Disability Accommodations Employers Can Implement and retain their employees
Promote Self Advocacy on the job
Executive Function Challenges are associated with many disabilities.
ADHD is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is not asking too much for adjustments to support a worker’s needs reasonably.
Employers can encourage new mentored employees to identify would be a reasonable accommodation for them.
Many people are afraid to ask for a quiet workspace or help to break down large jobs into smaller chunks. Most employers would be happy for such a simple accommodation!
Challenges Employers Face and Disability Accommodations Employers Can Easily Act on
Create an open line of communication that is safe and free of judgment to promote mentored to feel comfortable asking for help and advice. Discuss some common ways to manage problems employees may have, such as the ones below:
Asking for help We all need help from time to time, and it’s important not to be afraid to ask for it. Encourage the mentored if they have disruptive thoughts or behaviors to ask a counselor if they have any ideas they can try that could help them control them.
- Stress Management on the job to reduce anxiety
When they feel overwhelmed or frustrated, encourage them to seek advice right away. Or try sharing ways to self-calm like breathing techniques. The box breathing method of breathing in slowly for three counts, holding your breath for three counts and then releasing your breath for three counts for up to 10 minutes is a good one. This is a common technique to calm people down and gain focus.
Does your company have an area that people who need a quiet space can go to? Encourage your mentored to use that space if he/she needs help focusing without distractions. Headphones can be a significant noise canceler and provide a physical reminder of your concentration goal. You could encourage them to bring in a fidget toy such as a fidget spinner or rubric’s cube. It is proven that physical movement can help while trying to concentrate. Doodle! Writing notes and doodling while in a meeting can help you pay attention.
Mentoring for motivation tip
Create a short goal and set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes. Commit to focus on 1 task and accept whatever you got accomplished. When the time is up, regroup and set another goal and reset the timer. Keep this up for as long as it takes to feel accomplished. I have seen clients who use this and after the first 10 minutes, they have enough motivation to keep going and often end up in a hyper-focus mode and really accomplish a lot!
- Cell Phone Etiquette This is a good time to discuss cell phone use and expectations to put it away while at work. People with ADHD have a hard time with transitions between tasks and the constant beep and pings of a phone will be highly distracting for them.
- Exercise There is research that physical activity can help improve cognitive function. Does your company allow for short breaks for someone to walk around? This is a good strategy for the restless. Also, increases of testosterone that is linked to exercise have been shown to improvements in confidence, attention and memory. Also, it enhances confidence in problem-solving. Companies that promote a before, lunchtime or after work exercise group that I have excellent feedback from employees.
- The Break Room Brain food is known to help with symptoms of ADHD, such as brain fog. As a mentor, you can promote healthy and high protein snacks at work. It can ward off employee mood swings and sustain consistent energy levels throughout the workday.
The end goal is to promote a culture that is positive, cohesive and genuine. Current labor pools are independent thinkers, pessimistic and savvy to the intentions of leadership roles. It would pay off to invest in their well being to create a family atmosphere where they feel valued and the end result for you will be a better output.
“A truly great mentor is hard to find, difficult to part with and impossible to forget
A well thought out mentoring program that implements these strategies may lay the groundwork for employees who cannot bear to leave your company, giving you an edge on the labor market. Not only will the company benefit from a well-trained potential employee but also the structure, tools and resources will help the mentored in other areas of their life as well by creating an unforgettable experience.
You might just help more than the intern employee too.
Since all employees can exhibit similar challenges experienced by someone with executive function challenges such as ADHD at different times of their lives, these strategies can have a positive effect on all trained employees within the company. By providing the structure and framework to handle executive function challenges for all, you will have a smoother running company with employees who have the knowledge and strategies to work through workplace challenges as they arise and feel connected to their workplace.
Work to train and retain your recruits!
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.