April is Autism Awareness Month and Precision Resource Group (PRG) would like to highlight the importance of Autism awareness in the workplace and talk about how inclusive practices allow everyone including neurodivergent employees to feel comfortable and perform to the best of their ability.
Autism awareness month is an opportunity to raise awareness about autism and the misconceptions surrounding autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Many Neurodivergent individuals can experience exclusion and a lack of understanding when facing everyday scenarios and in the workplace. Precision Resource Group aim to challenge those misconceptions.
Joining the ENEI (Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion) allows PRG to be kept up to date with ongoing work-related causes and promote inclusive practices through employer guides, policy briefings, case studies, and further tools. It also presents an opportunity for our people to grow their knowledge outside of their everyday tasks and network during webinars.
One of the most recent webinars held with the ENEI was ‘Thinking Differently About Autism in the Workplace’ hosted by Aidan Healy, Business Psychologist, Neurodiversity Celebration Week Campaign Director, and Chair of Lexxic, Alex Manners, Neurodiversity and Autism Speaker and Abigail Tennant who has had experience with coaching and completing assessments with neurodivergent individuals.
The webinar was informative and shared knowledge on the challenges individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face in the workplace and in their everyday lives. As an employer, there were also important facts to take away including the point that not everyone who has been diagnosed with ASD will communicate in the same way and so should be individually assessed and spoken to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace.
During the webinar, Aidan said, “There is a saying in the Autistic community that if you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with Autism”.
To continue to support everyone at PRG, here are a couple of examples of how we can help support individuals with ASD in the workplace –
– Ask how the person would like to be referred? i.e. An Autistic person, a person with Autism on the spectrum.
– Listen to what they need to feel supported; everyone is different, and what works for one person may be different to another.
– Try to be more understanding towards common autistic traits such as not giving a handshake, avoiding eye contact, and misinterpreting a question based on the language used.
– Providing a mentor or a person they trust and feel comfortable around to share any concerns or adaptations they may need.
At Precision Resource Group, inclusivity is key and for this reason, everyone is provided with a mentor when starting the business to create another open space where they can be heard outside of their team. Team managers and HR are always available to talk about working-from-home options and other solutions to accommodate the individual.
There are also alternative Club Lunches each month such as Spa days, Sky diving and Theme parks to include everyone and provide an alternative to the restaurant incentives. Well-being and inclusion are paramount in creating a positive and thriving work culture for all employees.