When communication is key to our success it’s important that we do everything we can to ensure our people feel comfortable using both spoken and written English. We want everyone to feel included and valued…Everyone Counts! The diversity we have at Countdown is something to be celebrated, and this diversity means we’re able to partner with The Literacy Professionals who provide very successful Business Communication courses to any of our team who speak English as a second language.
The programmes conducted on site at our Support Office began life at the end of 2016. Our hope at that time was to help a handful of team members whose English was of a quality too high to receive our government funded training, but also at a stage where they felt they could not progress forward in a business context. Their personal view of not being able to communicate effectively was having a profound effect on some careers, so our support was provided via The Literacy Professionals in the form of a 12 week programme focusing solely on business communication.
For us, the positive impact on our team members’ lives takes on a greater significance than the business gains we have made. The confidence we now see in these people has been quite humbling to witness and the effect that then has on their work and engagement is quite astounding. Since this pilot group we have continued the programme, along with a number of one-to-one courses, which all now form part of our national scheme called The Literacy Project, which helps hundreds of team members per year to build confidence using written and spoken English.
Special thanks with our success goes to Emma and Nick who provide us with a remarkable syllabus. Each outcome is always special and we look forward to continuing the partnership we have.
Jenny Gunn, Leadership Development Specialist, Countdown
I would like to thank Nick and Lizzie for supporting our cleaning team to grow to a new level through their numeracy and Literacy classes. The reason we chose to have this training done was we have a team of people covering many ethnicities with various levels of understanding and speaking English. The challenges also reflected low self-esteem and confidence in being able to interact with students and staff alike. As a management team we recognized we were not supporting our team and needed some help. Nick and Lizzie took the time to sit with me to understand our requirements and tailored the lessons around meeting the business demands whilst also growing our people. This process has been going for the past two years.
The benefits have been huge in that we have seen certain individuals grow in self-confidence not only in the work environment but in their home lives also. The flow on from that has seen better customer service and people being able to raise their heads and be proud of who they are and what they do on a daily basis. As leaders we have seen a greater participation and engagement from the team in daily briefings and taking more ownership for what they do in the workplace. One of the highlights has been the graduation ceremony for the completion of each year’s work. The biggest learning here was that most of the team had never been recognized in this way before as most had been low achievers.
I would strongly recommend Nick, Lizzie and the team to anyone who is considering doing these courses. The support they give to listening to your needs to achieve a good outcome is the key to what they do and they in turn deliver on their promise.
Brian Austin, Campus Services Manager, Manukau Institute of Technology
What were your hopes for this project at the beginning?
When we first started our literacy and numeracy project we were looking for solutions to operational problems. These problems included poorly written incident reports and entries in resident files, unreported incidents or hazards, and poor communication within teams or with residents and families.
What happened? What did you focus on?
We found a literacy and numeracy provider that we felt was listening to our difficulties and offering us options on how to proceed. With them we developed four goals for the programme. We introduced a pilot course and launched the opportunity to our managers. As we worked through the pilot we identified some difficulties and challenges but the team at The Literacy Professionals at Languages International worked with us to find solutions.
The focus of the programme was on providing employees with the skills to improve the quality and quantity of their written and verbal communication.
What have been the benefits for your teams?
As a result of the testing at the beginning and at the end of the course we know that employee literacy an numeracy scores have increased. This has resulted in better written communication. What we didn’t anticipate was the huge increase in confidence that these new skills gave our employees. As a result employees now speak up at handover and other meetings, they raise issues with registered nurses, they offer suggestions. Some have taken on increased responsibility and new roles. Others have achieved promotion. In addition we know that they are taking these skills back to their families and communities and helping to ensure that their families do well at school now too.
We are in the process of evaluating a second part to the course to offer further opportunities to develop literacy and numeracy skills, including digital skills.
Any advice for employers starting out?
Just do it! Be clear about what the operational problems are that you are trying to solve. Find a literacy and numeracy provider like The Literacy Professionals at Languages International who will listen to your challenges and offer options to help you solve them, but who respects that you business is unique, and doesn’t impose a solution on you.Be prepared to make changes as you go through the programme. Most of all be prepared for some amazing outcomes for your employees, your managers and your customer!
Yvonne Bruce, The Selwyn Foundation
Thank you for your work … we have seen a huge improvement and a happier and more confident employee.
Justine Abeln, Operations Manager, Marketing Impact
The tutor was completely concerned about my needs and really flexible to organize the classes every week. She was able to manage the course and adapt it to my needs. She really understood my areas of improvement and helped me to focus on those areas.
Francesco Virruso, Assistant Manager, Risk Consulting, KPMG Advisory
The whole process with Languages International was smooth from start to finish. I received prompt answers to questions, continual updates and support from the team. I can’t comment high enough on the professionalism we received and confidence we felt investing in these courses. Thank you again and hope I can recommend your services in the future!
Lucette Dillon, People & Culture Advisor, Pricewaterhouse Coopers New Zealand
Languages International had a good understanding of our needs and created a tailor made training for our company. The employees are more confident and have made great progress. I would highly recommend this training.
Laureen Dory, Human Resources Coordinator, Gameloft NZ
Languages International approached us in 2011 to discuss opportunities to run a communications course for our team. The cultural diversity, resident centred care and teamwork we celebrate at Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital seemed a natural “fit” with the learning model described by Nick. The first course was run in 2011 and the second in 2012. The benefits to our team members who participated have been significant and for many has markedly increased their confidence in all forms of communication. We have been so impressed with the results that we have continued with the involvement of LI beyond the 2 year government funding of the course to again offer it in 2013 as three different programmes to meet the needs of “new” New Zealanders, RNs (specific clinical communication) and IELTS. Charlie and Nick and the extended LI team are now viewed as an integrated part of the Knox Community.
Jill Woodward, CEO Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital
Languages International approached us in early 2011. As a newcomer to New Zealand and to the healthcare sector, we were apprehensive as to whether we could invest in professional development initiatives in addition to our existing program. After much deliberation, the decision was made to progress and the first Active Real Communication (ARC) course for RDNS NZ Community Carers began in mid April and concluded in early November. Languages International compiled a program that was appropriate and effective for our workforce. The changes we observed in our staff were not only impressive but heartening as many of them had not only improved in their roles but conveyed how much the course had helped them in their daily lives particularly interacting with their children. We ran the course again in 2012 and received the same fantastic results. We have been so impressed with Languages International that we have also approached them to discuss other learning opportunities for our Office Staff. Our working relationship with the staff and tutors at Languages International is one we hope to continue well into the future.
Dhivinya Naicker, Human Resources Officer, Royal District Nursing Service – New Zealand
…In support of our LN needs, Nick Moore and the team at Languages International (LI) have been invaluable. A strategic partner since 2007, LI have grown to understand the LN needs of our business, providing a high-level of services, products and commitment to our Foundation Skills Strategy. Their knowledge and experience pays compliment to the fact that they are one of NZs oldest private English Language schools.
Robert Siolo, Strategic Advisor New Zealand Police Recruitment
My team member took a course of study at Languages International last year which has helped take his language and business communication skills to a new improved level. I was impressed with their structured learning post, assessment techniques and follow up after completion. I rate LI when compared to typical writing / business communication courses where people from non-English-speaking backgrounds have struggled to grasp some of the more complex language theories…
Guy Cory-Wright, Reporting and Analysis lead, Parking and Enforcement, Auckland Transport
We have finally come to the end of the language training for our junior officer from Vietnam. We have seen great improvements in him since he first arrived almost six months ago. Thank you very much for your assistance with the planning, noting that we had to make a number of changes (and a couple of no shows). It has been very easy to deal with you all, always with the underlying motivation to help our junior officer. He has his oral presentation on Thursday which will be a great test for him. He has also been successful in the first leadership week, and we are looking forward to the final one next week.
LT CDR Warren Dohnt, RNZN, Junior Officer Personnel Officer (JOPO), Royal New Zealand Navy