Giving Employees What They Want: Continuing Education Opportunities Blog Feature

Giving Employees What They Want: Continuing Education Opportunities

It’s becoming crucial for organizations to understand how continuing education programs present a win-win opportunity for both employees and employers.  While the pressures of daily business activities can often overshadow learning program initiatives, an investment in employee development can not only differentiate your culture from the next company, but also impact long-term employee engagement and results.  

Here are four reasons why optimizing your continuing education program and reassessing the resources available for employees to learn can have a lasting impact on your most important asset: your people.

Learning can be done while working

Building a culture where continuing education is encouraged helps to ease the stress of juggling assigned workloads with learning.  When managers are on board with a schedule that empowers employees to allocate time for learning and development, it can reduce the risk of employees falling stagnant or bored in their daily routine.  In fact, this is probably why learning a new skill ranks as the #1 career goal for employees in 2018.  Developing new skills can motivate employees to set new personal and professional goals, pushing them to work harder, and build a stronger connection with a company.  Empowering them to build upon their confidence levels is also tied to higher engagement, stronger performance, and satisfaction in a role.

Agility is key to success

The ability to demonstrate an agile approach in today’s ever-changing workplace is one of the most important skills an employee can possess. If a required platform, process, or skill is introduced and employees are forced to learn a plethora of information all at once, their attitude toward learning can be negatively affected with such a daunting task in front of them.  Steadily introducing education around important skills through bite-sized formats can mitigate the need to play catch up on necessary topics that are crucial to the success of your organization, encouraging workers to always be on their toes wanting to learn more.  

Inclusion impacts engagement

Feeling a sense of belonging and inclusion in an organization is important for positive employee engagement.  Personalized learning programs that cater to unique skill sets demonstrate an organization’s commitment to an employee’s individual contribution and their willingness to invest in their long-term growth. Facilitating a community of learning can also improve the ways in which employees collaborate, allowing them to teach, learn, and share ideas in an open and trusted environment.  

The future workforce has high expectations

Millennials and gen z workers are quickly representing a large portion of the workforce and are known for their ambitious, fast-paced mentalities.  It is estimated that those entering the workforce today will have an average of 15 jobs during their career, and younger employees are likely to move on quickly if they don’t see advancement in a current role.

Employers are already recognizing that this poses a short and long-term problem as 87% of HR leaders say improving employee retention will be a critical issue over the next 5 years.  Offering effective learning opportunities to upskill and advance their careers can reduce employee turnover, particularly if upward mobility within an organization is promoted.  

Building a culture that empowers people to learn and grow impacts everything from their satisfaction, to performance, and retention.  Investing the right resources to deliver a strong learning program is important to the success of employee engagement on a day to day and long-term basis, and thus the overall success of your organization.  

To ensure you’re keeping employees engaged and motivated, it’s important to consider the tools you’re offering them to effectively expand upon their skill sets.  Learn more about the benefits of implementing a comprehensive online learning solution to enhance your continuing education program.  

Association for Supply Chain Management shifted its print-based, in-person courses to BenchPrep's modern, configurable, online platform. Learn more about ASCM's modern approach to continuing education in our white paper. 

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