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Supporting ADHD in the workplace as an interim manager

As an interim manager, getting to know your team and how they work is crucial to your success. This is especially important when working with neurodiverse colleagues who may require additional support to reach their maximum potential. In this blog, we zoom in on ADHD and how to accommodate those with the condition as an interim manager. 

For a more holistic overview of supporting neurodivergence at work, check out this blog post by our sister brand. 

Be receptive 

The effects of ADHD can vary from person to person – that’s why it’s important to talk to your staff and find out what adjustments would help support their individual needs. Communicate that you are open-minded to finding solutions where productivity could be compromised as a result of the condition. This might include implementing more flexible work hours or cutting down on non-essential aspects of the role such as lengthy admin tasks, which may feel overwhelming to those with ADHD.

Email prompts are your friend 

 Get into the routine of delivering briefs via email rather than verbally. For essential meetings, provide a written follow-up of all the key action points afterwards. ADHD can impact short-term memory, as well as the ability to take in lots of information so having written confirmation of tasks can be super useful! 

Be firm with deadlines 

Being vague will not get you far with someone who has ADHD. When setting a task, be specific with the deadline so you can be sure it will be completed on time. “Have the presentation finished by 4PM Tuesday” is more helpful than “Get it to me by the end of the week”. 

Lack of focus – doesn’t mean bad work ethic 

People with ADHD have likely grown up being told that they’re lazy, unfocused and careless – don’t let that false stigma follow them into the workplace. Create an environment where your staff feel supported and ‘seen’. This can only happen when managers are open and happy to make adjustments where necessary. 

Be patient 

Even if the way one of your neurodivergent team members is working seems out of the ordinary (e.g. making excessive notes, fidgeting or taking frequent breaks), it is important to be patient and allow them the space to work how they feel most comfortable. As long as it’s not negatively impacting company progress or disrupting fellow colleagues then what does it matter anyway, eh? 

We hope you found this guidance useful. For further career advice and industry insight, check out our full blog here

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