HomeBrand PostTechnologyFuture is brighter for awareness of neurodiversity

Future is brighter for awareness of neurodiversity

Attensi and Onebright co-create training to help all employees understand the needs of neurodivergent colleagues…    

LONDON, April 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Everyone should feel comfortable at work.

No-one should feel isolated, misunderstood or unseen.

Sadly, not all people feel as safe, valued and secure as they should – especially employees with conditions that aren’t necessarily visible, but who nevertheless feel vulnerable or at a disadvantage.

That can often be true for neurodiverse individuals – those with conditions such as autism, ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia. It’s especially true in retail, where staff routinely work on the frontline dealing with customers in an environment that can often be challenging and stressful.

It is an issue that has been raised by Attensi’s partners in the sector – and we are playing our part in raising awareness alongside Onebright, the UK’s largest outpatient mental healthcare provider, who works with more than 200 UK businesses to provide support and mental healthcare to employees.  

Decision making

Neurodiverse individuals are incredible assets to organisations of all shapes and sizes. By fostering inclusive and supportive working and learning environments, we can all help reduce the stigma around neurodiversity and embrace different perspectives and ways of thinking.

Alongside Onebright, we have created an app that throws light on neurodiversity in the workplace. The bespoke simulations we have created are designed to help line managers and senior leaders hold constructive conversations with staff; to help employees understand the needs of co-workers; and to tackle any stigma or confusion that surrounds neurodiversity in the workplace.

“When building this training journey we wanted to go beyond statistics and stereotypes,” said Justin Blanchard, Creative Director at Attensi.

“We have worked closely with neurodivergent individuals to incorporate their lived experience into the solution, as we wanted to ensure the delivery and content was completed in a sensitive way.

“With Onebright we designed simulations to reinforce positive decision-making and improve managers’ ability to help individuals with mental health conditions.”

It is clear from research carried out across the retail industry that working conditions and the nature of the employment can have a real impact on mental health and wellbeing. That was accelerated during the pandemic, when staff were often required to work in public in ways that left them feeling vulnerable to infection.

Research also shows that there is a need for greater education across the retail industry about neurodiversity and the unique skills and benefits that neurodiverse individuals bring to the workplace.

A Retail Trust survey looked at the mental health of employees in the sector and this is what it found:

  • Over 50% of 2,000 workers questioned could not recognise the signs of someone needing emotional support
  • Around 25% would not feel confident approaching an upset colleague
  • More than eight out of 10 (83%) said they have experienced a decline in their mental health in the last year, with retail workers aged between aged 16 and 29, those working in distribution and warehouses, and employees of larger retailers found to be struggling the most
  • 85% of retail managers reported an increase in mental health problems among their teams
  • More than half (54%) said team members have experienced issues that they felt ill-equipped to deal with

It’s a moral and an ethical issue for companies of course, who owe a duty of care to their staff. But it is also a business issue. Unhappy staff eventually leave, and managers often cite ‘staff churn’ and retaining people as among their biggest headaches. The Retail Trust survey reported that one in five (21%) British retail workers and almost a third (31%) of people working for the UK’s biggest retailers are planning to quit the sector. A quarter (26%) of retail managers say they also want to leave the industry.

Poor mental health can impact on staff-related KPIs such as absence, performance, NPS scores, productivity, and customer service standards.

It makes much more sense in the long run to implement workplace strategies and policies that help and support the mental health of employees and ensure individuals feel valued, than it does to keep hiring and training new staff, only to lose them because they do not feel supported and valued.

The training Onebright and Attensi co-created sets out how to nurture better understanding of neurodiversity, and to encourage open discussions in the workplace.

It aims to:

  • Increase employees’ understanding and awareness of neurodiversity
  • Encourage and make it easier for managers and leaders to have conversations about neurodiversity and mental health in the workplace
  • Use memorable and factual minigames, simulating realistic conversations and scenarios to help line managers and senior leaders learn in a low-risk environment
  • Provide an engaging and enjoyable way to learn about mental health

Through close collaboration with clinical experts, we developed a solution to foster understanding of:

  • What neurodiversity is and the various types of conditions
  • How neurodiversity may present itself in the workplace
  • How businesses can best support neurodivergent individuals

The solution we created is largely based around the experiences of three employee characters with various neurodiverse conditions, including autism and ADHD.

Tim Dunn, Chief Commercial Officer at Onebright, said:

“People and their health are the most important part of any business, and mental health support, including training, forms part of wider wellbeing at work. Workplace training helps to increase understanding of mental health across a workforce and ensure individuals feel supported and secure in their employment.

“Gamified digital training provides a true-to-life environment for employees to learn about mental health through various techniques. Managers and leaders can interact with characters and procedures which are set in realistic settings and situations. Gamified mechanics encourage users to repeat scenarios, driving learning and adoption to change behaviour and give confidence in the ability to hold mental health conversations in the workplace.

Healthy conversations

The training app makes a real difference in improving the knowledge retention of managers, giving them the confidence and skills they need to improve the management of mental health in the workplace and be better placed to support colleagues. It also helps employees understand how to better spot the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions.

“One in six employees are likely to need support through their employer for a mental health condition at some point,” said Clare Price, Onebright Director of Clinical Services

“We’re so happy we can make a real impact in the retail sector through gamified mental health training. This training has the potential to trigger countless healthy conversations across workplaces, and help so many people feel supported, valued and more secure when they go to work.”


Attensi is the world’s leading provider of high impact gamified training – the most effective way to upskill your people with significant improvements in your KPIs. Engage your staff with immersive 3D training, powered by the best insights from human psychology, learning, and gaming.

Whether on mobile, desktop, or VR, empower your people to master new skills with training they will want to complete and repeat. Recreate their working environments with immersive 3D graphics, realistic scenarios, and interactive dialogues with voice-acted avatars to test their knowledge. All in a safe, learning-by-doing environment.

Attensi has delivered gamified simulation training in over 150 countries and more than 50 languages. Our customers include Microsoft, Equinor, Circle K, Bosch Siemens Home Appliances, NHS, Accenture, Wagamama’s, Hiscox, Scatec Solar and many more. Attensi is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with offices in London, Köln, Boston and Palo Alto.

You can follow Attensi on LinkedIn for updates.

Anthony Wong | anthony.wong@attensi.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6a3ee89b-0556-480c-a964-ebb3aae3db8c

GlobeNewswire is one of the world's largest newswire distribution networks, specializing in the delivery of corporate press releases, financial disclosures and multimedia content to media, investors, and consumers worldwide.
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