The skills that are needed in today’s fast-changing tech-led workplace are changing, according to Kate Griggs.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), these skills are a direct match for Dyslexic Thinking skills.
But as our recent report with Randstad Enterprise reveals, there is a big gulf between how employers feel they are supporting dyslexic employees and the realities dyslexics face.
Understanding the Disconnect
The report shows that although dyslexics have the sought-after soft skills or ‘power skills’ that employers are looking for, a staggering 96 percent of dyslexic people feel that the recruitment process fails to identify their valuable Dyslexic Thinking skills.
Yet, 64 percent of HR leaders believe their recruitment process can. This highlights a significant gap between employers and employees, and shows the urgent need for a better understanding of dyslexic talent.
With the skills gap continuing to be an issue for recruitment, businesses need to start understanding where their future employees are and what vital skills dyslexic individuals offer. The 2023 WEF ‘Future of Jobs’ Report continues to highlight that the skills future workplaces need are the skills that dyslexics index in highly. Analytical thinking, a key Dyslexic Thinking skill, ranks as the top core skill and creative thinking, another key attribute of Dyslexic Thinking, comes second.
While 66 percent of HR leaders say they understand the value of dyslexic thinking, only 14 percent of dyslexic employees agree.
Addressing Accommodation and Support
To empower Dyslexic Thinkers in the workplace, employers must offer adjustments that enable dyslexics to thrive.
However, the research reveals a huge discrepancy in this area. While 66 percent of HR leaders believe that their organisation works to accommodate Dyslexic Thinkers, only 33 percent of dyslexics agree. And when it comes to providing long-term support in the workplace, such as affinity groups, 64 percent of employers believe they offer it, while only 13 percent of dyslexics agree. These findings highlight the urgent need for organisations to re-evaluate their policies and practices to genuinely support dyslexic employees.
There are 4 simple things employers can do to empower Dyslexic Thinking in the workplace:
1. Define dyslexia as a valuable thinking skill
2. Offer adjustments that enable dyslexics to thrive
3. Tailor recruitment processes for dyslexics
4. Support ERG groups and communities
Empowering Dyslexic Thinking in Every Workplace
Empowering Dyslexic Thinking not only benefits dyslexic employees but also allows organisations to tap into a wealth of skills aligned with the demands of the future workforce.
By fostering an inclusive work environment that recognises and embraces Dyslexic Thinking skills, organisations can unlock the untapped potential of dyslexic employees, and help move their business forward. It is not just about meeting diversity and inclusion quotas. It goes beyond that. Dyslexic individuals bring unique perspectives, problem-solving abilities, and creativity to the table. Their different way of thinking often lead to innovative approaches and alternative solutions that can drive business success.
Organisations that fail to recognise and support dyslexic employees may unintentionally overlook a valuable pool of talent. By actively embracing Dyslexic Thinking, companies can harness the full potential of these individuals, fostering a culture of inclusion and reaping the rewards of a diverse workforce.
Bridging the Gap
To bridge the gap between employers’ perceptions and the experiences of dyslexic employees, it is crucial to raise awareness and provide education and training. Initiatives like the free workplace training developed by Made By Dyslexia in collaboration with LinkedIn Learning By actively embracing Dyslexic Thinking, organisations can tap into a vast pool of talent, enhance problem-solving capabilities, and drive innovation.
Creating an inclusive workplace benefits both employees and businesses, leading to higher employee engagement, improved productivity, and a competitive edge in the market.
Recognising and valuing Dyslexic Thinking skills is not just a matter of compliance; it is a strategic imperative for fostering an inclusive and innovative work environment. By taking proactive steps, such as participating in training programs and creating supportive networks, employers can bridge the gap, unlock the potential of dyslexic employees, and build a stronger, more diverse workforce capable of meeting the demands of the future.
Kate Griggs is the CEO & Founder of Made By Dyslexia.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.