When presented with a challenge or we find ourselves lacking the skills to complete a task – we often develop an uncanny knack of adapting or creating work arounds. Ensuring that if nothing else, the outside world is fooled into thinking we’ve got this under control.

We divert attention away from our inadequacies with a smoke and mirrors routine akin to Houdini’s finest, or worst – still engage in a race to the bottom to find fault in others so as to not be found out ourselves.


“Fake it till you make it”

For the approximately 40% of Kiwi adults who can’t read at a functioning level, you can appreciate the workplace quickly becomes a battlefield. They fight tooth and nail to complete their work – and ultimately keep their jobs.

In a modern workplace where soft skills reign supreme and culture is and will remain an organisations strongest retention tool –  there is one subject that for many remains taboo.

Adult and workplace literacy and an organisation’s attitude towards it. It has the power to make or break businesses.

Much of a modern organisations cultural DNA can be linked back to how it responds to workplace literacy challenges. With Government funding now available, many businesses are pushing reset and challenging the taboo. Initiating a cultural redevelopment that recognises literacy as a cultural marker as well as an operational success indicator.

Industry and organisation specific numeracy and literacy programs are finding ways to build confidence and trust in employees, while deepening their understanding of operational processes.

Why am I raising literacy with you?

Because authentic and transparent workplace literacy programs are giving organisations the opportunity to see their employee’s potential. While also creating strong datasets to plot realistic development goals.

More than anything, it’s showing employees that the organisations they work for actually give a damn about who they are and what they can be.

We’re exploring this thinking as part of our commitment to drive innovation in the human resource space of an organisation. We want to support our industry to attract and retain top talent – and this is one way we can do it!

In a world where we must embrace the diversity of our people for diversity of thought in our workplace – giving support to those that may not have got the same opportunities to develop strong literacy skills is also important. We want them to know that this doesn’t impact their growth within our industry – but gives them a unique perspective that what we want to grow, but also help improve.

If you’re interested to learn more, drop me a line so that your organisation can access workplace numeracy and literacy funding to unlock the full potential of your workforce. You can connect with me either via email at greg.buckley@hera.org.nz or call on +64 21 996 794.