5 Ways You Can Help an Employee With ADHD Succeed

13/03/2023
CADDAC Team

When it comes to nurturing a productive, motivated and happy workplace, a one-size-fits-all management style isn’t always the best route to take. For those with ADHD, a more thoughtful and customized approach might be required to help them thrive at your company. Here are a few ways you can accommodate your employee with ADHD and set them up for success.

Adjust the workplace environment

For those with ADHD, a suitable working environment can make a huge difference. An open-concept office space might work for a neurotypical employee, but someone with ADHD might require a quiet space with minimal distraction. Allowing the use of headphones, white or brown noise machines or sunglasses would also be helpful ways to help manage distractions. However, it’s important to note that what might help one person with ADHD won’t work for another. Just as each human being is unique, ADHD is unique in both symptoms and severity for each person.

Assign tasks based on their strengths

Acknowledging and supporting an employee with ADHD’s strengths will be very validating for them! Allowing them to focus on tasks that emphasize their strengths or interests will let them know they are considered a valuable contributor to your workplace, and have a positive effect on productivity and morale. Work with their symptoms, rather than against them.

Offer a flexible schedule

Time management and problems with sleep are common struggles for those with ADHD, so following a typical 9 to 5 schedule could be very difficult. Some employees might be more productive starting later in the afternoon and working late, whereas others might require frequent, structured breaks throughout the day. Offering flexible work hours to your employees with ADHD can help to regulate their energy levels, reduce the risk of work-related burnout and encourage productivity.

Put instructions and task details in writing

Those with ADHD struggle with executive dysfunction, meaning they can have a hard time with staying organized, time management, processing information, or remembering details of a project or conversation. Allowing them to take notes in meetings and providing thorough instructions in an email or to-do list will make sure important details won’t slip through the cracks. Be sure to include important due dates, timelines or step-by-step instructions for more laborious tasks.

Ask them directly!

Perhaps it goes without saying, but the best thing you can do is ask your employee with ADHD for their input before you make any changes to your workplace and management style. Spend some time getting to know them and take note of any behaviors or habits they struggle with in the workplace. Try not to minimize or brush off the symptoms the employee tells you – work together to brainstorm any possible solutions. After all, they know themselves better than anyone else and will know what accommodations would be most helpful!

Takeaways

As with all employees, over time you’ll begin to understand how each individual works and slowly identify their unique skills and talents. For an employee with ADHD, a bit more attention may be required to yield drastically better results. Taking the time to collaborate and find strategies that help them navigate any trouble spots they’re having in the workplace will make a lasting impact. 

Click here for a list of ADHD Symptoms, Impairments and Accommodations in the Work Environment.

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