Businesses will be challenged both externally and internally as they adapt to changing economies and demographics of the future.
In the United States, 10,000 people leave the workforce daily to retire. This, along with a lower birth rate, will leave many companies scrambling to find suitable replacements for a growing number of jobs. Employment candidates who may have previously been passed over due to their disabilities will be a valuable pool of potential employees for the growing number of unfilled positions.
Whether you are a small business owner with 15 or fewer employees or a multi-national corporation, your success is dependent on the people you employ. Hiring employees is a costly undertaking in time, energy, and resources, especially in smaller businesses. Employers continuously search for people with the skills and experience that add value to your organization. The goal is to retain a solid team whose members are closely involved and engaged with your business and its internal and external stakeholders.
Employees with ADHD can be key drivers of your success, provided you can work together and provide them accommodations to work around their conditions. In this article, we’ll review some ADHD work accommodations examples which you can implement to boost your workforce and lead them to success.
Overcoming Barriers in the Workplace
While medication and therapy can help people with ADHD overcome a majority of their symptoms, in some cases, there is still a need for a job coach. A job coach may assist the person with developing self‑confidence, strength-building, and overcoming weaknesses. Coaches help individuals by assisting in time management, organizational skills, establishing priorities, building self-acceptance, building self-esteem, mastering interpersonal skills and techniques, and self-monitoring.
Besides using a workplace coach, the person may wish to consider changing jobs to one that is more ADHD-friendly. Jobs that are more flexible in their daily routine or self-employment opportunities are often good choices. Whereas, positions more oriented toward production and repetitive in nature are not as good a match.
Support groups, such as ADDA’s ADHD at Work, can be an invaluable source of information and knowledge how to tackle ADHD at the workplace and find support from likeminded individuals.
ADHD Work Accommodations Examples
Sometimes in a work environment, accommodation is also needed. ADHD is considered a disability and is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Examples of work accommodations include:
- Delegating work
- Frequent breaks
- Technology assistance
- Realistic workload
- Workspace alterations
- Work schedule changes
- Changing positions
Despite individuals being able to request accommodations under the ADA, this is not common. ADHD is an invisible disorder and, like most mental disorders, it may not be understood or accepted by others. Moreover, there seems to be a lack of knowledge surrounding what is an appropriate accommodation under the ADA. Adults may find that they need to educate their employer regarding their ADHD symptoms, and how they could improve their work performance with the aid of accommodations.
What Are the Employer’s Legal Rights and Responsibilities Regarding Accommodations?
Read our article – Employers’ Rights and Responsibilities Regarding ADHD
What Are the Benefits of Offering Accommodations?
Accessible employment practices that are inclusive for people with disabilities are good for your bottom line. Some of the benefits for those who have invested in inclusive practices include the following:
- Better job retention
- Higher attendance
- Lower turnover
- Enhanced job performance and work quality
- Better safety records
Statistics Canada found that such practices lead to a 72% higher staff retention rate among people with disabilities, 90% did well or better than co-workers’ without disabilities, and 86% with disabilities were rated average or better in attendance. (Deloitte, The Road to Inclusion).
What Are the Costs of Typical Accommodations?
Most employers report little to no cost by offering accommodations.
- 58% stated no cost
- 37% indicated a one-time cost
- 1% said the accommodation required a combination of both
The typical one-time expenditure by employers surveyed was $500. When asked how much they paid for an accommodation beyond what they would have paid for an employee without a disability who was in the same position, employers typically answered around $400. 74% of said employers reported that accommodations were very or extremely effective.
Study Source: Job Accommodation Network, Jan – Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact, 2015
What’s the ROI of Providing Accommodations?
There are direct and indirect benefits that are reflected in your bottom line.
- Retention of valued employees
- Increased public profile
- Community investment
- Recognition of leadership in the design of accessibility procedures.
As the population ages and the pool of available employees shrinks, companies that have already embraced hiring and retaining employees with disabilities will have an advantage, by being highly regarded by potential employees and the community.
The Right Way to Implement Accommodations for ADHD Employees
A process of structure and flexibility is crucial for allowing parties to participate in stages of setting up accommodations for employees with ADHD, thus allowing them to do their job tasks effectively. The protocol ranges from complex, written accommodation to a quiet simple process based on the size of your organization. It’s most beneficial to keep an open mind and know that your employee wants to perform well and be a productive member of the team.
- Determine the reason why the employee needs an accommodation to better respond to accommodation needs.
- Explore accommodation options with the employee.
- Together choose an option that will be implemented. Although the employer is free to choose among effective accommodation options, it’s a good idea to truly consider employee preference.
- Provide effective training for employees and their supervisors or manager on how the accommodation is to be implemented.
- Monitor the effectiveness of the accommodation and make adjustments if needed. This requires a regularly scheduled review of the plan.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Statistics Canada
- FEDERAL REGISTER
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Canadian Human Rights Code
- Employment Equity
- Reasonable Accommodations / Duty to Accommodate
- The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA)
- Accessibility Act by Province (Ontario (AODA) has set the standard for the other provinces to spearhead the design of and proposal to the government to legislate).