ADHD Advice for Employers: 6 Keys to an Effective Work Environment

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ADHD advice for employers can be useful to help bolster communications between different personalities. Employers have the difficult job of managing different personalities, ensuring that a team hits deadlines, and making sure no one gets offended or left out. Of all these factors, people management can present the most challenges.

Many employers and managers tend to have type A personalities. They love lists, tasks, and efficient work completed on time. While many managers might thrive in this atmosphere, many employees with ADHD can’t function this way at all.

Personality and work style clashes can create a challenge for some employers. Unfortunately, managing diverse personalities doesn't come naturally for all of us. To better help you out as a manager, read on for 6 important tips on creating an effective work environment.

#1 Build a System of Accountability Without Being Overbearing

We all need accountability in our lives. This reality applies to employees and the workplace as well. Accountability can be a good thing, just be sure it doesn’t turn into micro managing every detail of your employees' lives.

Effective ADHD advice for employers includes creating some system of employee accountability. This could look like building in work groups where employees check in and follow up with their peers. Alternatively, this could resemble weekly check-ins where employees check in with a supervisor and give an outline of what they currently have on their workload.

Work towards building a system that tells your employees that you want to help them succeed. Make sure that you don’t create something that just adds additional work or stress, though. Employees, especially those with ADHD, will respond well to accountability that helps them stay on track.

#2 Shake Up the Routine

Effective ADHD advice for employers needs to include a discussion on routine. Routine is essential to an effective workplace. We need routines, especially those of us with ADHD, to help keep us on target. In fact, effective routines form the backbone of managing adult ADHD at work.

At the same time, though, we all need a little variety. For the sake of your employees with ADHD, don’t adhere so close to routine that it suffocates creativity.

Build in times for new activities and team building functions. Also, try to break up monotonous meetings. Try smaller group brain storming sessions for shorter periods of time. Build in breaks and activities into longer meetings that are necessary.

Learn more ways to shake up and change the regular routine. Ultimately, your employees will thank you for it.

#3 Give Short Well-Defined Goals and Expectations

All employees can benefit from well-defined goals and expectations, not just those with ADHD. This makes up the core of the best ADHD advice for employers.

Some managers have such a big picture view of things they fail to coach and guide their employees in the small facets of every day. The big vision is essential, but so is the daily work plan.

Think long term but give short-term objectives. Work on clearly defining measurable goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

#4 Learn to Be More Flexible

Rules and expectations make the world go round, and they keep an office running like it needs to. We all need rules and objectives, even those with ADHD. Sometimes, though, we also need flexibility in the midst of rules and structure.

Some of the best ADHD advice for employers surrounds building in more flexibility into the work environment. Nobody can perfectly live up to expectations or always follow a set schedule or always hit their sales goals. Instead of continually harping on what your employees do wrong, remind them when they do things right and be more understanding when they mess up.

Learning to be more flexible and showing that to your employees will benefit both you and your office environment.

#5 Find Ways to Engage Their Strengths

We all have strengths. Sometimes, though, we need encouragement and resources to engage those strengths. You can find much evidence that using the strengths of employees improves the work environment. To help your employees best, especially those with ADHD, find more ways to engage their strengths in the workplace.

Unfortunately, employees more often are used to seeing their weaknesses on display in the office. Flip this idea on its head. Encourage your employees and help build camaraderie by identifying strengths and matching them up with appropriate tasks. You could identify strengths through use of personality workshops or tests such as the Myers-Brigg personality test.

To make this ADHD advice for employers work, though, don’t just stop at identifying strengths. When you know and understand your employees’ strengths, such as creativity, find ways to encourage them such as asking for more employee input, scheduling brainstorming sessions, or assigning special projects.

#6 Practice and Encourage Empathy

All of us perform our best when we feel safe and accepted. A large part of feeling accepted involves being understood. To help best create a positive work atmosphere try to understand your employees through practicing and encouraging empathy.

Office life tends to be more known for a lack of empathy rather than understanding or acceptance. Your employees, though, and especially those with ADHD, will respond with greater efficiency if they know you care.

Understanding others’ emotions can be difficult. Many people with ADHD struggle with this, which makes ADHD and empathy a common issue.

Empathy can be taught and learned by example, though. As the manager or employer, you should set the tone and example for the whole office. Practice empathy and understanding and your employees will soon follow suit.

ADHD Advice for Employers Begins and Ends with Good Communication

Ultimately, most all of these tips begin and end with good communication. In order to help your employees succeed, you need to encourage positive communication in your office. Your employees, especially those with ADHD, need to understand they can talk to you and their co-workers and be heard.

You, as the employer, also need to know how to communicate effectively in providing goals, setting expectations, and communicating successes and failures. In the end, if you follow all the tips above and still have issues connecting with your employees with ADHD, go back to the beginning and start with communication. Effective communication will help resolve most of the problems you face and will help better your work environment overall.