How can employers support staff with ADHD in the workplace?


October is ADHD Awareness Month,and so we are looking at how businesses can support employees with ADHD in the workplace. According to a survey by Motionspot, 35% of neurodiverse employees struggle with frequent distractions at work and the same amount report feeling anxious in social situations. 34% have experienced fatigue and burnout, and 31% find that the office can cause sensory overload. These hurdles can hold someone back significantly and not providing the right support to employees can impact staff retention, wellbeing and loyalty. Luckily, there are a number of ways to provide support as an employer, enabling people with ADHD to utilise their strengths and thrive in a workplace environment.


How to Support Employees with ADHD


  • Regularly Check In - A lot of the time, someone with ADHD has the intention to complete a task, but things can get in their way. ADHD can make it difficult to manage time effectively and someone could miscalculate how long a task will take. You can help by providing hard deadlines and helping them to determine how long they need. By regularly checking in, you can help to keep them on track and you can hold them accountable.


  • Focus on Short Term Goals - For someone with ADHD, it can be difficult to focus on the bigger picture and to see the end result, so simplify things with short term goals. Assign tasks with short timelines and break projects down into daily or weekly tasks. This increases the chance of something being done, rather than it being forgotten about because there’s no urgency.


  • Be Open Minded - One of the most important things to do when you are supporting an employee with ADHD is to be open minded. Get to know them as a person, their traits and challenges, and understand what works for them. It’s important to be open, honest and non-judgemental about their unique struggles in the workplace.


  • Help with Time Management - It’s not uncommon for people with ADHD to struggle with time management, short attention spans and poor planning. This could lead to delayed projects and tasks taking much longer than they need to. But, time management support can make a big difference. Make a point of outlining tasks, timescales and what is required of an employee. It’s also a good idea to provide reminders as the deadline is approaching.


  • Give Them Freedom - Give employees freedom to choose the way in which they approach a task, and allow them to use strategies that work for them. Even if their approach seems unconventional, trust that they know which processes enable them to complete tasks to a high standard and work in a timely manner.


Though people with ADHD are faced with unique hurdles and challenges at work, the right support can make a big difference. As an employer, it’s important to tailor your support to the individual, ensuring that they have everything needed to thrive at work.

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Posted by: Branwell Ford