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The Importance of Ongoing Education for Employees

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Guest Contributor

Many businesses (especially small businesses) are not too keen to offer extra benefits to employees these days (or ever, for that matter). And there's no denying that supplying ongoing education and training (or an education assistance program) can cut into the bottom line. But it may be worth the additional expense for a number of reasons. Here are just a few ways in which providing the education your employees need to expand their horizons can be a great boon to your business.

  1. Refresher course. While some employees come to you straight out of college, others have been making the rounds in the working world for a while. Continuing education can help both groups. The newbies in the office can always learn more, even if they went straight from graduation to a ground-floor cubicle. And a bit of repetition couldn't hurt until they get their sea legs, so to speak. As for those who have been in the game for years, it couldn't hurt to give them an opportunity to brush up on knowledge and skills that may have gotten a little fuzzy over time.

  2. Get up-to-date. This world is nothing if not transitory. No matter what industry you work in, things will change over time. And with quickening pace of technological advancement it behooves you to have employees that are familiar with the latest equipment and software so they can help you to choose the tech that will best compliment your business moving into the future.

  3. Adopt a new skillset. Just because someone has been doing a job and doing it well doesn't mean they couldn't do better. By offering additional training and education to your employees you only stand to improve their efficiency, competence, and overall performance, making it well worth the initial expense.

  4. Redundancy. Most employers don't consider redundancies a good thing since it means they're virtually paying two people to do the job of one. But think about this for a second. Suppose you have two employees that work in the same department but do very different jobs. What would be the harm in training each to cover the duties of the other? The employees themselves will gain valuable knowledge and skills that will benefit them not only in your office, but in any job they go on to at a later date. And you'll ensure that every position is covered, even when someone is out on vacation or medical leave.

  5. Well-rounded employees. You don't necessarily have to get every employee enrolled in online executive MBA programs in order to continue their education and training. But making training courses and seminars available to them (or even making them mandatory) will help to ensure that your employees are kept aware of changes that affect them and your business. And if you offer funding for continuing education (some amount of reimbursement) it can not only help to create employees that have a passion for learning , but it can make for more rounded individuals that bring extra insight and innovation to the workplace, ultimately making for a creative atmosphere that is full of possibility and forward momentum.

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