How do I help my ADHD employees produce more consistent work?

In today’s Questions From the Audience: “I have several neurodivergent direct reports on my team whose work output is very spiky. When they are on, they’re fire; but when they’re off, they’re definitely off. How do I help them produce more consistent work?”

Some ebb and flow are natural and expected—nature has seasons, and we’re part of nature.

But if it’s all-out followed by burnout, it’s almost certainly the result of unsustainable demands, either because of your workplace culture or the demands they put on themselves. Either way, see if you can identify and do something about the source.

One way to create sustainable demands can be centered on their strengths.

Are they working from their strengths when over-delivering? Or do they have to pull all their mental and physical resources together to deliver a big spike and then hibernate for a month to recover?

For example, I couldn’t keep my company’s books straight without help, even if my life depended on it. I can do a remarkable job if I pull all of my mental resources together, but then other areas of my business will suffer. It’s far better if I delegate the books and focus on the tasks where I can make a significant impact with little effort. It might not look like I’m working hard, but the results will speak for themselves.

So, although it’s not always possible to avoid relying on your employees’ weaknesses altogether, if it becomes a repeating pattern, it does not serve your employees or your organization—find a way to utilize their strengths.