Skills training supports workers increasing efficiency and addressing lots of issues in the workplace but training doesn’t solve everything. Workers who have low level foundation skills can be assisted by their very own workplaces.
Think about the documents that are used in your workplace, are they straightforward and be easy to understand. Take some time to look at them and think about whether they could be made clearer. sometimes appalling written heading on a form can impede a worker’s progress. A quick correction can save time and money and improve the workplace as understanding of common documents.
What sorts of documents to people need to read at your workplace?
Legislation, standard operating procedures, instructions, forms… With a bit of thought document can be presented with graphics to illustrate text in a format that’s easier to access and understand.
Do the documents in your workplace use plain English?
Plain English focuses on a message and communicates that message simply and clearly it’s not about dumbing down documents or being overly simplistic, rather even complex documents can be written in a way that’s clear straightforward and uncluttered. Documents written in plain English should develop from a readers point of view. Look over your workplace forms and think about whether they are written with the reader in mind:
- Do the documents put the reader first?
- Do they have clear headings,
- divide text into small chunks,
- prioritise information,
- use words that are easy to understand,
- use short sentences, and
- paragraphs the void jargon,
- Is the use of examples diagrams and graphics where helpful
There are lots of resources available to help you to make your documents more user-friendly. Just do a quick Google search on writing user-friendly documents.
It’s also useful to think about the words that you use when talking to staff, do the words to use really communicate clear messages. It’s a very common in workplaces to see people use words in a roundabout way for example people use phrases like: “she’ll be right”, “given up the ghost”, or
“hit the road running”. Some people grew up with euphemisms and colloquialisms like this and understand the real meaning behind them, but many are simply confused by them. “Don’t dilly dally” for example, is that really a clear instruction? It’s easy to say that someone could easily be confused by an instruction like this. Give some thought to your own communication and do your bit to model clear and effective messages!
If you are a trainer and found this article interesting, you may be interested in completing our TAELLN411 course for PD. It’s a short course designed to help you identify skill gaps in adults and train them to fill in these gaps. Why not take the TAELLN411 Address Adult LLN online course for VET Trainers.