When you’re working on your budget, one business expense that’s sometimes difficult to justify is continuing education and training for your workers. Typically, when setting your budget, you can easily determine the monetary value each line of the budget will bring into the company.
This can be tough to determine when it comes to investing in continued employee education.
However, making a real investment into your workers through continuing education programs is actually a very key step toward business growth. Here, we’ll take a look at five solid reasons why it’s important to make the investment starting this year.
- Improved Efficiency and Productivity
This is the number one reason to invest in employee continuing education for a good reason. The concept is quite simple: employees that become more skilled and knowledgeable in their jobs get a lot more work done in less amount of time.
Often, this creates a snowball effect within your business. The efficiencies that are gained in one specific area of the business roll over into additional segments of your company.
A research study performed by Gartner Research shows that for every individual hour an employee spends on continuing education, five full hours of productivity time are saved every year.
- Better Employee Retention
The millennial segment has become the largest generation in America’s workforce. In fact, about one out of every three workers are now millennials. Gallup Research recently came out with a report that makes a strong point: millennials are looking for career development over current job satisfaction.
The majority of millennials aren’t as concerned with “bells and whistles” around the workplace. Latte machines, free food and ping pong tables aren’t getting it done for this key generation. They feel like the entitlements and toys are condescending. Development and purpose are what drives the millennial generation.
If you’re looking to retain more employees, especially millennials, show that you’re willing and able to invest in their professional development and continuing education.
It’s much more important than giving away cliche freebies.
- Better Coverage and Cross-Training
How common is it that you or your team has a situation that only one person knows how to solve, but that person happens to be on vacation or out of the office? Or, even worse, they no longer work for your business?
It’s important to ensure that company roles always have a minimum of one backup individual. It makes business functions resistant to unneeded delays in key projects and tasks.
When employees are fully cross-trained, it also helps them move forward with their desired career path. By working as an apprentice or understudy for additional organizational roles, it helps facilitate positive role changes and promotions which is important for morale.
Job shadowing programs are effective ways to cross-train because they benefit the trainer and the trainee. The trainer will get a better understanding of their job because they are required to fully explain how things are done. The person being trained will be able to use a new set of eyes on common problems that will leave to improved efficiency.
- Reduce Your Costs
Increasing job efficiency through continued education does more than improve productivity. It also reduces your business costs. This is accomplished by:
- Lowering downtimes
- Reducing mistakes that require re-works
- Reduced employee turnover
- More work getting accomplished with the same staff size
Continuing education contributes positively to all these factors.
- More Purpose and Passion
Developing a business culture of continued development and learning demonstrates to your workers that you value their dreams, convictions and future hopes. Many employees seek out businesses that give their work meaning. They look to work for companies with purpose and a long-term mission.
Is It Time to Start Offering Continuing Education?
The benefits of offering your employees continuing education far outweigh the costs involved. When working on your next budget, perhaps it’s time to allocate funds toward improving the education of your staff.