Creating an inclusive work environment is a practice that will benefit all employees, but in particular, it will help neurodiverse employees feel comfortable, safe, and supported which in turn helps them to thrive in their employment.
Staff Training/Education – consider training all staff on Autism or about the Autistic employee’s differences with their consent. This can help alleviate any pressures on that employee to mask their symptoms allowing them to focus on the job itself. Job coaches can often help with this. As well, there are different learning opportunities listed in the resources at the end of this manual. You should also teach the Autistic employees what your specific workplace culture is. Having a mentor or a go-to person to explain the workplace culture can help an Autistic individual navigate different interactions and situations.
Evaluate your own workplace’s culture of inclusion and diversity. There are free toolkits and assessments listed in the resources to help you learn what a neurodiverse-friendly workplace should look like, how to evaluate where your company stands, and how to create tangible goals to create a more inclusive environment. Include your neurodiverse employees in this process and be open to feedback.
Create inclusive environments for workplace events or meetings to ensure all employees are in a workplace where they can work effectively. Consider decreasing fluorescent lighting, requiring scent-free environments, providing ear plugs or headphones, and allowing employees to move or stim (repetitive movements or noises) when they are working.