Paul had always been a good IT Systems and Network Manager. He was on hand to help his colleagues out when they ran into problems they couldn’t fix and his expertise was in high demand. He had played a large part in the system’s original design and implementation at the company and had been extremely good at finding cost-effective solutions for system upgrades, expansions or modifications. However, his frequent sickness absences and negative demeanour towards his colleagues and managers whenever sudden changes had been introduced to certain procedures within the company saw him being overlooked on several occasions when he should have been promoted to a more senior position.
In 2015, Paul’s performance suddenly dropped dramatically. He became uncharacteristically emotional, appeared generally stressed and anxious and was complaining of frequent headaches. Medical investigations were inconclusive. Paul felt that the new office arrangements were to blame, but could not explain why this should be at the root of his problems. The firm had moved to a new building with open plan offices at the end of 2014. In the old building, Paul had his own office.
One of Paul’s colleagues, familiar with the issues surrounding Asperger’s Syndrome, suggested to the Managing Director that Paul might be on the autistic spectrum. On broaching this idea with Paul, he had initial reservations. However, as the company was very supportive of him and had a genuine interest in restoring him to the valuable employee that he once had been, it was decided that Aspiedent CIC should be consulted to assess the situation.
During Paul’s workplace assessment, we looked in detail at all factors surrounding Paul’s working environment and conducted a full sensory assessment.
In our report, we recommended simple changes to Paul’s working environment and autism awareness training for all managers to enable them to pick out other members of staff who might be struggling, whether diagnosed or not.
Following the implementation of these measures, the situation improved very quickly. Paul was finally promoted to a position, which suited his level of expertise, and his change in demeanour and attendance meant that his team benefited greatly from his good communication and mentoring skills. In short, Paul had become an extremely reliable and effective member of his team and an invaluable asset to his company.
The positive outcome of Paul’s assessment provoked the company into taking an audit of all staff to establish if any were struggling for similar reasons and to put measures in place.
Today, this company is not only embracing diversity and inclusivity but has seen a substantial improvement in work satisfaction and efficiency for all their staff. This has boosted productivity and profitability and has given the company a distinctive advantage over their competitors.
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I enjoyed understanding myself better. I better understand my own sensory issues and way of learning. I better understand social chit chat and the way non autistic people think.
This training has helped me to understand my sensory issues and those of others. To understand that it is ok to be eccentric, and to understand social chit chat.
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