How HR Can Support Individuals With Dyslexia at Work

December 2023

Dyslexia International suggests that up to 7% of the global population experiences dyslexia. That means that it’s more than likely that someone in your workplace has this condition.

Dyslexia can be challenging in a corporate setting, but it also presents an opportunity for innovation and success. But how can you best support your employees with dyslexia in the workplace? Here are some things to consider.

Dyslexia is a lifelong condition that affects the way individuals process information. It exists on a spectrum, meaning that some people are mildly affected by its symptoms, while others deal with more severe cases. Dyslexia affects an individual’s ability to read, spell, write and process written language. People with dyslexia don’t outgrow the condition, but they can use strategies and aids to manage the challenges.

In an international workplace, employees with dyslexia may encounter additional hurdles, such as adapting to different languages and cultures, navigating complex documentation, or handling extensive communication requirements.

For HR professionals, creating an inclusive and supportive workplace for those with dyslexia starts with educating yourself and your team. Speak to employees with dyslexia and learn about the nature of their condition and what kind of supports could be put in place to make their day easier. Here are some examples.
While verbal instructions are always helpful, written communications often can’t be avoided at work. For these, consider supports like assistive apps (screen readers etc.), different formats like diagrams and flowcharts, and giving plenty of time to read and complete written tasks.
A different background colour on a computer screen can be helpful to those with dyslexia to read easier. Anti-glare screen filters can also be of use.  
Creating a distraction-free, calm workspace is essential for those with dyslexia. Consider offering flexible hours and hybrid work models to benefit your employees with these needs.
Provide training for managers to help them understand dyslexia, identify potential challenges, and facilitate effective communication and support.
For employees with dyslexia in international roles, additional HR support is crucial. HR professionals can implement the following measures:
Offer pre-assignment training to help employees prepare for international assignments. This can include cultural training, language courses, and guidance on international business practices.
Provide language support or access to interpreters to help employees navigate language barriers in foreign countries without unnecessary obstacles.

Connect employees on international assignments with a global HR network for ongoing assistance and guidance.

HR professionals play a pivotal role in creating an inclusive workplace that accommodates employees with dyslexia, fostering their success whether they work domestically or internationally. 

Expats who have international health insurance with Allianz Partners will have access to our Expat Assistance Programme that offers 24/7 confidential professional counselling - available face-to-face or via phone, video, email and online chat.