Managing dyslexic employees
Dyslexia is the most common neurodiversity. Statistically speaking, as many as one in five of your employees is likely to be dyslexic, so it’s incredibly important that managers understand it and support employees with the challenges they may face.In this way, you will be able to make an informed plan to help support them and it’s important to note that managing a dyslexic employee doesn’t need to be difficult, it might just take some tweaks to help support them.
In the past, organisations have perhaps focused on what dyslexic employees can’t do, and so first and foremost there has to be a shift towards harnessing the strengths of dyslexic employees rather than measuring them by their challenges. There are tiny things every employer can do to make a huge difference – from keeping meetings short to minimising email overload (try sending voice messages instead) to presenting information in more visual ways and keeping instructions concise (all things that are brilliant for everyone).
In addition, providing training on both learning difficulties and mental health issues will help ensure that everyone is aware that their colleagues may have an ‘invisible condition’ and to be more aware of this, so they can be more patient with them. This can be done without pointing the finger at those who may be suffering and encourage a safe working environment where everyone feels supported whether they necessarily need it or not. It is good practice to ask employees for regular feedback on how they are coping with work, so that they can express any issues or concerns. This is even more important if you have employees with dyslexia as regular feedback will help you to determine and deal with any concerns before they become a major issue.
It’s time HR redefines dyslexia as a skill not a disability in the workplace and develop a skills-first culture. Let’s get better at supporting dyslexic employees and start empowering their incredible strengths.