How Managers Can Support Their Dyslexic Employees
About 700 million people have a form of dyslexia worldwide, making it one of the most common learning disabilities in the world. According to the CDC, dyslexia is a learning disability that is neurobiological and marked by difficulties with accurate & fluent word recognition and by difficulty spelling words and decoding abilities. Employees with dyslexia in the workplace may struggle to decode the meaning of written instructions or have difficulty writing tasks, such as memos.
With that said, new research conducted by Dr Shea Wissel in Australian workplaces found that managers significantly impact how well dyslexic employees do in their job. Wissel’sWissel’s study revealed that even after employees had opened up about their dyslexia condition, workplace policies and procedures were not adjusted to accommodate their needs.
Employees also reported that employers either discriminated against people with a learning disability or possibly managed the employees in a manner that was not proactive. As such, a manager must take the necessary steps to create an environment that respects and supports dyslexic employees. Here are some tips for managers on how to support their dyslexic employees:
Open dialogue with the employee
Even before any adjustments are made in the workplace, starting with an open discussion with the employee is better. Are there things that they find particularly annoying in the workplace? Is there anything that needs to be changed for them to become more productive? The good thing about having an open dialogue is that it allows the manager to understand the dyslexic employee’s needs better and make necessary changes. Without this discussion, it is accessible to discrimination without the manager’s knowledge.
Adopt assistive technology
Typing software, dictation tools and spell-checking programs are just a few assistive technologies available for employees with dyslexia. Managers can make these technologies available to dyslexic employees to help them be more productive and efficient. This can also reduce the stress of having to type out documents manually or having to remember how to spell words correctly.
Assigning someone to help review documents
To increase the accuracy of primary documents and reports, assigning someone willing to help review these documents can be helpful instead of having the dyslexic employee do it. But if this option is arduous, managers can also provide the employee extra time to review documents independently. Assistive technology such as spell checkers can also be a good starting point for employees with dyslexia.
Provide relaxation ascend self-confidence training
Specific office roles, such as manually entering data or editing documents, can be very challenging for employees with dyslexia. To help accommodate dyslexic employees, managers can help improve their emotional resilience and reduce stress through relaxation and self-confidence training. This can include stress management techniques such as yoga or meditation, and even attending classes on public speaking.
Firm policies and procedures
Non-discriminatory policies and procedures such as “no asking for medical information” can be implemented to ensure dyslexic employees are respected and given a fair chance to do well at their job. Managers should also provide the same understanding and support regarding deadlines, expectations, and goals.
Overall, managers should remember that it is their responsibility to create a workplace environment where dyslexic employees feel respected and supported to ensure the success of the employee’s duties. With some understanding, adjustments, and the proper support, dyslexic employees can be just as successful as anyone else.