Increased productivity, enhanced communication skills, a reduction in error rates, positive attitude changes, employee engagement, less absenteeism, and an improvement in health and safety are examples of achievements some companies have recognized through the implementation of Workplace Literacy programs.
Hartmann Canada Inc. of Brantford graciously hosted and welcomed Food Sector Members and Community Partners to our second Workplace Literacy and Multiculturalism session last week. Joining us to share information and resources on Literacy, their organizations and abilities to assist included:
- ABC Life Literacy Canada, Margaret Eaton, President
- Ontario Literacy Coalition, John MacLaughlin, Manager - Program, Business and Partnership Development
- Brant Resource Centre, Lori Brunner, Executive Director
Without a doubt, literacy has a huge impact on our economy. It affects all sectors and all sizes of companies. In itself it encompasses so much more than just being able to read - it includes comprehension and translation providing participants with the ability to communicate effectively and to utilize the information and skill set learned not only at work but in their day to day personal lives as well. The more literacy one has, the better it is for them to build on additional foundational skills.
ABC Life Literacy Canada noted that the impact of the numbers cannot be ignored - some of those stats are listed below and others can be found in their presentation attached at the end of this blog:
- 90% increased ability to work alone/independently
- 85% enhanced ability for team work
- 63% helped workplaces retain employees over time
- 87% enhanced partial ability to use workplace technology
- 66% reduced error rates
The Ontario Literacy Coalition is currently in the midst of developing a web portal that will work as a conduit to help Manufacturers match resources to the most appropriate organizations in their Region - becoming a one-stop-shop so-to-speak for employers in this regard. Notes from their presentation along with a powerpoint overview also follows below.
We were delighted to welcome Lori Brunner of the Brant Resource Centre to join us at this session as well and she had a very interesting and interactive presentation that enabled participants to get a first hand idea of how confusing and difficult a lack of essential skills can be to cope in today's environment. Some interesting discussion from Lori's presentation included the following:
- The importance and impact on the participant of learning and understanding and then implementing the information learned
- Manufacturing has the largest number of people functioning at Level 1 and 2
- Canadian Council for Learning has maps with statistics for various regions
- Absenteeism and sickness can be a signal that literacy is a problem - filling in forms, investigating accidents, etc., quitting after promotions - the employee doesn't have the skills necessary to do the job so they avoid it or use others to get around their lack of skills
- Literacy skills are not necessarily related to intellect ie. transit families who have moved from place to place may have missed portions of their education in those travels
Please click on the following link for a more comprehensive overview of the key discussion points from our session in Brantford and also from Toronto including the Metro Toronto Movement for Literacy and Labour Education Centre…http://www.emccanada.org/blogs/emcfoodsec/emcfoodsectornetworkeventsummaryworkplaceliteracya
The power point presentations are attached as well for those interested in learning more.
Thank you so much to our Host - Hartmann Canada Inc., to our Special Guests from ABC Life Literacy Canada, the Ontario Literacy Coalition and the Brant Resource Centre!
All the best!