UK businesses are at risk of alienating neurodiverse employees through a lack of support in the workplace as two-thirds (64%) of neurodiverse employees believe that should be receiving more support from their employer.

New research from employee benefits technology company Zest, reveals that half (49%) of neurodiverse employees believe that they are poorly supported at their company – this concern is echoed by employers as a fifth (22%) of HR leaders admit that they struggle to cater to the needs of neurodiverse staff.

Neurodiverse employees account for a growing portion of the workforce – four in ten (38%) HR leaders have seen an increase in the number of employees with neurodiverse conditions in the last year.

Although four in ten (37%) businesses have already invested in increased support for neurodiverse employees such as additional mental health resources for these employees, the dissatisfaction with the level of support suggests that employers need to not only broaden support but also focus on its communication and delivery.

The commercial benefits of improving support for neurodiverse employees are clear – over a third (35%) of HR leaders believe that having more neurodiverse employees has boosted productivity whilst 31% believe this segment of the workforce has made the business more profitable.

Recent research from Deloitte indicates that the employer cost of poor employee mental health is £51bn per year*. The research also reveals the commercial benefits of supporting employee mental health and wellbeing – for every £1 spent on this support, productivity increased by an average of £4.70.

Failing to effectively support neurodiverse staff can also impact talent attraction and retention. Half (48%) of neurodiverse employees believe that their benefits package is inadequate and more than six in ten (62%) would leave their current job for a company that has more inclusive benefits and initiatives, much higher than the 46% UK average.

Employee benefits packages provide a clear, cost-effective route to improving the experience of neurodiverse employees in the workplace – three quarters (74%) want more personalised benefits that are relevant to them and over half (52%) said they would use their benefits more if the platform was easier to use. Matt Russell, CEO of Zest comments: 

Although many employers are stepping up investment in this area, clearly neurodiverse employees feel there is a long way to go before the level of support offered in the workforce meets their expectations. Increasing investment in benefits packages is an effective approach to delivering enhanced and targeted support to employees which makes them feel more valued, motivated and ultimately benefits the organisation as well as the individual.

Matt Russell, CEO of Zest

Adopting employee benefits technology can enable greater personalisation and flexibility of benefits – including more sustainable options. Using data and insights, employers can send targeted communications to employees to accommodate changing demands while ensuring that the right benefits reach the right employees at the right time.

Unfortunately, at present just 29% of employees believe that their company’s benefits platform supports their individual needs and two in five (39%) employees would like their company to invest in their benefits platform more to increase accessibility.

Joanne Swann, Content Manager, WorkWellPro
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.