Many employees do not have all the skills they need to do the jobs for which they were hired. Even if their initial skills are adequate, positions evolve and new skills are frequently needed in order to continue to excel. Continuing education to update existing skills and develop new ones should be an important priority for workplaces that want to improve their productivity and retain employees.
There’s no bigger source of workplace frustration than employees who don’t have what they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability. That frustration can quickly turn into a negative attitude or sour the morale for an entire team, department or entire company. It really is true that it only takes a few unhappy employees to spoil the entire bunch. Unfortunately, negativity spreads much faster than anything else in the workplace.
Build a Learning Culture
One thing workplaces can do is build a culture that values education and encourages the ongoing learning of employees. In a culture like this, employees will learn from each other, embrace opportunities to learn new skills, and be more than willing to participate in continuing education opportunities like courses and other types of training.
It’s not enough to verbally encourage employees to keep learning. Part of creating a culture that values learning and skill development may include building in rewards for demonstrated learning and a gamification system that will give employees an incentive to learn. Without these types of incentives, at least some employees won’t buy in, and it will impact the overall atmosphere of the workplace.
Reward Employee Commitment for Learning
Companies may also want to invest in continuing education with customized trainings and partnerships that will help them meet their educational goals. Employee-directed learning may be effective and may help that employee develop needed skills, but sometimes a more company-directed approach is needed in order to meet specific goals and objectives. In fact, a combination of employees learning on their own initiative and companies providing continuing education to cover important skills and objectives will give the best results.
Short of a direct investment in on-site or off-site training courses, tuition reimbursement for continuing education courses could be an option that will allow employees to gain skills they need at a lower cost for the company. Smaller companies may not be able to afford custom training solutions, but could reimburse individual employees for taking some courses that relate to their current jobs.
Employee empowerment is a goal of many companies, and continuing education is one of the best ways to empower employees. Empowered employees are engaged employees, and engaged employees are less likely to leave for another job, keeping turnover and its associated costs lower. The cost of continuing education is more than paid for by employees with better skills and higher morale.
Empower Employees to Learn
CCSU offers many different continuing education courses to meet the needs of diverse companies in many different fields. View open courses to see what continuing education options we can offer your company.