Inclusive Behaviours: A Guide for People Leaders

As People Leaders, your role goes beyond managing tasks; it extends to nurturing a workplace culture that values diversity and inclusivity. When it comes to supporting your neurodivergent employees, it’s essential to foster inclusive behaviors that make everyone feel welcomed and valued. This article will provide you with practical examples of inclusive behaviors and encourage you to reflect on your leadership style.

Active Listening

Active listening is an essential skill for promoting inclusivity. It involves giving your full attention when someone is speaking, demonstrating empathy, and seeking to understand their perspective. For neurodivergent employees, this can make a significant difference.

Example: During a team meeting, when an employee with ADHD is speaking, listen attentively without interrupting and show understanding if they require more time to express themselves clearly.

Clear and Explicit Communication

Neurodivergent individuals may benefit from clear and explicit communication. Use straightforward language and provide context when explaining tasks or expectations.

Example: When assigning a project, be specific about the goals, deadlines, and any potential challenges the team might face.

Flexibility in Work Arrangements

Offer flexible work arrangements to accommodate the diverse needs of your team. This may include flexible hours, remote work options, or adjustments to the physical workspace.

Example: Allow an employee with sensory sensitivities to use noise-canceling headphones or work in a quieter area if necessary. Recognize and Celebrate Differences

Inclusive leaders celebrate diversity by recognizing and appreciating the unique skills and strengths of each team member, including those who are neurodivergent.

Example: Acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of an employee with dyslexia, who excels in problem-solving and creative thinking.

Encourage Self-Advocacy

Empower your employees to speak up about their needs and preferences. Create a safe space where they can openly communicate their challenges and the support they require.

Example: Encourage an employee with autism to express their sensory sensitivities and suggest adjustments that can improve their work environment.

Offer Training and Sensitivity Programs

Provide training and awareness programs on neurodiversity to your team. These programs can help create a more inclusive and understanding workplace culture.

Example: Organize a workshop on neurodiversity and invite guest speakers to share their experiences and insights.

Regular Check-Ins

Schedule regular one-on-one check-ins with your team members, including those who are neurodivergent. Use these meetings to discuss their progress, challenges, and any accommodations they may require.

Example: In your check-in with an employee with ADHD, ask if they need support in managing their workload or if they require any specific accommodations.

Reflecting on Your Leadership

Inclusivity begins with self-awareness. Take the time to reflect on your leadership style and how it impacts your team, especially your neurodivergent members. Ask yourself:

  • Do I actively listen and seek to understand different perspectives?
  • Am I fostering a workplace culture where diversity is celebrated and valued?
  • Do I encourage open communication and self-advocacy among my team members?
  • Have I provided opportunities for learning and awareness on neurodiversity?


Fostering inclusive behaviors is not only a responsibility but also an opportunity to create a workplace where every team member can thrive. As a People Leader, your actions and attitudes have a profound impact on the culture of your team. By implementing these inclusive behaviors and actively reflecting on your leadership, you can contribute to a more inclusive and diverse work environment, supporting all of your employees, including those who are neurodivergent.