Creating a Safe Space for ADHD Workers in the Food Industry

The rise in numbers for ADHD within the Hispanic community has largely been attributed to the combined factors of socio-cultural issues and the lack of diagnosis from medical professionals.  ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is usually defined by three main symptoms: hyperactivity, inattention and impulsiveness which are brought on by biologically active substances in the brain. Affecting around 4% of Hispanic adults, it’s a concern that influences employees within working businesses, and our food and beverage industry is no exception.

What can be done to improve services?

In order to create an ADHD friendly environment, we should first understand that the qualities and characteristics of ADHD affect the way in which individuals understand the environment around them; this can also be defined as having a unique and different way of looking at the world. Although it can sometimes be challenging for people to work alongside people with ADHD, by designing strategies and routines these characteristics can also be positive benefits within our food and beverage industry. Understanding the Hispanic community is very important for everybody in the food and beverage workplace so it can be tailored to our industry.

Provide less distractions

Hazards can be commonplace within a food and beverage environment, from manufacturing, cleaning equipment, packaging, handling or processing, so in order to create a safe setting, ensure that the workplace is not too distracting for someone with ADHD. Too much noise from other colleagues, hectic surroundings, etc will not help to achieve productivity. If your food business works outside of normal hours, let the individual work flexible hours and come into work during the times, or at weekends, when it’s not so busy with other people.

Be organized

If you have an employee with ADHD they may well be unaware of how long a task will take and not realize there is a deadline adhere to. By having frequent check ins by a manager or work colleague can help to achieve tasks in good time. Give realistic time scales, and if necessary, break them down into smaller jobs. Creating a safe area for needs of ADHD by using charts or post-it notes is especially helpful as it helps them to know when they are doing something and to prepare themselves to do it.

Positive communication

As in any working environment, communication is the key to a successful workplace and by working on an individual’s preferences and strengths, it will help to create a calm atmosphere. Make sure that regular communication is provided through frequent supervision and checks. Talk to the person and find out how they are coping with the given tasks and give them friendly support and encouragement. If any work issues to arise, deal with them swiftly and with care.

With the growth of Hispanic food trends continually increasing, entrepreneurs within the industry can investigate further in sponsored programs to help create a positive and productive workplace so that individuals can work to their full potential.