Queensberry Ltd

Literacy training strengthens quality and productivity improvement initiatives

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Queensberry Ltd

The client

Queensberry Ltd manufactures custom-made professional photographers' albums worldwide. Based in Auckland, 95% of the product is exported and Queensberry is acknowledged as one of the best in their field.

The challenge

Many of Queensberry's employees have English as a second language. This led to communication problems for some staff. Emphasis on quality means that good communication between employees, clients and suppliers is essential. Numeracy is also essential, as employees have to accurately measure components and interpret key documents and customer requirements. Many employees lacked the confidence to take on more responsible jobs, preventing the company promoting them.

Employees also had to deal with rapid changes in technology and productivity improvement initiatives the company had put in place.

Practical, sustainable solutions

Workbase identified the literacy skills needed to understand and interpret key documents such as order forms and customer requirements. Developing interpersonal and communication skillswas also identified as a need, as well as computer training for a number of employees.

Great results

Over the period of the training, Queensberry introduced a number of workflow and system initiatives to aid productivity. They found the literacy training made the other training they were putting in place much more effective - particularly in improving the language skills of the team leaders and their teams. Since the programme started, Queensberry noted a number of improvements:

  • Employee skill level improved an average of 14% over a 15-month period.
  • Labour productivity in assembly labour productivity improved 11.5%.
  • Absenteeism dropped by almost 9%.
  • Errors reduced by 6.3%.
  • Team leaders gained the confidence to freely discuss team production issues with managers and their team.
  • There was a marked increase in employee willingness to challenge and share ideas.
  • Employees took more ownership of their work learning how to resolve problems themselves.
  • Employee confidence extended beyond the workplace to their personal lives.

Since the literacy training started, there has been a 6.3% reduction in errors. It all adds up to efficiency. As an organisation we are now all doing a better job both in terms of quality and productivity.

Adrienne Baugh



Contact Nick Miles
for more information

Phone: (09) 361 3800nmiles@workbase.org.nz