Part 1 - The Business Case
What Can Make An Autistic Person A Good Employee?
1 in 66 Canadians has an autism diagnosis, and the numbers are rising. With those statistics, you may already have a person with Autism on your team. What can make a person with Autism a good employee?
- Dependable, honest, trustworthy, literal humor
- Highly original thinkers
- Retains knowledge with an impressive long term memory of facts
- Attention to details – sometimes a perfectionist in certain areas
- Problem solvers: seek solutions
- Strong skills in areas such as: art, music, math, literary, etc.
- Once trust is earned, very honorable and trustworthy employee
What Is Autism?
Autism is a “spectrum”, which means that it affects each individual differently. No one descriptor is accurate for all people with autism. Similarly, effective strategies for working with autistic individuals can vary greatly. If you are working with (or think you are working with) someone on the autism spectrum, you may notice the following:
- Awkward eye contact, postures, or gestures
- Delayed verbal responses
- Difficulty understanding tone, facial expressions, or other body language
- Unusual vocal pitch, intonation, or volume
- Highly developed areas of interest
- Difficulty initiating conversation
- Blunt, pointed remarks (“brutal honesty”)
- Use of calming strategies such as pacing or tapping
Myths / Facts About Hiring People With Autism
Employees with Autism have high absenteeism.
86% of employees with an intellectual disability or ASD rated average or better on attendance than their colleagues.
High performance employers are too competitive to hire people with ASD.
High performance employers are 37% more likely to hire people with an intellectual disability, because they are good talent matches for open positions.
Employees with ASD are at higher risk of injury or workplace accidents.
98% of people with a disability rate average or better in work safety than their non-disabled co-workers.
It costs too much to accommodate an employee with a disability.
The Job Accommodation Network studied 2000 employees and determined that 57% of employers reported no additional costs from hiring a person with an intellectual disability or ASD. 37% report a one-time minimal cost of less than $500.
Employees with ASD will not be able to contribute as much as their co-workers.
73% of employees report that they strongly agree that their new co-workers contribute as much as other to their organization.
Employees with ASD do not last in high performance workplaces.
Compared with the average turnover rate of 49% across all industries, employees with an intellectual disability, or ASD is considerably lower at just 7%.
The Numbers In Manufacturing
Hiring From The General Population
- The average cost to recruit, hire & train an employee is $4,200
- Average turnover rates in general population: 37% (source)
- The annual cost of turnover in a team of 40 people from the general population
would be $62,160
Hiring From The Autism Talent Pool
- The average cost to recruit, hire & train an employee is $4,200.
- Average turnover rates in the Autism Community: 7% (source)
- If you hired a team of 35 people from the general population and 5 people from the autism community, the annual cost of turnover for this team of 40 would be $52,920
That provides annual savings in turnover costs with a blended team of $9240. More importantly, it provides a stable, loyal, and committed workforce.