As an employer, you want to create a positive and productive work environment where every employee can work to their full potential and feel a sense of accomplishment. If you have employees with ADHD, knowing and understanding their ADHD-associated strengths and weaknesses is a great place to start.
There are many strategies you can implement to help your employees with ADHD to succeed in the workplace. You can start to create an ADHD-friendly work environment and ADHD-friendly management by making some of the following changes:
Employees with ADHD frequently underestimate how long a project will take or how much time they have until a deadline.
- More frequent check-ins (e.g., from manager, computer-based reminders) can help keep projects moving at the desired pace
- Two fifteen-minute meetings a week can help the employee stay on track
- Long-term projects should be divided into defined, short-term tasks with real deadlines
Being easily distracted can interfere with concentration and ultimately the timely completion of tasks.
- Avoid open office arrangements with few walls or dividers to filter out conversations and other noises
- More privacy and quiet can be helpful to keep someone with ADHD on task
- Provide a non-distracting work space (both visually and auditorily)
- Allow opportunities to work from home or through telecommuting
- Avoid multitasking and frequent interruptions (e.g., phone calls, paging)
- Allow the individual to work flexible hours (e.g., arrive early, work late or on weekends when it’s quieter in the office)
Assign tasks according to your employee’s strengths and preferences
Streamline routines and provide adequate administrative support to relieve employee of ADHD-unfriendly activities as much as possible (e.g., paperwork, filing, scheduling)
Provide regular, supportive supervision and communication, and work with your employee to find constructive solutions
- Provide written instruction/communication
- Set short-term goals
- Help set priorities
- Help problem-solve
- Help them stay motivated with frequent encouragement
The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat has prepared a document to help provide a general process to follow when assessing a accommodation request. This document is called Duty to Accommodate – A General Process for Managers and is available on the Treasury Board website
Myth:I don’t have all the symptoms of ADHD, so I can’t have it.
Fact:You don’t have to display all the symptoms of ADHD in order to be diagnosed with it. For example, some people have the “inattentive” type of ADHD and may not show many signs of hyperactivity. Only a trained professional can determine whether or not you have ADHD.