There’s an old saying that “you get back what you put in,” but is this the case when it comes to sending your employees off to get further educated? Do they really stay at your company and share the new knowledge they gained, or do they take their new skills off to greener pastures? In this blog, we’ll explore why the benefits of sending your employees off to school far outweigh the risks. We’ll also highlight a few less obvious perks that come with upskilling your workforce.
If you help lighten the load for an employee of yours seeking an advanced degree, subsidize training for the next great tech system, or simply send a star worker on a training course, you reap the bounty. On the most basic level, they’ll bring those skills back to your business, potentially teaching you a better, faster, or more efficient way to get things done. Said employee might even share their newfound skills with those employees that don’t have the time or means to get back into the classroom, thus helping to upskill your whole workforce.
As we’ve touched on many times, employee engagement is directly tied to employee retention. Now, on the most basic level, few employees are going to leave a company if said employer is helping to fund their education. However, the perks don’t stop there. You see, most companies find that even after the schooling is done, their workers stay and are happy to give back to the company that gave to them.
Improve the career ladder:
If you have the potential to educate and upskill your workforce, you are more likely to have a solid pipeline from which to pull talent should a job open up in your higher ranks. Being able to promote from within is a cost-effective move because the training can be streamlined to focus on their job-specific tasks as opposed to acquainting them with the company. This also works wonders to boost morale as those in the entry level positions see their future career paths in action.
Improve your bottom line:
According to an oldie but a goodie survey by the Association for Talent Development, companies that offer staff access to comprehensive training and education programming experienced a 24-percent higher profit margin than their peers who spent less on such offerings. This is due, in large part, to the fact that workers who have the right skills and knowledge can be more productive in their roles and the quality of work they generate is also typically top-notch. There’s no denying that paying up front for someone’s advanced degree or for them to attend a workshop or seminar relevant to their position can put you out a good chunk of change, but this survey suggests that it is one investment that will show a good rate of return.
Improve your hiring:
Now, this one might seem like a bit of a reach, but a 2017 survey by Udemy found that 95 percent of Millennials believe learning and expanding their skill set is key to their career success and are thus willing to pay for it out of pocket. You can leverage their thirst for learning by including college credit reimbursement or other training subsidies in your benefit offerings and potentially gain an edge when it comes to attracting this notoriously fickle population.
So, now that we understand the why of training your staff, let’s talk about the logistics for doing so. The first step is to determine what type of budget you have available for such offerings. Knowing that you get a good return on investment from educating your staff can help you make the case for spending in this category, but you should still set a realistic dollar amount based on how many employees you expect to benefit and how much, per head, such an initiative will cost.
Next, you should evaluate what types of educational and training opportunities are most desired by your workforce. What skills are they most interested in acquiring and what do they believe is the best way to gain such knowledge. With this data in hand, you can begin evaluating the various education, upskilling, and other training opportunities available and select the best model for your company. Next, you’ll want to roll it out to your employees in a way that helps them to understand the value of what you’re offering, as opposed to thinking of it as more work on their plate. Once the training is done, close the loop by having them evaluate their experience. Based on that feedback, you can make any adjustments as needed and continue to reap the rewards of a robust education program.
Here at Abel, we know that educating and upskilling your workforce is a huge undertaking, which is why we’ve already gone ahead and taken steps to lighten your load. Did you know that we offer a broad range of training opportunities, including systems training and industry-specific programming? Contact us today to see how our suite of offerings may fit your needs.