No man is an island; the saying that means everyone needs someone is very apropos in the business environment. A company cannot survive without the expertise and knowledge of others in the field. Whether networking or searching for the next great idea, businesses, by nature of their work, have to look beyond their own companies to get the information most appropriate for their needs. For this reason, education in the form of seminars, conferences, workshops and conventions are necessary for successful companies to remain competitive, but more importantly, to retain excellent employees.
Whether a college grad or a seasoned employee, one major factor that attracts and retains qualified employees is the ability to impart information about the company that will help the employee make good decisions in the present moment and for their futures. Education should be a part of any ongoing education plan in the work place. Here’s why:
Workshops or conferences help support, train/retrain, reinforce subject matter or prepare employees for upcoming changes in their profession. These workshops not only help employees in their current position, but they also prepare them for future career advancements. The benefit to the employer is that employees who are given up-to-date information in their fields become better, more efficient workers. The benefit to the employee is getting information that can help them in their current position while preparing them for any career changes.
Education regarding an employee’s financial future is extremely important to impart as well. All employees should be given an orientation on the benefits and resources available to them. For example, any pertinent information related to retirement and financial planning (i.e. 401Ks,), health insurance planning, paid and unpaid holiday, and supplemental benefits (i.e. flex-time and life and disability) is important.
Student loan information
Information regarding programs that offset student loans if the employee works for a number of years and information regarding programs that allow the student to work while earning a degree in a particular field help attract employees to the organisation. This information is usually attractive to college graduates with student loan debt or those seeking to further their education.
Growth of technology
Finally, all employees, regardless of where they are at in their profession, would benefit from workshops that cover basic operations of the company. For example, technology is a part of most businesses in today’s economy, and because of this, organisations would benefit by educating their employees on cybersecurity.
All of this information is available to most employees once being hired, and most human resources specialist are required by law to give this information to the employee. However, great companies take the time to impart and explain information that might be too difficult for their employees to understand, regardless of their education level. This focus on detail can only come through educating and explaining any information, and at the same time, fielding questions employees have.
Education in the workplace can come in many formats. Traditionally, employers relied on employees to wade through all of the information regarding employment with the company. However, in recent years, companies have gotten smarter by spending a few hours in workshop with new hires explaining procedures related to benefits, leave and general organisational policy. For example, a common practice in is to have a financial planner visit employees during workshop sessions. During these sessions, the financial planner might explain retirement options and explain other investments.
In addition, when training employees in their particular expertise, departments can rely on more seasoned employees to train or mentor their colleagues, or they can bring in a consultant depending on the field of work. For instance, universities who have to train their colleagues on working with students with learning disabilities might enlist the help of a counsellor whose expertise is with this student population. Additionally, with the advent of online courses that offer training programs to employees, for example The Knowledge Academy, employees can train or become certified in a particular field by experts. Finally, most companies create online tutorials, depending on the subject, which can train employees in less than an hour.
The importance of educating employees about company policy and about advances in their field is a reflection of the company for which they are employed. An educated workforce translates into employees who approach their work with a professionalism and skill, which attracts clients. More importantly, educating employees translates into attracting and retaining highly qualified, very motivated employees. Successful companies reach out to professionals and experts in the field to train their staff, and doing so, make them valuable, valued employees.