Lake of the Woods Adult Learning Line

Workplace Literacy Benefits Employers

Quick Facts

The Benefits Of Training

  • Improved productivity
  • Sales growth & better customer service
  • Increased workplace safety
  • Enhanced workplace efficiencies
  • More vibrant and engaged workforce
  • More competent use of technology
  • Bolstered Canadian economy
  • Increased competitiveness
  • Enlarged employment opportunities

"The numbers speak for themselves.  Literacy Programs are good business for business!"

Improved productivity

  • 79% of respondents in a Conference Board of Canada study report that they have observed increased productivity in their workplaces because of the success of their basic skills programs.
  • According to the study The Impact of Basic Skills Programs on Canadian Workplaces, 66% of respondents saw reduced error rates in people’s work. Additionally, 85% of respondents saw increases in the quality of people’s work and 73% saw increases in work effort.
  • In the same study, 94% of respondents reported that basic skills programs positively influenced participants’ reading, writing and oral communication skills in ways that benefit the workplace. (The Impact of Basic Skills Programs on Canadian Workplaces (2nd ed.), 1997)
  • An extra year of schooling can raise productivity by between 4.9% and 8.5% in the manufacturing sector, and between 5.9% and 12.7% in the services sector according to the Canadian Council on Learning study in 2007. 
  • On average, a one-dollar investment in training returns a benefit to the employer of $1.38 according to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.  This is a 40% return on investment.

Sales Growth & Improved Customer Service

  • It's a well known fact that literacy plays a key role in providing better customer service.  
  • Improved English language skills translate directly into better communication and interaction with customers.  This reduces misunderstandings, improves the exchange of information and completes more sales with a higher level of overall customer satisfaction.
  • Numeracy and mathematics skills translate directly into reduced errors when handing cash and debit transactions.  Lower error rates means customers who leave happy without the negative experiences of being overcharged or shorted on orders.  
  • Staff are able to complete more orders in less time, with fewer mistakes, when they are not struggling with reading, writing or mathematics associated with assisting customers.

Improved Workplace Safety

  • The understanding of safety regulations and procedures leads to fewer injuries, which in turn leads to reduced insurance costs and less employee downtime.
  • In a Conference Board of Canada study, 82% of respondents associated increased health and safety with their workplace’s basic skills program (The Economic Benefits of Improving Literacy Skills in the Workplace, Conference Board of Canada, 2007).
  • In 2002, the average lost-time injury in Ontario cost $59,000 and in 2006, the cost was approximately $98,000 (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board).

Enhanced Workplace Efficiencies

  • Greater understanding of job demands and procedures facilitates communication and enhances workplace efficiencies. 
  • In a workplace literacy study, 90% of employers indicated that employees who took basic skills programs had an increased ability to work independently. (The Impact of Basic Skills Programs on Canadian Workplaces (2nd ed.), 1997)
  • When literacy skills are enhanced, employees are better suited to meet the demands of the job and better prepared to assume greater responsibilities and seek promotion.

More Vibrant and Engaged Workforce

  • An organization active in offering education and employment opportunities is more likely to retain its employees.
  • Employees who participate in literacy and essential skills programs increase their level of self-confidence, acquire new skills, are better prepared to seek promotion opportunities, and believe that they are valued by their workplaces.
  • A Conference Board of Canada report also indicates that employees are more inclined to take ownership of their work, become more effective decision-makers and assume a more engaged and participative role within the organization. Other benefits include enhanced teamwork and improved labour-management relations. (The Economic Benefits of Improving Literacy Skills in the Workplace, Conference Board of Canada, 2007)
  • According to another study, 85% of respondents reported that basic skills programs enhanced participants’ ability to work within a team-based model. 63% of respondents reported that basic skills programs help workplaces to retain employees over time. (The Impact of Basic Skills Programs on Canadian Workplaces (2nd ed.), 1997)

More Competent Use of Technology

  • In a Conference Board of Canada study, 87% of respondents said that programs impact positively on participants’ ability to use workplace-based technology. (The Economic Benefits of Improving Literacy Skills in the Workplace, Conference Board of Canada, 2007)
  • A more literate workforce boosts productivity: The C. D. Howe Institute reports that a 1% rise in a country’s literacy level, relative to the international average, is associated with an eventual 2.5% rise in labour productivity and a 1.5% rise in the per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This 1% increase in literacy rates would boost the national income by as much as $32 billion. (Public Investment in Skills: Are Canadian Governments Doing Enough?, Serge Coulombe and Jean-François Tremblay, C.D. Howe Institute, 2005 and Canadian Labour Congress, 2007)
  • Differences in average adult literacy levels explain as much as 55% of long-term differences in the long-term growth rate of GDP per capita as well as productivity growth at the national and international level. (The International Survey of Reading Skills (ISRS), 2008)

Increased competitiveness

  • Enhanced literacy skills prepare employees for managerial and technological changes in the workplace, and position the company for greater competitiveness. Enlarged employment opportunities.

"Greater literacy and numeracy skills improve chances of individuals finding work and attaining promotions on the job."