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CIPD’s Guide to Neuroinclusion

On February 20, 2024, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) released a comprehensive guide aimed at fostering neuroinclusion within the workplace, focusing mainly on autism and ADHD.

The guide offers insights into the intricate realm of neuroinclusion, beginning with essential definitions that set the stage for understanding. It emphasizes the importance of engaging with employees to determine appropriate language usage and highlights the significance of terms such as “neurodivergent” and “neurotypical.”

Central to the guide is the concept of “neurodiversity” as a spectrum of human brain functioning and “neuroinclusion,” as inclusion of neurodiversity by “consciously and actively including all types of information processing, learning and communication styles”. The guide emphasizes that despite the critical role diversity of thought plays in fostering innovation and creativity, the aspect of neurodiversity within organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) remains substantially overlooked.

To foster a neuroinclusive workplace environment, the guide suggests employers:

  • Deliberately considering office design;
  • Promote flexibility in work arrangements regarding time and location, while also accommodating diverse preferences in communication styles, instructions, and meeting formats;
  • Develop a culture of psychological safety where individuals feel empowered to seek support;
  • Acknowledge the unique needs of each person, even within shared neurodivergent identities;
  • Equip managers with the skills to facilitate open conversations and encouraging all staff members to request workplace adjustments to normalize the process; and
  • Cultivate a neuroinclusive culture through various means, including raising awareness of neurodiversity through training initiatives.

The guide further suggests integrating neurodiversity into recruitment and promotion procedures. This involves providing neuroinclusive interview training, exploring alternative assessment techniques and offering diverse career paths.

To initiate the journey towards neuroinclusion, the guide advises employers to:

  • Engage with employee resource groups to outline the strategic approach.
  • Offer training and support materials with references to expert organizations;
  • Inviting staff to share personal experiences; and
  • Conduct a thorough review of policies, processes, and technology to ensure neuroinclusivity.

The guide can be located here: Neuroinclusion at work | CIPD