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21 March 2024

Creating a Neurodiverse-Friendly Workplace: Insights from our Neurodivergent Community


At Hippo, we are looking to become a workplace environment that is inclusive and supportive of neurodivergents. Through engaging with our neurodivergent community members, we’ve gathered invaluable insights on what can be done to enhance the workplace experience for everyone.

Neurodiversity at Hippo: Plenty to be proud of. Plenty space for improvement.

We are proud that some of the suggestions are common practices but we are not claiming to be flawless. We arrive at this subject with humility and are prepared to listen and improve.

Listen and acknowledge:

When employees disclose their neurodiversity or disability, it’s crucial to listen attentively and acknowledge the courage it took for them to share this information. Follow up comprehensively to provide necessary support and clarity on the next steps.

Introduce adjustment passports

Using Disability / neurodiversity / workplace adjustment passports can create smoother transitions, especially when going onto a new client project. This can save individuals from having to repeatedly explain their needs.

Accessible recruitment

Start fostering inclusivity even before the recruitment stage by ensuring that websites are accessible and job ads convey the company’s commitment to supporting individuals with additional needs.

Create safe spaces

Establish open and safe spaces within the workplace where employees can voice their opinions and find support from peers. Initiatives like the Disabled Community, Disability Safe Space, and Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging forum have been beneficial in this regard.

Provide additional support

Offer additional support such as training or coaching tailored to the needs of neurodivergent employees. Allocate budgets to accommodate necessary accommodations.

Be open to adjustments

Recognise the importance of workplace adjustments such as flexible working arrangements. Allow individuals to work to the best of their ability by accommodating their unique needs. Importantly, adjustments should be implemented, reviewed and maintained to ensure this is more than a tickbox exercise.

Respect individual needs

Understand that not everyone experiences neurodivergence in the same way. Avoid assumptions and ask individuals what they need to thrive in their roles.

Foster openness

Encourage an open culture about neurodiversity in the workplace. Empower neurodivergent individuals to feel accepted and perform at their best.

Provide practical help

Offer practical assistance where possible, such as helping with claims from Access to Work or providing guidance on equipment procurement.

Structure meetings thoughtfully

Put together recommendations for structuring meetings or workshops, providing clear agendas and breaks to help individuals prepare and manage their energy effectively.

Adapt to individual needs

Be ready to adapt to the needs of people who are neurodivergent. Understand that what works for one person may not work for another, and be flexible in accommodating these differences.

Empowerment through change

Lastly, recognise that creating a neurodiverse-friendly workplace requires ongoing effort and adaptation. Empower individuals with hidden disabilities by focusing on the changes needed to make the environment more supportive and inclusive.

By implementing these suggestions and embracing a culture of inclusivity, we can create a workplace where every individual, regardless of neurodiversity, feels valued, supported, and empowered to succeed.