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Literacy & Numeracy at NZ Post

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Caroline Spencer

on 1 November 2016

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Transcript of Literacy & Numeracy at NZ Post

Lifting Literacy & Numeracy at NZ Post
What is Literacy & Numeracy?
Foundation skills for effective performance and communication in the workplace and daily life

- reading, writing , listening and speaking effectively to make sense of information, and to communicate effectively with others
- understanding and processing numerical information
Digital Literacy
- ability to use digital technology and communication tools to locate, evaluate, use and create information
Is this even an issue?
of NZ adults lack the
skills and
lack the
skills needed to successfully work independently and actively participate in family and community life*

NZ adults lack sufficient
problem solving
skills (ie critical thinking, analysis, reasoning) **

*2006 Adult Literacy & Life Skills Survey conducted in 12 OECD countries - Ministry of Education, 2006

**MoE 2007
What about at NZ Post?
Without a formal needs analysis
we don't have hard data...

BUT based on the
of other organisations and academic
we know it's
to assume
it's a concern

AND we do have
some evidence
of performance issues at both individual & work site level that could be attributable in part to Literacy/Numeracy challenges
So what do we stand to gain?
Greater productivity
because of improved quality control, fewer mistakes and rework, better communication, and less down-time injuries
Improved health & safety
Reduced need for external recruitment
when the skills of existing workers limit internal promotions
Reduced need for mediation or disciplinary action
Engaged employees
through a better understanding of the entire business and how their individual actions affect the bottom line
Realise our investment
in workplace learning and
build a learning culture
What's being done about the problem in NZ?
The TEC has invested in Adult Literacy / Numeracy education infrastructure:

Learning progressions
Tool - paper & online
Pathways Awarua -
online learning
Professional development
for educators and workplace trainers - National Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (NCALNE)
of Literacy & Numeracy in Foundation level vocational courses (
Literacy /Numeracy
Why does it matter?
Inadequate Literacy/ Numeracy levels in the workplace can result in:

Difficulty completing
Misunderstandings with verbal & written
in team meetings
when calculating & counting leading to costly
health & safety compliance
change roles
or job functions
Poor understanding of ‘the bigger picture
’ – what the company is trying to achieve
to step into
What are other organisations doing?
Principles to Proceed
Workplace Literacy and Numeracy is

People with Literacy /Numeracy challenges may
feel vulnerable
about being exposed so great care must be taken with programme communication, design and implementation

As with any change initiative,
at the highest levels will be required to
champion and sustain the change

Successful programmes build and sustain their momentum over time - this is a
long-term commitment

Recommended Approach
1. Conduct a
needs analysis
2. Develop a
3. Select
to partner with
4. Develop
internal capability

(literacy champions)
5. Develop and deliver

and determine
next steps

A wide variety of organisations are taking Literacy / Numeracy upskilling seriously. Here's a snapshot of a few that have had considerable success:
Winner Skills Highway award 2009
NZ's largest LN roll-out involving over 1000 staff
An independent study showed returns of $3:$1 in the year following the programme
Embedded LN delivered by trades instructors in their vocational training for offenders
As at Jan 2013 >1300 prisoners had participated
Statistically significant gains in 12 months (23% reading, 25% numeracy, 35% writing)
Higher levels of engagement and comprehension with fewer prisoners dropping out of training
Course completions of 72% slightly higher than industry standard (66%)
Long term aim to reduce prisoner reoffending rates and improve employment outcomes upon release
As a result of investing in workplace literacy and numeracy NZ Post will be recognised for:

Achieving significant
improvements in productivity and other people measures

Doing What's Right for our employees
to build their confidence, spark interest in further learning , and broaden their career opportunities
Making a difference to NZ
Literacy and Numeracy as a significant NZ employer
The vision...
Within 6 months:
More than 30% increase in accurately completed documentation
More than 30% improvement in training assessment results
Wastage rates dropped from 2.8 to 1.8%
Employees performing simple calculations quickly and easily without resorting to a calculator
Zero turnover amongst the course participants
Overall employee churn dropped by 5.2%
What's involved in a Needs Analysis?
Organisational Analysis
- the 'big picture' - strategy, structure, work systems and processes, communication systems and processes
Task and Skill Analysis
- Technical and LitNum tasks and skills for target groups, including mapping against progressions
LitNum Skill Assessment
- LitNum assessments for sample population
Analysis, Reporting & Recommendations
- including LitNum results (strands and progressions) mapped to current requirements, barriers to learning and performance identified, recommended solutions concerning all aspects of employment (recruitment, training, internal promotion, systems and processes)
Getting Started...
what part(s) of the business to start with (Mail Processing, Delivery, Print Mail, ECL, Call Centres, Contract Logistics, Store Network...?)
Request proposals
from selected providers for Needs Analysis
Needs Analysis
in selected areas of the business before end FY 2013 /14
areas of focus for FY 2014/5
strategy & tactics
for Phase 1
Choose providers
to partner with
solution design
internal capability
TEC Workplace Literacy Funding
round early 2015
What it might cost?
Needs Analysis

Potentially covered by TEC funding

TEC 'seed' Funding

potentially available between
$2000 - $3650 per learner
40 contact hours

Programme design and development

- suggest budget

for FY 14/15 sits with L&D

NCALE(e) Training
for Operational Trainers
$1250 pp
What kinds of solutions might we have?
Improved documentation
, signage, manuals, SOPs
Embedded learning
= Training which 'unpacks' Lit/Num learning needs as part of the learning design
Targeted Lit/Num learning
for individuals or small groups with high needs
learning (Pathways Awarua)
Foundation Qualifications
with embedded Lit/Num learning
Literacy Champions
= trainers and passionate people leaders upskilled to assess needs and deliver learning solutions including lit/num coaching and tutoring as well as embedded training and documentation advice
Upskilling and awareness raising
for P&C community, People Leaders and Communications
Decrease in service-related issues (fewer picking discrepancies & errors)
Reduced Absenteeism
Higher Staff engagement
Improved Health & Safety performance
JRA results show over 87 percent of employees now understand how their work helps Cardinal succeed and almost 90 percent of them want to keep working at Cardinal
Participants feel confident to speak up in meetings and contribute suggestions to improve productivity
Almost 40 graduates from the literacy programme are now completing the national certificate in warehousing and distribution.
Questions for you...
How much of a priority is this for NZ Post right now?

Who will champion it?

Are we committed for the long-haul?

What does success look like?

What do you want to see happen next?

Since the training programme began:
Production wastage has reduced by nearly 40%
On time delivery of the right product has improved by 8% to national customers and 11% for export deliveries
The dynamics of self-managing teams have improved - the number of initiatives suggested by employees is up by almost 80%
Lost time due to injuries has reduced to zero
Improved Literacy and Numeracy impacts on all People Measures
Productivity & Performance

Change outcomes

Safety & Wellbeing
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