Do your employees groan or avoid eye contact when you mention planning a team-building exercise? Perhaps they're thinking of old-school activities like trust falls and egg-on-spoon races! Those cringe-worthy team building experiences of the past. You know the ones—the ones that felt more like a punishment than a boost to morale. Trust falls don’t really ensure personal boundaries - Yikes!
We’re well into a shift to remote workforces and stats indicate that all is well productivity-wise, as stated by Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman. “We learned that we could not only effectively operate our business as a distributed remote workplace, but that our people could thrive and be just as, if not more, productive while remote." However, the once “not normal” in business culture is creeping into the virtual business lives and blurring the lines between what’s acceptable at home and what’s acceptable in the office.
The challenge in including neurodiverse individuals in the workplace is often a lack of awareness and inclusive infrastructure. James Townend, an ASD corporate trainer that lives the experience himself, recounts: "…neurotypicals like things in a box, or template, as it is easier to understand. When you go out of the box, that brings discomfort. I bring my diagnosis up as I want to be honest and because I am proud of who I am. But are others as accepting?"
So, let’s take for example the new hire, often referred to as the ‘diversity hire.’ This phrase usually refers to an employee from an underrepresented group. This term is disparaging and bias implying the new employee was hired to tick the diversity box, not based on merit. Simply by using this term within the company, the individual might be singled out.