Is Providing Education Good for Business?

There is a debate between whether education for employees adds to your business or hinders it.

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Many employers worry that funding the education of an employee will be money down the drain if that employee decides to take their new knowledge to another job elsewhere. And while this is certainly a risk (albeit not a common one), the flip side is that investing in an employee can create positive and long-reaching benefits for a business.

A Case for Education

According to a 2012 study by The EvoLLLution, an online resource for higher education, 96 per cent of employers surveyed across North America said continuing education improves job performance and 87 per cent said it has a positive impact on pay scale, with many citing a direct correlation, especially in the healthcare field. Similarly, firms rated as top workplaces often provide training and continual learning opportunities for their employees.

Helping employees upgrade their education also serves to retain top talent, who are less likely to move elsewhere because of the company’s demonstrated belief in their capacity to grow. On the flipside, according to Forbes.com, a lack of growth opportunities is one of the key reasons for employee turnover. In fact, 87 per cent of millennials say professional development is important in a job.

Equal Access is Key

Reserving education for the top employees at your company may seem like a good idea, but people at all levels of training and experience benefit from continued learning.

Proving to employees that they are valued individuals by paying — wholly or in part — for their continuing education fosters feelings of motivation within the workplace. Furthermore, it boosts employee loyalty, which saves an employer money on staffing changes and retraining.

A 2016 Gallup survey showed that millennial turnover due to a lack of engagement at work costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually, so it may be wise for employers to reach out to employees, regardless of their generation, to ask who is interested in pursuing field-related professional development opportunities. It could just provide a big boost in staying power.

This article is from the February/March 2019 issue of Douglas.