No matter how big or small your business is, it can benefit greatly from offering employees continuing education benefits. Employees want to continue their education and will value you as an employer if you help them make that happen. A study from EvoLLLution entitled “Lifelong Education and Labor Market Needs” found that 96 percent of employers said that continuing education improves job performance. In addition, the study found that 87 percent of employees felt it had a positive impact on pay scale. Here’s a look at the ways you can facilitate professional growth by implementing a continuing education program for your employees:
The simplest way to help your employees continue their education and grow within their chosen industry is by hiring a certification instructor. Professional certification gives your employees a chance to upgrade their skills and grow in their career, which in turn gives you stronger and more skilled employees. Certification programs vary from industry to industry, but most programs are flexible to the needs of their working students. Certification is an inexpensive way to help your employees move forward and learn new skills.
Online education enables your employees to receive a higher education at their own pace and in their own time. Online education can be easily incentivized for employees by offering them tuition reimbursement as long as they maintain a good GPA or continue to work for your company for a number of years following the completion of their degree. You may even encourage employees to train online in the education and teaching fields so they can transition to becoming professional educators or instructors within your organization. A talented and educated employee will utilize the skills they learn in a degree program while working for you, so offering tuition reimbursement to them is an investment in their professional growth.
If it isn’t necessary for employees to receive a traditional secondary degree, encourage them to enroll in local university programs that issue continuing education units, or CEUs, that document attendance in a particular course. CEUs are normally tracked for every 10 hours of coursework, which allows employees to document their non-credit training courses so you can offer tuition reimbursement.
Reimbursement is often your best tool to encourage employees to continue their education. Be sure to outline exactly what your business’ conditions are for reimbursement, including the types of courses, how many classes are eligible per semester, GPA requirements and percentage of cost to be reimbursed.
Additionally, you need to address other linked benefits. Can paid time off be utilized for education? Can the benefit be offered to employees who already have degrees? Can you require employees to stay with you for three years after their education is complete? The answers to these questions vary from organization to organization, so be sure to sit down with your HR department and discuss the fine details of what works for you. Regardless of what you choose, continued education is a valuable benefit for both you and your employees.