Supporting your team’s education can boost knowledge and productivity in the workplace. New education opportunities can improve satisfaction and lead to higher retention rates.
Retaining employees is a shared goal of most companies. Keeping staff on board can save you the costs associated with rehiring and onboarding.
If you haven’t considered offering your team continuing education to improve retention, you should.
Whether it’s a short course or a university degree, giving your staff opportunities to up-skill is a win-win. Not only is it good for morale, but the skills they learn will benefit your company.
What are the other benefits of education in the workplace? Read on to find out.
Education makes your team stronger
Training your employees makes good business sense. The skills they learn will transfer to the workplace, and you’ll have a more knowledgeable and qualified team.
Education can be highly targeted, focusing on areas that are lacking in your company. For example, your employees may benefit from computer skills, administration, or bookkeeping training.
Alternatively, you may have specific software that you want them to master. Whether it’s a brand new field of learning or up-skilling in existing areas, education benefits the whole team.
When your team members are all capable, it will create a stronger work environment. The workload can be shared, and each member will have something of value to offer.
When your team members can help one another, it will lead to a happier workplace. Your employees will feel good about coming to work each day, leading to higher levels of employee retention.
Education gives your employees a confidence boost
When you offer your employees additional training, they will feel valued by the company. Staff who feel as though they are part of the business’s long-term vision will be more likely to stay.
When it comes to education, choose quality over quantity. You don’t want to overwhelm your team with a larger workload, so you may want to make training optional. You can also give your employees dedicated time off to complete their studies.
Consider using a reputable online study platform, like StuDocu, to give your employees access to university-level lectures. This will help them improve their knowledge and skills while making them feel more comfortable performing their daily tasks.
When your employees feel confident at work, they will be more productive, and you can avoid any preventable user errors.
Education encourages new candidates
If you want a team composed of the best people, you need to have a company where people want to work. If your hiring managers can say you offer training and opportunities for career progression, you will attract the brightest stars.
Offering education does not mean you have to employ a dedicated team. You can outsource different parts of the training process.
For example, you may want to use the services of a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO).
Working with a PEO company can help small business owners gain better employee training materials to develop team members further.
Remember, supporting employee education will not only help you retain existing staff, but it can make your company more appealing to new hires.
Education opens your business to international markets
If you want to be competitive in the world of international business, education is the key.
Imagine the doors that would open if your staff could speak another language. For example, Mandarin is considered one of the most useful languages to learn for businesses.
Consider investing in the education of your employees by giving them access to online Chinese tutors or any other language that may be useful.
Employees interested in working with overseas clients will need to understand different cultures. These online courses may also include etiquette advice on what is appropriate and what may be considered rude.
Your employees will enjoy the challenge of improving their international communications, and you may even be able to reward them with an overseas business trip.
Other skills that can be useful in a global market include promotions, project management, international politics, and foreign tax laws.
Education can prepare your employees for internal promotions
It is not uncommon for staff to look for another job because there are no pathways to promotion.
If your team has access to leadership training, they will be ready when a position arises. Hiring from within saves you money on advertising fees and onboarding, and the successful candidate will already have knowledge of the company.
When your employees know there is the potential for long-term career progression, their loyalty increases. They’ll be motivated to work harder if there is a reward at the end.
The type of education you offer will depend on the type of company you run. For example, larger organisations may support employees seeking a university degree in marketing or management. A smaller company may offer employees a short course or training with a supervisor.
Education is a commitment, and management should be available to help employees during their studies. Whether it’s answering questions, allocating mentors, or planning scheduled time off for exams, your team members will appreciate the support.
Education can keep your employees up to date with industry changes
If you work in a fast-paced industry, keeping up with new trends can help you stay ahead of competitors.
Other industries such as human resources, accounting, real estate, and healthcare can often change rules and regulations on short notice.
When you offer continual training and education, your employees will be in touch with the ins and outs of your business. For example, taxation requirements may change and your accounting department may have to adapt to new legal obligations.
When you give your team the tools they need to do their job properly, they will be less likely to make mistakes.
Your employees may be excited to learn about new innovations, and they will appreciate having accurate and current information to work with. Industry knowledge is beneficial for your brand, your customers, and your staff.
Education means you can offer new services
When you educate your employees, your company can grow into new areas. It becomes possible to add to your service list and expand on your niche.
For example, a bookstore could give employees barista training. They can then sell coffee to customers while they browse through books.
A mechanic could offer quality spare parts to customers taken from pre-owned cars. A web design company could sponsor a team member that wants to learn graphic design. They can then offer an in-house logo design service.
This is a good strategy for businesses that want to give current employees more hours while growing the brand.
Employees will appreciate having extra attributes to add to their resumes, and many will embrace the challenge of adding to their skillset. When you invest this time and trust in your employees, they will feel appreciated, resulting in higher retention rates.
Education can create a safer work environment
Health and safety education can reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace. While Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) is often taught during onboarding, it can be forgotten over time.
Ongoing training and refresher courses can help to keep safety information fresh and ensure that no one is taking potentially costly shortcuts. Topics may include manual handling, correct machinery use, emergency exits, and fire safety.
Other types of workplace training can also be beneficial. For example, you can reinforce anti-bullying policies and company expectations at quarterly meetings.
By setting boundaries and clear guidelines, your employees will feel comfortable discussing any concerns they may have.
Education is good for business and good for employee retention. Your team will be stronger when they have the right knowledge, often resulting in higher productivity and workplace satisfaction.
Your employees will feel confident when they know what to do, and new candidates will be attracted to opportunities for growth.
You can give your team leadership training and set them up for internal promotions while keeping everyone up to date with current laws and regulations.
When you educate your team and provide access to foreign language courses, you can open up international trade. Expanding to other areas will be easier when you teach existing employees new skills.
Don’t forget, ongoing education can help keep your workplace safe. You’ll reduce rates of harassment and injury, making your office a happier place to come to every day.
With all of these benefits and opportunities for growth, staff will be excited to work at your company. When your team feels valued, they will be more satisfied and less likely to look elsewhere.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to embrace education and support your employees in their quest to learn new skills.
About the Author
Vikas Kalwani is a product-led growth hacker and B2B Marketing Specialist skilled in SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. He works at uSERP and is a mentor at 500 Startups.