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The Competitive Advantages in Offering Continuing Education for Staff

Jessica Gibson

Associate
July 13, 2022

The workforce is more educated than ever before. If most in the workforce are already so educated, is there a reason to become more educated? Yes! There are actually many demonstrated advantages to continuing education for both the employee and the employer.

A study by EvoLLution found that 96 percent of employers agreed continuing education improves employees’ job performance. Similarly, firms rated as top workplaces often provide training and continual learning opportunities for their employees. Providing continued education opportunities strengthens the knowledge and skills of a company’s workforce and also helps retain their top talent.

Advantages of Continuing Education

For employers, there is evidence and good reason to show that providing extra learning opportunities to employees actually decreases workplace costs. This is because continuing education leads to:

1.      Reduced downtime and increased productivity.

2.      Highly skilled workforce. Skilled employees bring new ideas and creativity to the job.

3.      Upgrading technological skills to stay current with changing markets and trends.

4.      Retaining happy employees. By investing in the skills and development of employees there is less employee turnover and improved moral and job satisfaction.

5.      Identifying future leaders, because employees who are interested in improving their skills and continuing with their education are often perfect candidates for future leaders’ roles and positions in the company. and

6.      Fewer mistakes are made that require an audit.

A well-trained and well-educated workforce helps companies to achieve long-term viability and profitability.

For employees there are various advantages as well:

1.      Higher salary, because continuing education improves the chances of a promotion.

2.      Improved marketability, because upgrading one’s skills will increase opportunities in the job market.

3.      Learning new skills to obtain the required abilities and knowledge when facing a job or career transition.

4.      Personal development. Learning and training does not have to relate to just a career or job. Continuing education is also a perfect way to follow a personal interest.

5.      Improved image, because continuing education can have an effect on how you are perceived which can enhance self-image and have a positive effect on life overall.

6.      Increased job security. and

7.      Overall workplace satisfaction.

Furthering education can also increase an employee’s sense of being an asset to their company.

Types of Continuing Education Opportunities

Conferences

There are various ways to partake in continuing your education, such as attending conferences. Companies often attend these events already, however, by sending more employees to conferences there is an opportunity to create a bonding experience and a learning experience all in one. Also, the more employees that attend, the more people there will be sharing the knowledge from various speakers and classes, which is an excellent way for new information and ideas to spread company-wide.

Project Involvement  

Getting various team members involved in new projects is another great way to further education within a company. When new or small projects arise, it is a good idea to include eager employees in these projects. Supporting inclusion on projects that employees may not otherwise have had the opportunity to work on, allows employees to develop skills both in and outside their wheelhouse. Being a part of a novel project also breaks up the monotony of day to day activities. Encouraging collaboration on new and relevant tasks motivates more people to get on board, which also contributes to information being shared across departments, which benefits everyone.   

Seminars

Company lead education seminars are a great way to share information, pertaining to the company’s industry, and about your company. By casually integrating learning into everyday life, more employees are likely to buy-in and participate. Ascent Employment Law for example, hosts monthly Lunch and Learn seminars that are led by different team members and delve into current issues and topics. Not only can this strengthen your work community, especially if you are working remotely, it can encourage others to want to share their knowledge and ideas for the benefit of their peers.

If you like the idea of the suggestions above, but are unsure where to even begin, a great way to determine what people may be interested in learning is to take a poll and determine what your conference, project or seminar topic should be! Unilaterally choosing a topic, and even that topic’s format without consulting those you are trying to encourage and benefit could be a flop if no one is interested in what you pick.

More Benefits of Continued Education!

Stability

A key driving force increasing the demand for continuing education is current economic conditions and the uncertainty in the global markets. It is during these times that many people are seeking to improve their skills to stay hired or find other job opportunities.

Networking

Continuing education also can lead to more effective networking. There are so many continuing education opportunities that provide the opportunity to meet new people. Even if it’s an online course, there are often forums or groups people are able to join to network and work together on projects. There are also study groups, membership societies, special conferences, and other opportunities to learn and network at the same time.

Literal Health!

There is a strong connection between education and health. Continuing to learn new skills, especially when you’re older, keeps your brain active and healthy. Learning new things can also help improve memory. Research has shown there is a strong link between reading and overall health. Learning is a form of mental exercise that can keep you healthy!

Numerous research studies show that having more education correlates with having a longer lifespan. People who prioritize educating themselves are more likely to develop healthy behaviors and less likely to suffer from illness. Continued education throughout life benefits both mental and physical health.

A Win-Win

The benefits of continuing education cannot be understated. By offering continuing education opportunities employers have a competitive ability to attract and retain great talent. Employees see learning opportunities as a benefit, which gives companies a competitive advantage over those that don’t offer additional learning. Continued education also keeps people engaged at work in a healthy way by facilitating jobs to be more challenging and rewarding. By offering continued education opportunities, companies are able to create a strong leadership pool of talent that is already a part of their work community.  

Continued education put simply is a win-win for companies, employers, employees and the overall workplace community wellbeing.

Contact us to discuss staff management, how you can gain a competitive edge in retaining and keeping top talent!