This guest blog post is provided by the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills, which aims to improve the skills Canadians need to adapt and succeed at work.

Did you know that you can help boost the productivity, innovation and overall competitiveness of your business by following three simple steps?

STEP 1: Learn about the nine essential skills and how they contribute to your workplace success.

STEP 2: Identify skills gaps that may be impacting your business by conducting a needs assessment.

STEP 3: Improve these skills by using learning and training supports.

Essential skills are necessary in every business in Canada, whatever the size, and for all jobs – regardless of position or level of responsibility. In fact, the skills you need to succeed in business are the essential skills you use everyday. For example:

  • Reading – enables you to keep up on current business issues and trends
  • Document use – allows you to understand and use inventory tracking systems
  • Numeracy – can make or break your ability to manage your finances
  • Writing – is integral in developing and executing good marketing plans
  • Oral communication – helps you to communicate with your employees, suppliers and customers
  • Working with others – is critical to supervising, training and motivating staff
  • Thinking – is the foundation upon which strong business plans are built
  • Computer use – helps you to apply new technologies
  • Continuous learning – strengthens your ability to adapt to change

Today is Essential Skills day; a day to celebrate the importance of essential skills in all jobs and workplaces across Canada as part of Learn @ Work Week. It also provides an opportunity to stop and think about your current and future business plans, and how creating a strong foundation of essential skills within your business is vital to realizing your goals.

For more information and to access helpful guides, checklists and worksheets, check out