Its insidious: leaching your profits away
What are the negative effects of low literacy and numeracy?
Risk of Injury
- The first and most pressing is the risk of injury and even death of employees who can't understand the meaning of everyday words and terms, including words like "mandatory", "hearing protection", "procedure" and "authorised"
- Injury can take an entire business offline while police and other regulatory organisations investigate. Even minor accidents will cost management and supervisor time in reports and meetings
- Safety Training is wasted because it is not absorbed
- Apart from the lost production there might be legal fees and possibly fines if it can be shown that you were negligent in not ensuring that signage or safety regulations could be understood.
The second issue is inefficiencies caused by employees not being able to communicate fully with the people they interact with at work.
For example, if an employer sends an instruction via email and this instruction is misinterpreted, the work of the employee will need to be redone once the error is identified, making the individual, and the organisation, less productive overall.
Barriers to Upskilling
The third issue is that low literacy and numeracy skills are a huge barrier to upskilling.
Literacy and numeracy problems become particularly evident at the supervisor level. Many good workers effectively hit a glass ceiling at this level because their limited literacy and numeracy skills prevent them from progressing further and from making a greater contribution to their workplace, and to their own career."
Upskilling failures is a particularly significant issue, given the number of industries experiencing skills shortages, and the essential role that upskilling can play in helping to alleviate skills shortage pressures."