Neurodiverse Solutions

The secret to achieving workplace inclusion

Paving a path forward with CAI Neurodiverse Solutions.

The challenge of inclusivity

Nearly every enterprise has attempted to identify and define its inclusion goals. For many, it’s a matter of finding gaps and opportunities and then designing solutions that drive improvement. But, even after careful planning, ongoing committee efforts to understand how to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and the attainment of certain milestones, the truth is, many organizations struggle to meet their goals. Inclusion initiatives often start out as aspirational goals, and too often, remain unfulfilled.

This challenge is twofold. First, there’s a true lack of understanding about the candidate pool and how to effectively tap into it. Then there’s the difficulty of creating a workplace that empowers employees to contribute their strengths fully and show up as their authentic selves.

In the wake of these challenges, many organizations fall back on the hiring process and practices that have worked in the past; going to market with the same job postings, in the same places, without spending the necessary time and energy to target the ideal candidates. Even while advances in job search technology, and collaborations between talent acquisition departments and staffing firms open new doors for organizations, building a truly inclusive work environment can be a complicated venture.

Inclusion initiatives should include neurodiversity

Instead of the same tactics yielding the same results, looking to new talent pools can open up new possibilities for hiring. For this reason, organizations should consider including neurodiversity in their inclusion initiatives. Neurodiversity refers to the range of differences in individual brain function and behavioral traits that is part of the normal variation in the human population. Examples of neurodiversity can include autism spectrum disorder (ASD), dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD, along with many other conditions.

Neurodivergent individuals possess a wide range of valuable skillsets that can solve complex business challenges. Data that illustrates the exceptional talent of neurodivergent individuals is on the rise. The data – and real-life examples – show that many in this talent pool possess skills for pattern recognition, problem-solving, and innovative thinking. With certain roles in information technology, analytics, and business operations, employees with these talents can really shine—often delivering impressive results and exceeding expectations.

There is a common misconception that embracing neurodivergent individuals in an organization would require extensive time and effort. What we’ve found repeatedly is that, while the approach to including neurodiversity within a business should be carefully planned, it is certainly worthwhile. Very often – with the right structure to support cultural integration, supervision, and skill development – the business value a neurodivergent employee offers is greater than industry standards. When neurodiverse teams are measured against other teams where neurodiversity is lacking, neurodiverse teams consistently exceed expectations.

Meeting inclusion goals with neurodiverse talent

CAI learned the value of neurodiverse talent firsthand when we piloted a program employing a team of neurodivergent employees to help a state department of transportation manage a large digitization project. The state had made previous attempts at converting paper files for electronic storage and found the process to be too slow and prone to error, due to the repetitive nature of the work. The department needed an innovative solution, and CAI Neurodiverse Solutions provided it. A team of 4 employees completed the work ahead of schedule and with notable accuracy. This showcases a diversity and inclusion workplace example that’s delivered exceptional results.

The program is built on this fact; workforce inclusion can offer companies a competitive advantage. A growing number of public and private organizations have engaged CAI to solve their business problems. CAI Neurodiverse Solutions associates work for pharmaceutical companies, law firms, banking and financial institutions, healthcare solutions providers, and more. They write test scripts for new enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, analyze data for reporting, develop software, and manage identity and access tools. The industries and job titles might vary, but one thing is consistent: the teams are excelling.

Team leads are critical to successful integration of neurodiverse talent

Why does this model work so well? Why do our clients see such success in building employment practices that include neurodivergent individuals? The key ingredient is the CAI team lead. CAI team leads serve in an important capacity as a liaison, mentor, and supervisor to team members, providing essential communication, technical know-how, and coaching that enables people to do their best work. These are the hallmarks of a successful workforce inclusion initiative and essential components of our commitment to our clients.

Team leads are trained and neurodiversity-certified to work with neurodivergent individuals as designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). These certifications are crucial for equipping team leads with the necessary skills on how to implement diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This also serves to ensure that the team leads embrace and follow industry standards and best practices for workplace communication, optimal team workflow, and professional development. Their leadership activities commence during our Talent Discovery Session and sustain throughout the client engagement.

Team leads work with each of our enterprise clients to understand their specific business problems, tailor the workflow to address those problems, measure the team’s results on a regular basis, and continuously develop and evolve the team’s skills as needed. They also work closely with each associate to further develop them and help them reach their potential. The focus is not exclusively to support the current role, but also to aid these neurodivergent associates in achieving both short- and long-term career goals.

Conclusion

This commitment to workplace inclusion ensures positive outcomes for our teams. Employees receive the training, ongoing support, and resources they need to excel at their jobs and fully contribute to an organization's success. At a dental insurer, the team verified data with 95 percent accuracy. At a health solutions provider, the team completed 4 times the number of security requests it is asked to complete. Findings from collective clients show that productivity increases by as much as 120 percent when they employ CAI Neurodiverse Solutions associates.

Interested organizations can learn more about how to achieve workplace inclusion by watching our recorded webinar or filling out the form below.

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Interested in learning more about how we can help your organization build or expand your existing neurodiversity employment program? We'd love to talk.

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