Highlights from SCCE’s 2023 Compliance & Ethics Institute – LeadGood’s presentation on neuROInclusion: Crafting communications that resonate with all employees, including those who are neurodivergent

December 6, 2023

My favorite session! People’s minds are diverse – so it is important to ensure corporate communications and training considers those who are neurodiverse. Otherwise, the message you are putting out may not be getting received.  About 20% of the workforce is neurodivergent, and many do not want to self-identify. Inclusion cannot be dependent on self-identification. They may or may not have a qualifying disability under the ADA. Like the ramps in a curb at a crosswalk, there are measures that are “critical for some, good for all,” as Jason Meyer so eloquently stated it.

Poor performance and disciplinary issues can arise more often in neurodiverse employees (most often from poor executive function or organizational skills, attention deficits, high anxiety that causes procrastination or avoidance, difficulty regulating emotions, etc.) I saw this frequently in the military – young kids who didn’t do well in school due to undiagnosed neurodivergence, and they went in the military with the thought that it would “straighten them out.” Many times, they couldn’t follow orders or couldn’t keep up, but it was not a disciplinary issue, it was a health and communication issue. For example, employees who do not show emotion may seem like they don’t care, but they may be on the autism spectrum. Some people are slower to process oral instructions, or written processes. They may need a video or a visual demonstration. Others may be the opposite, you give verbal instructions, but they may prefer a manual or policy to refer to. Compliance professionals should always consider delivering shorter training with structure and clarity, using visuals of different kinds, avoiding sarcasm, humor, and euphemisms, and chunk required training out so there are no long sessions. “There is an ROI in neuROInclusion” (I love this!). For more information, head to leadgoodeducation.com.

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