While it would be great if every employee had all the skills they could ever need to do their job well, this is not always the case. Whether this is because their role has expanded or there are simply areas to improve, providing continuing education is a wise move for your practice.
Below are tips on how to provide continuing education and why this can help improve your practice.
How Can You Provide Continuing Education?
There are a number of ways you can provide additional education to your employees. The easiest way is to offer assistance programs, which reimburse employees for tuition expenses. Contingencies should be applied to this process. Employees must work a certain number of hours a week (usually enough to make them full time) and have been at the organization for a certain amount of time (usually at least six months) to qualify. While this may be obvious, there should also be a cap on the maximum amount an employee can get each year.
Instead of covering tuition, your practice can opt to provide employees with in-house continuing education. This can be done by creating your own programs or simply selecting a handful of courses to offer to all employees. These courses can be purchased through an organization or even through AOA, as explained in a previous blog post.
Another option is to partner with a local university (preferably one that has an online program) to help your employees receive their undergraduate degree. While typically only done by larger companies (think Starbucks), it is a potential option if your practice is part of a larger institution. This program would help employees receive their four-year degrees, helping to set them up for future career success.
Why Should You Provide Continuing Education?
However you decide to do it, providing continuing education can help with the following:
- Attracting and retaining talented workers, especially those who see the value in additional learning opportunities.
- Providing your practice with a competitive advantage over those who do not encourage their employees to grow.
- Keeping employees engaged at work by encouraging them to stay challenged.
- Creating a strong collection of ready and available talent to promote when a position becomes available.
- Enabling employees to be flexible and giving them the necessary tools to adapt to a changing workplace.
Need another reason? Research shows that individuals who have opportunities for professional development are more engaged and committed to the company than those who don’t.