How to support employees with continuing education

When you build a culture of learning within your company, you create a stronger staff that is more engaged, informed and committed. It shows employees that you value their involvement and support their growth, which translates into improved employee productivity and overall satisfaction.

continuing_educationMany employees may already be interested in advancing their professional career through continuing education. But when your C-suite is just as enthusiastic about the opportunity, it can enhance participation, development and performance.

In fact, employers benefit just as much as the employees themselves when professional development and continuing education opportunities are made a priority. Employee training can fill skills gaps and target specific work area and the tools learned in class can be used during day-to-day operations—a direct contribution to the company’s bottom line.

The Association for Talent Development found that companies who spend around $680 on each employee for education and training purposes will see a 6% return in annual investment. And employees who receive additional educational opportunities and a boost in empowerment are more likely to stay loyal to their employer.

Now that you recognize the value of continuing education, here are five simple steps to support your workforce:

  • 1. Ask employees about their education goals and help them determine an education action plan
  • 2. Allow flexible hours for employees to take courses as needed
  • 3. Periodically ask how the course or class is going
  • 4. Offer yourself as a resource or reference for projects, insight and feedback
  • 5. Celebrate students when they reach a milestone or graduate

Employees who participate in continuing education will actively rethink processes, bring new ideas to the table and stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends. Encourage it! It will have a big impact on how they move forward and stay motivated throughout the course.

Whether you simply offer tuition reimbursement, offer in-house continuing education opportunities or encourage external course enrollment, it’s essential to foster an environment of constant learning. Each employee deserves a chance to grow, so give them the opportunity.

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