It’s important to use an efficient method of identifying suitable candidates for a literacy programme.
When HR Managers who care and want to make a difference take charge of literacy training, there will be a very good outcome.
It’s really frustrating to speak to an HR Manager about encouraging their staff to participate in a literacy training programme and they say, “I have asked them, but they are not interested.”
Experience has shown that that simply means they’ve asked in the wrong way, asked the wrong questions, asked the wrong person or asked in the wrong context. For example, sometimes, HR Professionals have quick toolbox meetings in the morning and quickly throw in a question like, “Do you want to learn how to write your name?” This understandably doesn’t get a very positive response.
It’s therefore important that HR Managers, or those who have ownership of literacy training, ask the right questions at the right time.
If you’re appointed as an HR Manager, you’re responsible for the collective work of learning and development, recruitment, wellness and such related matters, but the foundation of all of these is fulfilling the vision to uplift the employees of the company. And that starts by asking the right people the right questions.
How, then, should those questions be asked to get the right answers?
One way of doing so is to involve an experienced service provider which has the expertise to approach learners or potential learners in an appropriate way to get past the negativity of “going back to school” or being illiterate.
It’s important to avoid misinformation and negativity, and to get people who are not interested out of the process. People therefore need to be given the right information in order for them to make a wise decision. Often, HR Managers will claim that they have 10 people who are interested in literacy training, but at the end of the day, these people think it’s a learnership in which they are participating because they were given the wrong information.
An experienced training provider will do things right from the beginning. They will come on site, confer with the client, conduct an awareness session, speak to the appropriate people, explain to them the benefits and the commitment required, and address all other pertinent matters.
By supporting the client in this way through information sessions and a proper investigation, the provider will lighten the load of HR Professionals.
Another challenge companies face is that they don’t fully realise the literacy needs of their employees or don’t believe anyone is interested in participating in a literacy programme because employees haven’t necessarily asked to participate in such a programme. Pertinent questions in that regard are thus never asked.
There are therefore a couple of clues that will help HR Professionals to identify employees who would be ideal candidates for a literacy programme. Such employees would typically have difficulties identifying or understanding time and timesheets. They could possibly have a lack of understanding of numbers, including how to read their payslips, the calculation of their overtime salary deductions and tax. Garnishee orders also present a massive challenge because employees often don’t understand them, but get into debt, which they do not attempt to settle because they don’t understand the implications of their debt.
By asking the right questions and having the right literacy training for the right people with the right vision, your company’s Workplace Skills Plan and all that follows will then actually mean something.
Marinda Clack is an Expert Training and Development Advisor at Triple E Training.