mean I think my my initial understanding was neurodiversity was autism it isn't we know that now or I know that now so

- ([07:03]( neurodiversity is a phrase that was coined by a sociologist called Judy singer she's Australian she's very much at the Forefront of the neurodiversity movement if you like and in the same way that the the world needs biodiversity so does it need neurodiversity the literal translation of neurodiversity is there are neuros our brain are diverse so each of us has a brain that is unique like your fingerprint is unique to you if you think about the typical bell curve I always do that when I'm talking about

- ([07:34]( the bell curve um 80 of us have brains that work in a similar way to each other so we call that neurotypical but 20 of us according to the latest research have a brain that is neurodivergent so one brain's neurodivergent Collective brains are neurodiverse when we're talking about the the words I just wouldn't get too hung up on the words though just having a conversation about neurodiversity is brilliant you know we can all sort the language out later but what we mean when we when we say neurodiversity what goes

- ([08:05]( under that umbrella are several conditions that include dyslexia which can cause problems with Reading Writing and spelling dyscalculia which can affect our ability to acquire math skills Developmental Coordination Disorder or dyspraxia which can affect our growth and or fine motor coordination and it could also affect speech developmental language disorder which is a type of speech language and communication needs autistic Spectrum Disorder which can impact the way that we see and experience the world around

- ([08:35]( us and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder um and then Tourette Syndrome also would be covered under the neurodiversity umbrella so that's what we're talking about excellent is there anything for you ladies would like to add or is that is that a pretty good exclamation exclamation explanation I should say yeah anything to add no that's really clear excellent so ahead of the show I did um a poll on LinkedIn um and I just really want to get your guys take on it really so I'll bring that up on screen now so

- ([09:17]( um I asked on LinkedIn um if um they believe that their organization is embracing neurodiversity um if you're listening to this you won't see the figures but I'll tell you what they are so 32 of people said that yes they felt their organization was embracing neurodiversity and 68 so just over two-thirds didn't believe that their organization was embracing neurodiversity my question on the back of this question on the poll is whether you're surprised about the answers so just under a third felt they

- ([09:53]( were two over two-thirds for felt that they weren't who would like to it'd be great to get all of your your views on this I'm just Keen to know so Caroline B would you like to go first yeah I think we went back 12 months within 24 months I think would be different I think the last 12 months has been a massive increase in awareness and when on LinkedIn I'm not sure if it's my feed but actually it's full of neurodiverse uh adversity and an awareness of it and people um raising awareness I really like to

- ([10:24]( see what that translates to in terms of actions or things have been put into place because Embrace these I know it's it's you know intentionally wide but actually what does that actually mean so that's that's my take on it hmm okay Caroline f I'm surprised I'm not surprised so I'm not surprised that there is under representation in organizations uh not embracing neurodiversity and I'm surprised that uh that the figure of 32 that declared yes is as high as it is because there are some very serious

- ([11:05]( statistics behind um this discussion in that a significantly High proportion of neuro Divergent people are either unemployed throughout their lives or they are underemployed um and that's a you know a real concern in my career as a HR director there are almost none of the organizations that I've worked in that have had a authentic passion for developing opportunities you know through education and paid employment for the neurodiverse and indeed again a high proportion from my experience don't really understand what

- ([11:51]( neurodiversity actually means let alone Gart of the way to develop strategies and plans to seek neuro Divergent people in their employment populations so there is a lot of work to be done and opportunities ahead of us to be able to very significantly change these these really troubling statistics that um that UK organizations are simply not doing enough to offer long-term remunerated opportunities for the neurodiverse Mel yeah I would I'm actually quite encouraged by the 32 I have to say like Caroline B if we'd have gone back you

- ([12:37]( know we these would have been different numbers and I think what we can all feel and what we're really sensing and from what we're involved in there's a real movement happening and I think that the movement is the word embracing might have kind of thrown people one way or the other you know I think what we're seeing in the movement is there's a definite move to increase awareness and have a a better appreciation of what neurodiversity is because it's just it can be really confusing you know what is

- ([13:07]( it and what are we talking about and then once people understand it they go okay now I get it and actually in the HR Community we know we're all involved in raising awareness amongst our peers which is great because we've got a real opportunity as HR professionals to make a genuine difference for neurodiversity Talent within our organizations through being much more neuro inclusive but for us we have to start somewhere you know as HR professionals we do not have a massive awareness of everything in our sphere so the fact that we're at

- ([13:42]( 32 who are embracing I find really positively encouraging because it will only go up I'm sure yeah I agree I was very similar to you really I was encouraged by it and I felt that um a lot of people that would have answered that would have probably been an HR profession you know most of my network is HR people right so they're going to be the ones that probably are thinking about it they're probably the ones that are you know pushing initiatives and the agenda I think if you asked perhaps a more broader sphere

- ([14:13]( of employees and organizations whether they would feel the same I don't know like if you were talking to I don't know an engineer or if you're talking to somebody in marketing or Finance or something like that would you know would they all think the same I I don't know you know sometimes it's uh it's likely that HR will be the first to make that impact that's why hr's so great right because we can we can you know sort of moral Champions and we can we can make a difference in terms of the organization

- ([14:38]( and everything else so yeah I'm I was I was quite encouraged as well um it'd be interesting to ask a neurodivergent population yes whether they're whether they feel that they're yeah organization is embracing or making a difference in for them them and that might be quite a different uh result honestly but yeah I think it's good and I suspect that Caroline F you'll have some data certainly from the autism space I don't know if you have it to head to hand but um that you know whether they feel that

- ([15:11]( they're getting the opportunities and you know in the workplace or not um do you know anything else so the charity that I work for actively uh and works with um or Autism friendly organizations um so those employers that want to go out of the way to create opportunities for autistic adults um I don't have kind of live data to handle but we know from from Recent research that just under 22 of autistic adults are in some type of paid employment that's full-time and part-time and 16 of autistic adults are

- ([15:52]( in longer term permanent employment um but a very large proportion of unemployed autistic adults uh are seeking active employment opportunities [Music] yeah so that the data doesn't necessarily correlate perfectly to that does it um I suppose the other thing as well from from our perspective is is why is this important you know is this just about doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing I'm intrigued in terms of is there a real strong business case almost for this so why should we be encouraging neurodiversity

- ([16:29]( in the in in the workplace perhaps Caroline F you could you could go with that of course there are some really interesting studies both in the UK and further afield of the real tangible benefits of employ employing neuro diverse people and there are some particular studies that strongly suggest that the levels of productivity are often 30 or up to 30 percent higher in neurodivergent work communities than there are against the neurotypical counterparts and again very often neurodiverse people are you know without

- ([17:09]( without wishing to stereotype at all because every single um human being with a with a neurodiverse condition is is very different but some of the generalizations uh in that kind of battle for for talent suggests that there is often very high levels of integrity and strong work ethics from neurodiverse employees there are often higher levels of creativity Innovation and problem solving because many neurodiverse people connect to the world of work um and see things in very different ways there's evidence that suggests that

- ([17:49]( neurodiverse adults in the workplace are likely to grasp complex patterns of data and to use a you know a range of different thinking Styles in which to come to conclusions and insights that neurotypicals would take longer to do um there's often a very strong Focus uh uh in concentration in attention and in logical abilities uh in the workplace and there's often a superior attention paid to detail and that's often why we see a lot of neurodiverse adults that move into certain professions and and

- ([18:35]( sectors to really bring out those uh those skills and advantages that's great and I think we've we've busted some myths there as well about potentially I mean we're talking about this Caroline B and I think the first time we talked with some of the myths surrounding it what will people you know perceive and and think um I don't know if either other of you two have got anything to add in terms of some of the myths that are out there at the moment from my experience it's when there's if

- ([19:07]( you've got dyslexia you can't be an accountant because actually you're going to miss the numbers up um if you have autism you can't then deal with people because that's an autistic trait isn't it um if you've got ADHD you could be bouncing around and you're not going to bet a complete things because that's what happens isn't it you get distracted quite a bit don't you um and I think it's one of the same things again it's about then intelligence levels are are laid onto

- ([19:32]( that and say well you can't be that bright how are you going to get that you know um so there are some of the things actually are barriers that people have to overcome in addition to the normal barriers that you know everyone else has to to do that there's some great myths Caroline I think they they're the types of things I know that I was involved in a panel once to look at assessing potential um applicants or applicants for a graduate scheme that was going to be working in it and I was given you know a

- ([20:06]( list of good and bad indicators of of behavior and the bad list it was like you know a list of autistic traits yes and you know this was a group of people who were going into an I.T function they were not going to be customer facing they were coming because of their technical expertise and and you know I was asked to kind of rate them down if they couldn't hold a conversation or keep eye contact or and you know they're the types of things that we have to really think about and I know we'll probably go on to think about

- ([20:41]( neuro inclusivity but you know busting some of those myths and going to the individual is absolutely crucial so I remember when my son was diagnosed and I researched um autism in particular there was this one phrase which I always repeat which is if you've met one person with autism you've met one person with autism absolutely 100 and I would you know replace the word autism with any of the neurodiverse conditions right this is about who who is this person what is their individuality what are their strengths what are their challenges how

- ([21:18]( can I get to know them rather than going oh you're autistic that means x no it doesn't get to know what the strengths and challenges of that person are get to know the person individually 100 agree and a difficult thing as well with that though is if you are somebody who um who is neurodivergent what do I need to do they probably might not even know and that's one of those things it's really difficult how do you know what you need if you don't know what you need so actually it's about

- ([21:51]( then asking the question surrounding that what do you find difficult and actually just doing some of those sort of basic stuff that we all can do and having the patience to do it yeah and having the patience to let them work that out as well right so you when you're starting a new job you might not know what you need you know you've got to get used to the ways of working the environment the people you're working with so it might not be till six weeks later where you go actually do you know what that light bulb's really bright and

- ([22:17]( I just can't concentrate with that so can we get a dim a light bulb or can you move me away from the kitchen because I can't concentrate with the smells that are coming from you know all of those things might evolve so creating that culture and that environment where people feel able to have those conversations at any point is that is really vital it seems that in terms of some of the feeling that I get is that a lot of times people are finding out quite late on in their lives and they're in careers

- ([22:50]( and then perhaps they're probably very successful in their careers but they're finding out at a at a point that you know that they kind of explains but they sort of figure out they get a diagnosis and then they think okay that explains a bit more to me now in terms of I've got a almost a label for it as as it were in in terms of that so it's interesting that obviously that isn't really picked up earlier and whether that's again an awareness thing just around people as well in terms of oh I I

- ([23:19]( must be a bit different to everybody else I don't really know why or why I do things differently or why I struggle with X Y and Z but I feel like now people are just more aware that one in five that was right I think the figure I wrote down one in five people are neurodivergent so very interesting um I suppose thinking about this from a HR perspective I mean obviously this show is hosting HR it's aimed at the HR profession from a HR perspective if they feel if they're part of that 60 whatever it was

- ([23:48]( 67 68 uh Mark that the two-thirds and they think well I want to make a difference here I want to I want to embrace it because of all the things that Caroline F was talking about in terms of the actual business case scenario so how would you encourage like what should a HR person to encourage their organization to embrace neurodiversity what what would be your advice to to HR person listen to the show that wants to make a difference [Music] shall I take that yeah go Mel yeah so yeah all of us as HR professionals I

- ([24:24]( think we've got a real interest in making the world a better place for our employees right so the first thing I would say is like take responsibility for that if you've got an interest in neurodiversity start the conversation and and get it going and then the first part or the first point to start at I think is Raising awareness so like we've talked about today what is neurodiversity what does that look like how is that um playing out for people if you have people in your organization who are neurodivergent and are willing to talk

- ([24:57]( about it ask them to talk about their personal story there's nothing more powerful than storytelling and bringing that to life so you can go oh gosh I didn't know Leon was you know ADHD or I had autism or whatever oh my gosh you know that's great and you can start to actually get a better appreciation of neurodiversity because unfortunately there is still stigma attached which is just misguided because we have such outdated kids ideas of and understanding of neurodiversity you know still people say to me oh that's um autism that's

- ([25:34]( like Rain Man I'm like oh my God Rayman was made when 1980 something you know that's our our understanding has evolved so much as has um by the way the diagnostic say what you're saying about people being diagnosed later in life Leon is because not only is our understanding evolves so have our Diagnostics so the Diagnostics autism and ADHD were created based on our observation of boys predominantly and now we know so much more about it which is why we see so many more girls and women being diagnosed with ADHD

- ([26:10]( sometimes later in life we also know now that these conditions are genetic so like our eye color these are running through our family so if we have children who are diagnosed it's likely they have parents grandparents Etc who are also neurodivergent and so sorry I've gone off one on a bit but the the you know our responsibility as HR professionals is really to bring this to the fore in the same way that any of our diversity and inclusion initiatives really need to be led by us because who else is going to do that so this is our

- ([26:45]( responsibility our opportunity and I think if you haven't got the awareness of neurogiversity then I would take some of your dni budget and bring somebody in who does and help you on that journey to start to map out what that might look like for you thanks Mel I just want to go to some of the the comments we've had so Jennifer sergeant said uh awareness wasn't around uh when she was younger it's only in the last 10 years that have seen awareness increase in school and at work um and talking about the support that

- ([27:18]( that she's been getting so Jennifer um wrote A Blog actually on this particular topic which I shared uh on my LinkedIn feed and is on our website HR so if you'd like to go and read um that blog by Jennifer it's well written really really useful very similar obviously things what we're talking about today so please do go and check that out I've also had a question come through from Louise Berry and I'm going to throw this at You Caroline B I think so um she said can you share how you're

- ([27:52]( raising awareness around this within your business and I think obviously you've got a very good case study which obviously I know has been recognized as well for your work on this so perhaps you can tell us a bit more about what you've been doing at scrutin Bland in terms of to answer Louise's question yes sure and I know Louise so thanks Louise um what we've done is actually looked at our competency framework we put a company framework which the behavior LED property framework in place but actually

- ([28:24]( looked at it from a lens of neurodiversity and uh how we can make that inclusive and not do epoxy framework and then over here make some adjustments for it for everybody else you know those people that need it so actually most of the people in that organization don't actually know it's friendly so no it's actually open they don't need to know why should they what you're doing is creating something that actually has clear simple frame framework that anybody can access and then it's about the communication

- ([29:01]( methods and it's the types of communication methods that you use so you like use lots of different types of methods so you don't just do one or another and you can continuously repeat that method those methods in in different ways and it's about the language you use as well and simplifying the language but not dumbing it down because this thing about actually dumb down the language but you don't have to it's how it's presented how it's actually sold it's a storytelling and actually if you know where you're going

- ([29:30]( you can actually understand the journey you're going to get there and that's true of all of us I think if we do a storytelling and actually as long as we know where we're going we'll keep going with you um so we put this all together I mean it took about 18 months to put this into place in totality we've taken away appraisals because appraisals are a little bit clunky to be fair aren't they it's one of those things you see you dust it off and six months down the road you look at these set of objectives that

- ([29:56]( you might or might not have done and you look backwards about all well done and then you look forward about the next six months about the objectives you're doing but actually it's not an active document it's got nothing to do with your development because you might have a list of training leads analysis you put into a spreadsheet and it goes off to an API administrator who puts some courses on and that's what you do but it's not a tended approach so what we did as a tailored approach very very much

- ([30:20]( individualized from when people come in from the to the organization including the recruitment process all the way through until they leave and it's part of their development program so what we identify as what the role looks like and feels like in terms of behavior the skills go along with that I work in a regulated organization in terms of accountancy It's relatively easy to do that so we put those together and we have conversations and we have those conversations about how they rate themselves in terms of behaviors and

- ([30:51]( what the examples in their work they can actually display that and then it's a conversation about agreeing okay where are the gaps and you put them together a development um plan for them and it's alive it's theirs they have to own it this is their their opportunity to develop where they want to we have some people say well actually that person doesn't want to be developed you know they've only got two years left one okay if we go back two years Global pandemic what skills do we have then

- ([31:20]( that we actually learned over the last couple of years that we need now just to stay still not even going you know I'm not talking about promotion here but just to actually be able to manage our our workload their Tech has changed the the whole environment's changed and actually I'm not going to give it away but clearly I've got some sort of neurodivergent trait at least one um so uh for me it's actually being honest with people coming in so we have student evenings and I'll actually tell

- ([31:51]( them that I have x y o z and actually it's okay it's totally embraced and everybody who's different what we can do is support you with a tailored approach but it's the same talented approach to somebody who is neurotypical so actually we're not discriminating against anybody it's a very inclusive way of doing it and that's we've done that we actually got to the finals of the um cipd SME Awards this year which was really really proud moment but it's one of those things where

- ([32:21]( it's quite has a recognition but I'd like to see other people Embrace that approach and it's not difficult it's just something you know if you don't want to start give us a shout I'll give you a couple of hints of how to do things but if you think about it just keep it simple it's great that is great but yeah it's it's great to hear and I think obviously what Mel talked about one person with autism and everyone's individual right so you know that that sounds like what motivated you was it your kind of own

- ([32:51]( sort of personal experience what kind of because it's got a new thing obviously that you obviously looking basic HR Basics because what you try to do with um objectives is get people to understand how they contribute and how they make the top stuff go you know we have these big girls up here but how can I as an individual influence that it's about actually having that um that a really simplistic version of actually if I do this then that contributes to that and actually feeling belonging feeling part of it feeling actually I can make a

- ([33:25]( difference and that's really empowering for people no matter who they are that's just empowering that's great and I can probably hear most of the HR professionals on this call wanting to get in touch to understand how we can get rid of the appraisal process along the way that would be an absolute Joy Performance Management I think might be another show I think that's uh yeah it's it's um it's really interesting though so obviously that's a really good example um I'm thinking Caroline F and Mel that

- ([33:58]( you you obviously work with other organizations and aware of other organizations in terms of what they're doing I wonder if there's other examples of things that you can share about some of the ways that other organizations are embracing to use the word uh neurodiversity I don't know Caroline F do you want to go first yes of course um so there are a couple of things which I think are really important to consider the first is in the candidate sourcing candidate search strategy and that's firstly to avoid algorithms through

- ([34:33]( applicant tracking if possible because again there's a lot of empirical evidence out there that neurodiverse adults will often apply for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of job applications uh and and face rejections so um adapting screening methods that perhaps are more encouraging of anonymized applications uh through you know addressing some key questions around around what's important during that screening process as an example or um questions about the job and and how they would how they would address

- ([35:12]( some of the the challenges in their role are perhaps better through anonymized recruitment platforms than than typical algorithms in applicant tracking systems uh other things include providing and neurodiverse candidates with the full set of interview questions and a illustration of the types of responses that an interview panel or hiring manager would be seeking and that's incredibly important to do as part of those accommodations even before a selection choice is made other opportunities would include having

- ([35:51]( neurodivergent employees involved in the hiring process so that there is you know very genuine practices and authenticity in opening up opportunities to seek better employment opportunities for the neurodiverse um other things include recruitment training and educating hiring managers to support neurodivergent candidates because there's often a lot of misunderstanding we've talked about some of the the myths that are very wrongly associated with with neurodiverse communities um also to develop neurodiversity

- ([36:32]( Partnerships and investigate best practice through related Charities the national autistic Society in particular have incredible sources of knowledge for uh for Employers in this country and also from my experience it's very often minorities representing minorities we know that doing this type of work is good practice in HR but often that passion that Insight that deeper commitment to the purpose and the cause is is is experienced through other neurodivergent people so to you know use that storyboarding and that and that sharing

- ([37:14]( that um I think Mel Mel talked about earlier to rethink qualifications and certain expectations and criteria in job descriptions that will enable expectations to be more flexible and more agile and also to avoid hiring from familiar Talent pools and actively partner with recruitment organizations who are proactive in this area or who have recruitment strategies within their practices that that deliberately seek out and open up opportunities for neurodiverse people hmm doesn't make great examples and they're

- ([37:57]( great examples of what we can really do to make a positive difference that the attraction and recruitment and part of the employee life cycle the other obviously the the employee life cycle is quite long hopefully um and what I've been doing through my work at neuro inclusive HR is having a look at what are the other elements of the employee life cycle how can we be neuro inclusive throughout and I think the thing that really strikes me is the opportunity around employee relations in particular so you know this is not all

- ([38:32]( sweetness and light you know there are issues that arise through working within a neurodiverse team through you know typically what we've done in the past if we we've really focused our recruitment efforts on finding people that can fit within our team and what does fit mean it means they look like us they act like us they talk in the same way as us Etc and what we're what we're encouraging is that we actively come away from that and say actually you don't want a team of people who think can act in the same

- ([39:02]( same way you want people who think and act differently because that's where your creativity and your different ways of doing things is really going to come to the fore but that in itself throws up some employee relations issues and challenges that we as HR professionals are being presented with so conduct you know um and relationships and communication and absence and liaising with our occupational health providers who may not even know what they should be looking for in the Occupational Health referrals so knowing what questions to

- ([39:39]( ask our occupational health professionals is also really crucial so you know we've got at every stage of the employee life cycle we've got opportunities to really enable our neurodiverse talent to thrive but that requires us to have more knowledge and be asking the right things as well and I think you make a striking Point Mel because one of the areas of shared commonality across neurodivergence working adults is the impairment of executive functioning so a number of the things that you've outlined many many of the neurodiverse

- ([40:17]( will struggle with and simply cannot do so that degree of adjustment of compassion nurture understanding adaptability is absolutely crucial to support the long-term development and viability of neurodiverse people because I've seen so many examples where it's it's the opposite has happened and where it's spiraled out of control because assumptions have been made for example for an individual who may struggle with emotional regulation or someone who may struggle with you know managing competing complex tasks or someone who

- ([41:03]( may you know recall the wrong information in a board meeting um those are all examples that I've seen and experienced where it's really really important that that understanding and those adaptations are considered yeah yeah and also thinking about you know just thinking again about sometimes we'll go right three strikes and you're out type thing and we do that typically in large organizations don't we so for example if you're late three times that's going to be a disciplinary well

- ([41:37]( that could be a nightmare for somebody who is neurodivergent who's trying to sort themselves out and get to places and they've got seven alarms and you know they still can't get there on time that's that's just a thing and we have to accept that sometimes people are going to be late and they're going to get lost and you know they're going to interrupt each other in meetings or you know cut across and come across blunt and seem rude but unless we actually take a step back and take time to

- ([42:04]( understand times and appreciate that then we're gonna then we're just making assumptions and we're coming to the wrong conclusions and being detrimental to our neurodiverse talent I'm just going to say that all of these things that you're talking about they don't really seem to need a big budget like Mel you said earlier about your dni budget you know just just get some training in this sort of area get some support if you're not sure yeah you know what you should be doing or how you you

- ([42:31]( know what impact you can have and what you can execute to make a difference in neurodiversity none of this seems expensive at all really just seems more around sort of practice and things like that I mean Caroline B I'm imagining it didn't apart from time and just getting still awareness and things that in terms of actual raw money and budget was it was it an expensive thing we did spend a penny honestly when the penny it was about we were going to do it anyway we did some internal um training which as the HR team wrote I

- ([43:04]( said to them you know you're going to write these you're going to present this and it's a it's a learning opportunity for you after they'd be coiled for a bit and came back and they did and actually they presented it and we had a group of um managers across the whole organization that we have with our leadership forum who are communication forum and such so it's about talking with them and actually getting them to understand why where and how and then then it then seeping across the whole of

- ([43:27]( the organization so becomes part of the expected this is what we're going to do this is how it is there's lots of resources online Leon I mean the Lloyds are really really good at this um if you have a look there's a couple of links if you want to share to actually give you some tips about how to recruit um and this case studies there's uh some training online there's also ADHD UK I've got welfare pack that you can download and you can actually use and you can give that to your line managers

- ([43:55]( it's very easy to read so all of this stuff is free so no money is not the issue um I just want to say if you're watching this if you're enjoying the show please do drop us a like it does really help with uh future shows uh this show so people can see it and it hits more people so yeah please do give us a thumbs up um I want to talk a little bit about um well-being really and kind of how that fits in with it because I know when we talked off air previously we talked about how the neurodivergent community

- ([44:28]( more likely to suffer with um uh you know well-being issues basically and I'm thinking about what organizations what HR can do to try and make some adaptations potentially is there anything in terms of what they can do to mitigate that risk of you know burnout for example within the workplace and coming to you Caroline F on this one please yes of course and it's very well again understood that for a diverse or have a higher propensity to experience that stress anxiety depression and burnout and it's often because of the

- ([45:05]( confusion uh of of trying to function in a in a neurotypical world and often you know particularly with conditions like ADHD and a racy brain that burn out is often um more likely because of the speed of of how many people with uh with that particular diagnosis uh kind of interact and behave so having preventative measures are really very important and the the things that I would really raise here are being flexible and being agile in the approach to work and the ways in which the neurodiverse communities connect to work

- ([45:45]( and what I mean by that is firstly uh in terms of flexibility to encourage homeworking if that's preferred um and um in agile approaches being flexible outside of that nine-to-five traditional way of working and if people are doing jobs where it doesn't really matter where they are located or what hours they work to adopt more of a collaboration and outcome focused relationship rather than a a relationship that's based on visibility within a certain start and finish time um other things that I would encourage

- ([46:27]( um is to assign workplace Buddhas ideally other neurodiverse people who can offer you know that mentorship that sounding board and to have someone who um who can be a good listener and to understand and to Advocate within the organization for for changes and accommodations um to also conduct regular check-ins with that neurodiverse person uh to ensure that they are not suffering in silence or that they're not fearing speaking up because of of any potential consequences and that involves adopting and creating a culture which is you know

- ([47:08]( harmonious to authenticity to good feedback you know to have highly supportive mechanisms in place that enable neurodiverse people to feel psychologically safe at work um to avoid environments that will create over stimulation and risk the uh the the the the the factor of sensory overload so you know have have lighting and and desk spaces and work environments that can avoid those type of things and if that isn't possible to have opportunities where individuals can leave that environment and go into a safer kind of calmer place in the in the

- ([47:55]( office or or the workplaces um also to have real conversations you know between a manager and an employee that has a Euro diverse condition to understand and explore the strengths and the developments and all of the wonderful skills that um that so many neurodiverse people bring to the workplace but at the same time to all understand some of the the weak spots and the areas of vulnerability and build a backup plan so that um one can avoid undue stress or anxiety um to also be really clear and concise in Communications of you know using

- ([48:39]( phrases such as um I understand you mean X Y and Z so playback um and if you're a manager managing someone with a neurodiverse condition and ideally drop a note of what's been agreed in the conversation and the plan in a in a short email um and to generally be open supportive and friendly uh in day-to-day working relationships I mean a lot of these you a lot of these you would hope would be pretty you know for everybody right a lot of the the things are the same you know in in a lot of ways it's not necessarily making huge

- ([49:19]( differences I I don't think if if you're a ethical uh organization employer you would hope that a lot of those things you know would be in place for everybody not just the neurodiverse community and things um but obviously there's some some bits in there you talked about as as well did either of you have anything you wanted to add to that yeah please I would just add I think what's really important Caroline is building on everything that you've just said is creating a culture where we normalize this conversation you know

- ([49:52]( it's not unusual for people to go oh I've got ADHD or I've got autism or because you know we're bringing ourselves to the workplace and we're able to start talking about this you know I may have a neurodivergent condition this is what it means but what we're saying is this is me these are my particular areas of expertise these are my strengths these are my challenges you know that should just be a normal part of the conversation but what we're doing now is we're adding in these extra

- ([50:22]( elements but what's helping is that it's dispelling some of those myths and helping us to be a truly inclusive you know team culture Etc so by continuing to share our neurodivergence our knowledge of neurodiversity what we are doing as HR professionals is really helping so many to be able to do that within their own organizations and their cultures and that's a great thing about you Caroline B because whatever the truth is on this we know that obviously you are part of that community and you are also

- ([50:57]( rock star and HR right so you know yeah I think this one is where the majority of people who are neurodivergent will mask and it's a really difficult thing to describe the masking but it's really it's really emotional it's hard to move on do you want us to okay yeah I think um I mean you're very brave Caroline for even raising this because um there's a very very high proportion of neurodiverse females who learn to mask from a really really young age and it's one of the reasons why so many

- ([51:44]( women are now experiencing late uh later you know adult diagnosis where the world so often has been overwhelming has been confusing things just haven't added up or made sense there's often been adverse reactions to things that you know that that particular um female just wouldn't be able to make sense of or understand and so learning to mask you know from being really young is a it is kids learn to mask they learn to give what is acceptable by the masses they learn at a very early age how to disguise some of the things to be able

- ([52:32]( to survive and it's a very difficult thing I mean alistair's um on the thing Alice is one of the lectures she's gonna that's gonna be my next question and so yeah Alistair I work with Alistair and we work with students and actually there are some tools we can use as a do it profiler which um is fantastic it gives an indicator of the type it doesn't it's not an assessment tool it's an indicator of preferred Styles and it may give an indicator of different aspects of being neurodivergent but it gives some support

- ([53:06]( for the managers and the teams around them about what is needed what is required for that person that person then has an awareness of actually where some of their traits are where their strengths are and it's a positive thing yeah and the marketing bit is it's incredibly hard because you do mask because you want to belong you want to you know fit uh whatever fit looks like and because of the traits that you have what and what your neurodivergent um traits are it's one of those things you know you're different you just know

- ([53:39]( and it's that whole thing about you want to be successful and you want to do things but it's so hard because you shattered the end of a five-day week it's almost five days Monday to Friday Friday I bet you the person who I'm asking all week will be absolutely shattered they can't cope they won't be able to think of and do anything because actually it's so tiring just trying to be normal for those of you not to me thanks Carolina I mean for those who are listening to this on the on the podcast

- ([54:12]( recording you won't see the the question but Alistair boots said uh basically he works for small businesses employing students frequently Farmers vets and other rural businesses and he was interested to know how to support them and starting an understanding of neurodiversity no HR departments no dni budget and obviously Caroline I don't know whether you to have anything to add Mel Caroline F in terms of talista's Point yeah I would Alistair there is so much information out there so um Caroline's mentioned quite a lot of them

- ([54:44]( I would also just add in ADHD Foundation who are a brilliant neurodiversity um charity obviously with a focus on ADHD but a lot of their resources are related to neurodiversity more broadly um follow us on LinkedIn I'm sure we will be sharing loads of stuff if you go to my LinkedIn I've got some awareness sessions that have been recorded that I've shared on my LinkedIn page as well well please help yourself to that there is one that I did for every mind at work which is the brilliant Mental Health

- ([55:14]( Organization that's um led by Paul McGregor if you go to Every mind that works website they've also got some free downloadable resources that we pulled together to um to complement that session as well so um and also get in touch with us you know we are part of this HR Community here championing neurodiversity across all of us so we are really happy to help as well for those who have watched uh hosting HR for a while remember Paul McGregor was on here as well so he's a previous panelist yeah back uh I think a great

- ([55:48]( guy in May April last year or something like that one of the earlier shows that we did um so yeah he's uh he's great and the work they do there is is fantastic um just on resources um Caroline F I'm assuming National autistic Society have quite a range of resources that are they are they widely available to people to go huge amount of resources if Alistair connects on our website you will find tons and tons and tons of information and resources available at your fingertips that can help but I Echo what um Mel has just

- ([56:23]( said to also for Alistair to seek an Advocates and volunteers so people who have such passion to make a difference in the world of work and who can speak from experience and with confidence about offering opportunities to to the neurodiverse okay excellent Caroline B anything you want to any other downstairs soon so I'm sure he'll get oh okay you'll be able to get some first hand yeah yes very lucky Aleister there to have that but yeah I mean there seems to be plenty of stuff um in my research obviously um as part

- ([57:04]( of preparing the show the notes and things like that I found lots of stuff just by Googling most of it entirely free um obviously for HR professionals the cipd has got quite a lot of information around this particular area so if you remember there and I always advocate for cimpd because we're a partner for them of recruit for them so um yeah certainly go check out the stuff that they've got um I spoke to actually a number of people actually didn't come on the panel in the end um because I could only pick three

- ([57:32]( um but but some really good people around that I spoke to some clinicians and a real kind of range of of people there um that people have got their own businesses and really kind of do some good work very much like mail and her organization as well so there seems to be lots out there uh if you want to find it then the internet pretty much will find whatever you want for whatever you want to find so yeah I would certainly go there and there's plenty of stuff that seems to be really easily available you just got to go and find it and then

- ([58:00]( want to actually make a difference with it and we're coming over to close to the end of the show so we're we're coming up to our hour now um so uh we're gonna start to wrap up so um obviously earlier on this show we did our two lies one truth um so um let's go through now and let's see if we can guess uh the the real truth from each of our panelists at three facts before I do that though please if you're watching on YouTube please do give us a thumbs up same on LinkedIn um be great to get any sort of support

- ([58:36]( if you're watching on Twitter I think there's the heart emoji or whatever uh that would be great just to kind of obviously spread the word for this particular show and if you enjoyed this show and you like a lot of the HR stuff that we do there's lots of other shows I think this is a 17th or 18th show now on a range of different topics um so please do feel free to go check out some of the others and there's lots of useful interesting hopefully insightful um content there for you which is all again absolutely free to anybody there

- ([59:05]( so two lies one truth so I can't remember do we start with you Mel I think yeah I think we did yeah good remind us your three facts please okay so my first fact was I've worked in HR for 30 years my second is that I have had brain surgery 10 times and my third is that I have five cats okay um some kind of Darren Brown type yeah no I just I just I'm just trying to work out I'm a little bit sneaky because obviously I probably know every panelist better than the other panelists in the show so I've always got a bit of

- ([59:38]( background Intel which is probably why my my rate is so good um should we Caroline B which do you think is the truth out of those three middle one I'd be very tempted to say five cats but I don't think that's the one and although you only look 26 Mal um I will go for 30 years in HR okay I'm not gonna go for that because Mel looks far too young far too young for that are many best friends and and also I've seen I know there's more than one cat because I'm sure yeah exactly and I've seen a

- ([1:00:12]( tabby cat I don't know if it's five but I'm gonna go for the five cats they're all going for a different one so which one is it hey the truth is that I have had brain surgery 10 times wow [Music] yeah yeah I'm not really sure what to say but obviously although all okay oh absolutely fine I'm glad we're at the end of the hour because there's a whole other hour worth of uh conversation in that but yeah all all good yeah quite uh quite an interesting period I can imagine wow okay

- ([1:00:53]( um I can't remember who we came to I think it was Caroline F I think went to next yes yeah yeah mine were uh that I was mobbed by a drug cartel in the Amazon uh my second was that I swung with dolphins in the South China Sea and my third one was that I visited the orangutan sanctuary in Borneo okay Caroline B what do you think I'd love the first one to be true but I think it's the South China Sea the Dolphins so I was trying to see dolphins okay Mel I'm going for the orangutans orangutan okay because it's interesting

- ([1:01:34]( because I have a feeling many years ago Caroline we were having coffee and I'm sure you told me about you get you're getting mugs or something like that somewhere on good travels I'm feeling like I've I've heard this I'm sure I know this actually but I might be wrong so I'm gonna go with the top one okay which is that you got mobbed it was the Amazon it's in the Amazon yeah yeah I've done all travel and have a truth in I love that you even came up with the others there we go excellent so finally

- ([1:02:13]( Caroline B your three facts please I am diagnosed autistic I have diagnosed ADHD or I'm diagnosed with both hmm Mal it's really um as we know through the r kind of line of um research it's much more common for women to be diagnosed with both as they get older or later in life and start to recognize those traits about each other sometimes we don't reach the line of diagnostic but I'm going to go for firstly both Caroline f no I have no idea at all and it's really a gas so I'll go with the first one

- ([1:02:54]( yeah I think I think I know actually so I'd be cheating I think I think well I don't know if I do knowledge I'm going to say ADHD diagnosis ADHD but I do have autistic traits too um okay and this is how cute as well ah there we go so yeah so that right sorry it's for a penny and for a pound yes yeah yeah yeah um but I like Mel says it seems quite common in terms of that so um thank you uh all for attending thank you for those that have watched I can still see people are watching us now so that's great to see that people have

- ([1:03:36]( stayed uh to get to the end of this as mentioned um please do like and subscribe if I can help him in terms of with any HR recruitment then you know where I am uh if you're looking for any role Etc then there's our jobs are on our website um so everything is there and if you would like us to cover a particular topic on hosting HR obviously HR related um then uh let me know you can drop me an email or reach out to me on LinkedIn or what have you and yeah I'd certainly like to know what you guys want rather

- ([1:04:06]( than necessarily what I'm I'm thinking might be good so please do let me know this is how this show came about I was approached by several people about doing this um it took me a while to get it on but um but yeah here we are so yeah do let us know what you'd like us to to discuss what experts you'd like Etc and I'll do my very best to get it but otherwise thank you three for joining me on hosting HR and thank you for watching or listening a lot thank you thank you thank you


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