Imagine your business had access to a resource that could change the way you do things, that could give you an edge over your competitors and that could provide you with a steady stream of ideas and fresh thinking. But because that resource comes in packaging that you don’t really like the look of, and it needs a special (but not expensive) environment to work properly, you decide to pass. Crazy, right? But you are probably doing it right now.
Unemployment rates for autistic people are appalling, as high as 80% in some areas. Yet these people have so many unique talents and insights that they are longing to put to work. They just need a chance and a few minor adjustments to perform at their best. It really is a no brainer. But if you are still not sure, here are 3 reasons why autistic people make great employees.
- Ideas, ideas, ideas
Most autistic brains just will not shut up. They keep throwing out ideas and thoughts whether we want them to or not. So why not get them working on the areas where your business needs ideas? Give us a problem and we will niggle away at it until we find a way through. We will likely come up with all sorts of different and creative approaches until we find the one that works. Not all of our ideas will be good ones or practical, but if you want to find the right idea or solution, the more options to pick from the better, right?
Autistic people are often easily obsessed. Once we get into something that catches our attention, we don’t want to stop. We shut out everything else and become completely consumed by our project. We see details that others might miss, and we want to see it through to the end. Even when we leave work for the day, we will probably keep thinking about the work even if we don’t want to – our brains are not the easiest to control, even for us, but that can work for you.
- Doing the right thing
Autistic people frequently have a big problem with injustice. We see things as quite black and white, which can be an issue, but we cannot bear to sit and watch something go horribly wrong without getting involved. And once we start on something, we very often won’t let it go. A former boss of mine loved it when he could set me on to resolving something that he needed sorting. He knew I would take it all the way to the top if necessary and refuse to let it go until it was fixed. Of course, I sometimes would apply the same approach to things that he would rather I left alone. But he eventually worked out that he could not have one without the other, and on balance it was a major asset for him.
Autistic people can be amazing employees and bring so much to their workplaces. In return, we may need a few adjustments to the workplace, like somewhere quiet or not too brightly lit, and we may find it hard to look you in the eye. We might seem a bit strange to you in some ways, though to be honest we probably feel the same about you! But if we can deliver what you need, aren’t those things rather minor?
We are all different, and of course you need the right people for your business. But if you are searching for that great untapped resource that your competitors have missed, autistic staff might very well be the answer.