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Part 2 – Inclusive Recruitment: Upgrade your Onboarding

Jun 17, 2024

A positive induction and onboarding experience is crucial to valuing and retaining new hires. When welcoming new employees, every company has its own distinct onboarding procedures. However, there are common factors and considerations that organisations can assess to ensure that the onboarding process is neuro-inclusive and accessible to everyone.

The prospect of joining a new company can be daunting and emotional for everyone, but for neurodivergent individuals, this experience can be even more complex. Someone who is neurodivergent may choose to disclose at any point in the recruitment process or when they have started work. A survey by the Association for Project Management (2023) found that 40% of participants chose not to disclose their neurodivergence to their managers. This might be because these employees fear discrimination, which is why over 70% of neurodivergent individuals mask their neurodiversity (Accenture, 2023). By understanding and addressing these challenges, organisations can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment.

The importance of effective and inclusive onboarding

Transitioning into a new job can be stressful, but a structured and clear pre-onboarding and onboarding journey can reduce this anxiety. Providing new recruits with necessary information upfront, such as guidance on appropriate attire and directions allows them plenty of time to prepare adequately for their first day.

According to Workleap (2021), studies have shown that 69% of employees are more likely to remain with their company for at least three years if they have a positive onboarding experience. In the constant competition for top talent, companies that understand the value of effective onboarding are the ones that will retain and nurture their workforce. Here are five reasons why effective onboarding is crucial:

  1. Reduces anxiety and stress: clear communication and guidance can alleviate the uncertainty that comes with starting a new job. This helps employees’ transition smoothly and confidently into their new roles.
  2. Boosts productivity and engagement: providing employees with the tools, resources, and knowledge they need to succeed in their roles, will accelerate their ability to contribute effectively leading to faster productivity.
  3. Establishes consistent processes and guidelines: improves overall efficiency and maintains good practice in operations across the organisation.
  4. Improve retention rates: effective onboarding will allow new hires to feel welcomed and valued from the start, which can significantly improve their loyalty to the company.
  5. Facilitates social integration: onboarding programs allow opportunities for new employees to meet their colleagues and build relationships. This social integration fosters a sense of belonging which is essential for a collaborative work environment.

Accommodation requests

Accommodations and reasonable adjustments, such as flexible work hours, equipment, or supportive communication strategies, can significantly enhance an individual’s ability to perform their job effectively. However, neurodivergent individuals may feel uncomfortable or apprehensive about requesting such accommodations due to stigma or fear of discrimination. It’s important to note that in accordance with the Equality Act (2010), organisations and employers have a legal obligation to provide reasonable adjustments at work, ensuring equal access to opportunities and creating a supportive environment where employees feel safe and empowered to express their needs without fear of negative consequences. Providing such accommodations not only promotes inclusivity but also enables individuals to fully contribute their skills and talents in the workplace.

Employees who meet the eligibility criteria have the opportunity to apply for a grant through Access to Work (AtW). This grant caters to individuals with physical or mental health conditions, disabilities, neurodiversity, or those in need of assistance to fulfil their job responsibilities. The assessor may propose various solutions for the workplace, including office equipment, assistive technology, and coaching tailored to the employee’s needs. It is crucial for employers to actively promote this support system within the organisation, as some employees may be unaware of the available assistance.

Exploring the role of HR

HR plays a vital role in establishing a comprehensive and impactful onboarding process for new employees. It is important for HR to take into account the individual and diverse needs of every new starter, including those who are neurodivergent. This not only promotes diversity and inclusion but also contributes to the overall psychological well-being and sense of safety within the organisation.

However, according to People Management (2023), 77% of HR professionals have not received specific training regarding neurodiversity. This statistic underscores the critical importance of providing up-to-date training to HR professionals, ensuring that they are well-equipped to support and accommodate the needs of all employees.

How we can help

At Thriiver, we support individuals and organisations to become more neuro-inclusive, enabling everyone to have an opportunity to succeed within the organisation. We specialise in providing bespoke solutions, such as our comprehensive Awareness Training program, designed to assist companies in developing onboarding processes that are inclusive and cater to the diverse needs of all employees. Our tailored approach allows us to customise our services to align with the specific requirements of both the organisation and the individual. This may include a range of strategies such as engaging lunch and learn sessions, personalised one-on-one workplace needs assessments, and co-coaching to create a supportive and inclusive environment for all.

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