Workplace Literacy

In Canada, 42% of adults struggle with reading.

Most develop incredible coping stategies. But they often turn down promotions rather than disclose the fact that they don't read well. And if their job evolves to require more reading and writing, they often feel their only course of action is to quit. Your business is faced with the cost of hiring and training a replacement.

When you think one or more of your employees may be unable to read or write well enough to do the job, consider your options.

Start by using plain language in your workplace. This will improve communication with all your employees. Then, consider modifying parts of the job. Can you use a graphic checklist, instead of a written one? Can you print different forms on different colours of paper? Sometimes these small changes solve the problem.

See the success stories in the list on the left for other ideas. (To share a success story, click here or contact us.)

When modifying the job isn't practical, encourage the employee to seek help: "You are a good employee and I would like to keep you on. You seem to struggle with reading. Now that your job requires more reading than it used to, would you like to upgrade?"

Be ready to suggest a specific program or contact person. Search the community list, or contact us. We're here to help.