What employers can do to help their dyslexic employees.
Dyslexia is a ‘hidden disability’ and due to a lack of awareness it is widely believed to simply affect an individual’s ability to read & write. As the result of this, many adults who are experiencing challenges with their tasks within the workplace may not necessarily consider it could dyslexia that is causing them to struggle. Added to this, the stigma and prejudice which is also associated with dyslexia, many of these individuals may be reluctant to seek help as they are fearful that this may have negative outcomes. Commonly these individuals have concerns about how they are perceived by others, how this may affect their credibility and the potential wider and long term impact on their career.
The types of challenges the dyslexic individual experiences in the workplace will vary dependent upon their own unique challenges, their role and the environment they work in. However, some of the more common challenges include; time management, organisation, planning, structuring written communication and presenting information. If these challenges are affecting their ability to meet targets and the quality of their work is not up to a desired standard, line managers who have no understanding of dyslexia (and the associated neuro-divergent ‘conditions’) are likely to see this as a performance issue and may erroneously initiate a formal performance management procedure rather than signpost the individual towards a source of information and screening. Therefore it is imperative line managers and HR personnel have an awareness of what dyslexia actually is so they can appropriately support all employees. Also it can be invaluable to have Accredited Dyslexia Champions within the organisation as these knowledgeable, impartial colleagues can answer questions and signpost individuals and/or their managers towards the organisation's recognised process of support.
This post contains an excerpt from the recently published research paper:
Open Journal of Social Sciences
Vol.05 No.06(2017), Article ID:76910,23 pages
Workplace Dyslexia & Specific Learning Difficulties―Productivity, Engagement and Well-Being