ADHD: The Invisible Economic Strain In Our Workforce that you can change!

In a labor market that is at a historic low, businesses are seeing a high rate of turnover and even ghosting in the workplace.  It is a costly trend. Companies are seeing the value in shifting how they train to retain their employees.  It is far less expensive to invest in quality training while implementing a community mindset work culture that promotes retention than to continually train new employees.  Also, this nurtured environment promotes employee’s self-worth, work engagement and relationships with fellow colleagues.

The result is better morale, work productivity and lower employee turnover rates.

The positive workplace connections and better knowledge base for the demands of their job has the potential for big payoffs for the company in reduced hiring costs as well. Even governmental entities have recently voiced a need for diverse career options and training for this finicky labor pool. Talks of expanding apprenticeship programs are on the rise.

In order for the efforts to be successful, it is important to understand what challenges this group faces and how to best meet their needs.  This will ensure quality training for the companies that want to train and hire them.

According to the NCES there are approximately 20 million college students who entered college in the fall of 2018.  19.4% self-reported having a disability.  This number has nearly doubled from 10 years ago.  The impact on the educational system has been tremendous.   Colleges across the U.S. are developing programs to meet the needs of these diverse students.  The most prevalent disability is ADHD, a neurologically based disorder.

Of the students surveyed, 79% of the students who reported a disability listed ADHD as their challenge.

As these students enter our workforce, it would be beneficial for us to help them transition with a foundational employee skillset.   Often, these neurologically diverse groups need specific guidance and training that may be assumed and overlooked for the average employee. This invisible disability flies under the radar and yet has a very impactful effect on job success. 

As Sir Francis Bacon, stated in his Meditationes Sacrae (1597), “knowledge itself is power.”

It is at this point that we can illuminate the challenges around ADHD and take a look at ways to help them manage it and capitalize on their strengths.

For the ADHD employee, goals often seem to slip out of reach due to under managed and a misunderstood condition.  While no two people with the diagnoses are identical, here are common challenges associated with having an ADHD diagnosis.

Employees may have trouble:
  • Prioritizing & Procrastination
    The workload may become too burdensome if they do not have a clear hierarchal & strategic plan. Procrastination may set in.
  •  Initiating and Completing Tasks
    Tasks can be daunting and many distractions can derail them from starting and finishing them
  •  Organizing
    Without a priority system, often people do not know where to begin to organize their workspace.
  • Concentration
    While an ADHDer can hyper focus on something that is particularly interesting to them, it is difficult for them to concentrate on mundane work. It can feel overly boring to them and cause them to seek more gratifying interests breaking their ability to focus on what they KNOW they should be working on  ie…filing papers, etc.
  • Time Management
    This may make them late for work or important events and fall behind on projects in the workplace. This happens even with the best of intentions to be on time.
  • Impulsive Behavior
    Difficulty controlling anger and blurt thoughts without much filter that can come across as rude and insulting.
  • Following Directions
    Since the ability to remember information may take several steps that require focus, following directions can be difficult.

 

These behaviors often derail careers, ambitions, and relationships.

It is not uncommon to experience a high rate of job turnover due to either the person’s impulsive choice to leave the job or their behavior gets them fired. This can have a lasting effect on the person leaving, especially one that has been diagnosed with ADHD.  They may struggle with feeling shame and low-self esteem and become discouraged in their ability to perform in a job.

Employers who gain an understanding of the condition can create successful training, apprenticeships and mentoring programs that will promote better employee retention.

You do not have to have a disability to take advantage of some actions steps that can help the work flow and dynamics for employees. There are many life factors that can contribute to an employees work attitude and performance.  All can benefit from implementing company strategies that address these issues. In part II of this blog, I will address the issues with some helpful tips for employers to implement for all employees.

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges and find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is packed full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.