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.

Finding and keeping workers with the knowledge and skills needed to get the job done is critical for the success of any business. Attracting the most qualified workers is an important step if you are thinking about growing your business. This is especially important for businesses that are hiring or that employ foreign trained professionals.

Many employers recognize that foreign trained professionals possess the technical skills required for their businesses to prosper. However, you may find that by helping these employees improve their soft skills, such as communication, problem-solving and teamwork, even greater results can be achieved.

Essential skills can help offer you and your foreign trained employees a common language to recognize strengths, to establish a shared understanding of expectations in the workplace, and to develop a focused training plan leading to improved skills and better on the job performance.

Integrating essential skills into business practices does not have to be time consuming or complicated. For example:

September 27, 2013 is Essential Skills day — a day to celebrate the skills that people across the country use in all jobs and that contribute to making Canadian workplaces successful businesses. If your business is expanding and you are ready to take on new employees, make sure you set the stage for success, but also take this opportunity to develop your long-term assets. These steps and tips will help ensure that your workers will succeed and contribute to your business goals.

For more information and to access helpful guides, checklists and worksheets, check out http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/essential_skills/index.page.