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About 4 in every 10 Kiwi employees have difficulties with reading, writing, maths and communication. These statistics tell us literacy levels in the workplace need to be fixed.

What is workplace literacy?

When we say workplace literacy, we mean the mix of skills employees need to complete everyday tasks at work. It’s not just the obvious and includes: speaking, listening, reading, writing, doing maths, filling out forms, using technology, solving problems and making decisions.

Your employees need these skills to take accurate phone messages, understand health and safety signs, keep accurate records and understand production schedules. They also need to recognise that what they do at work adds value to your business.

You work in a complex business environment. You need to stay competitive, increase your productivity, innovate and use the latest technology to remain at the top. Your employees’ skills need to be fit for purpose.

Why is it an issue?

There are many reasons why workplace literacy is an issue for your employees – leaving school early, not regularly using skills they learned there, a lack of confidence, learning difficulties and speaking English as a second language.

Barriers inside your organisation can contribute too. Overly complicated processes and forms, or signs and information that don't use plain English, make it difficult for employees to comprehend what they need to do.

You will have intelligent and motivated employees working for you who are held back by low literacy. What an asset they will be to your business when their potential is unleashed.

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