Become a NICE Place to Work

Introducing the NICE Kitemark for Employers

The NICE Kitemark is awarded to signify a high standard of achievement by employers who
embrace, embody and lead the way in supporting individuals with neurodivergent profiles.
Equality and diversity are now widely understood and adopted as part of statutory requirements
for employers, and yet neurodiversity is still not widely understood.


Neurodiversity…

Neurodiversity refers to a difference in the way that the brain receives and interprets information.
The term includes autism, attention deficit, dyspraxia, dyslexia, and other conditions that affect the
way we think, interpret, react and interact with the world around us.

The kitemark stands for: Neurodiversity, Inclusivity, Confident, Employer. Employers who achieve this high standard will be making the workplace better for all employees by embedding a positive organisational culture in the following ways:

Inclusivity…

Creating inclusive processes, removing unconscious bias and changing the way we assess the
worth of an individual requires a paradigm shift. In doing so, we give opportunity to those who may think, act and respond differently to us, and how we expect. Not only is this the right thing to do, but we can build the strongest teams full of individuals who bring new thinking, energy and innovation into the organisation.

Confident…

Confidence is created by being a champion of advocacy, efficacy and perspective. Confident
employers will have a positive perspective and culture, empower individuals, and acquire skills and knowledge. Confident employers know that a strength-based approach when selecting and recruiting individuals is at the heart of inclusive recruitment. Strengths are defined within Positive Psychology as “values in action”.


“Skills can be learned, values are embedded”…

If we select individuals based on their strengths, such as honesty, loyalty, love of learning rather than simply by creating a list of positive attributes and skills that match a job description or skills matrix – the result is that we give someone an opportunity who fits the organisational culture at a fundamental level. We can always develop their skills, but values and traits are fixed!

Avoiding Bias

When we then select an individual for an interview, we often judge them based on their ability to sell themselves both in writing and in person. Part of this judgment is based on the connection that we feel, which may relate to their personality, how they made US feel about ourselves, or that which we perceived we had in common. Not only does this method base the decision making on personality, but disadvantages individuals who are not able to sell themselves reactively, such as autistic individuals who will often be very honest and factual in writing and in person!


“Can you give me an example of how you work well in a team?”
Answer: “I don’t work well in teams; I prefer to work on my own!”


From the above question and answer, the individual will often be marked down for stating the truth, and yet the level of natural honesty being witnessed should be applauded as a strength and virtue!

Employer…

Many employers will adapt their recruitment, selection and induction process to give a chance to neurodivergent individuals, and yet they will not consider the long-term working environment and culture. Within the physical environment an understanding of sensory differences that can exist within autism, including light, sound, sensitivity to smells, needing more time within conversations and meetings to express one’s opinions and ideas. Within many working cultures, the extraverts dominate the introverts, which is a shame because whilst introverts may not be as loud or forceful – they may have some fantastic ideas!


Becoming a NICE place to work and achieving the Kitemark

1) Attendance to one of the mandatory Neurodiversity training sessions (key staff). This may include HR staff, departmental managers and senior leadership team. Depending on the size of the organisation, Neurodiversity ambassadors may also be appointed.

2) A collaborative review of the organisational recruitment, selection and induction processes and operational policies and procedures.

3) A review of the working environment. This includes a neurodiversity impact assessment.

4) You write a simple report which encompasses your findings from your Neurodiversity Impact Assessment and establish how you will embody best practice within your day to day operation.

5) You submit your Impact assessment, report and Neurodiversity Policies & Procedures document together with an application form

6) If you are approved – you will be awarded the kitemark. If there is a little more work to do – then we will support you through the entire process.


What does it mean to achieve the Kitemark?

Through knowledge, training and support, together with the implementation of positive policies, processes and procedures – organisations will achieve the NICE Kitemark, which demonstrates their achievements and commitment to Neurodiversity in the workplace.

In attaining the kitemark, you will be taking a giant step towards a positive organisational culture which makes the workplace better for everyone! Organisations reaching this level should be proud


If you would like to learn more about becoming a NICE place to work, please contact us at: training@ppnetwork.org

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