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Empowering your employees through continuing education is a must for 2022 (and here’s how to do it right)

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Towards the end of 2021, the employers experienced what became known as The Great Resignation. Employees who felt undervalued, uninspired, or saw few professional growth opportunities left their organizations en masse to pursue something greater

While the desire for a salary increase was pretty high up on the list, a recent survey revealed that lack of growth opportunities is one of the top reasons for employee turnover, with a whopping 87% of millennials claiming personal development and growth are highly important to them in a job. Another survey found that employees who experienced a higher learning culture were less inclined to leave their organization and exhibited better job performances. 

Your employees want to shine in their roles, and they also want to know they’re staying on top of their industry’s changes and shifts so they can be prepared for whatever challenges come their way. Simply put: if you’re not investing in your employees’ professional development through continuing education, you may already be way behind the curve. 

So, how can you empower your employees through continuing education? Here are a few key tips along with some trusted resources that can help your team thrive.

 

Compile and share an internal library of resources with your teams

Sharing an internal library of resources ensures that your employees have easy access to materials that can help them build on their skill sets and explore new areas of expertise. This library can include books, e-books, audiobooks, podcasts, videos, links to valuable course materials, online resources, and other industry-related reading materials on self-improvement and honing skills. 

You can also encourage employees to share their own resources and skills with others to grow the library and contribute to their colleague’s learning as well. 

 

Encourage employees to participate in workshops and certification courses

Employees learning new skillsDepending on where your team is located, there may be industry workshops or events they can attend. If not, there are plenty of webinars, online workshops, and other virtual events available for the taking. 

Hubspot offers free certification courses in various categories such as marketing, sales, web development and design, and more. These courses are designed to help marketers grow regardless of where in their careers they currently are (from beginner to advanced), and the ability to add a new certification to their resumes can only help professionals as they advance in their careers.

Some additional online resources are Masterclass, Coursera, Skillshare, and Udemy. Many universities offer online continuing education courses, as well. 

If you don’t have the financial resources to cover the cost of every course or workshop for everyone, you can help by being flexible with your employees’ schedules so they can take advantage of opportunities as they come along. Just be sure to review the course/workshop/etc. beforehand so you know what they’re getting into and can determine whether or not this specific opportunity holds value and merit. 

It’s important to be flexible with your teams, and allow some time each week for people to complete their courses. Your employees have lives of their own. They have families, personal goals, social lives, and a desire for true work/life balance. Allowing your employees to take some time during their workday to focus on advancing themselves professionally can help ensure everyone has a chance to complete their desired course or certification. 

 

Use the 70/20/10 rule

The “70/20/10 rule” is a methodology first introduced by the Center for Creative Leadership after conducting a study that examined how executives learn, grow, and change over the span of their careers. And although many other methodologies exist in this space, the 70/20/10 rule is by far one of the most tried and true approaches. 

According to this rule, professionals need to have three types of experiences to grow in their careers based upon a ratio of:

  • 70% challenging job-related experiences and assignments
  • 20% developmental relationships with others, such as coworkers and managers
  • 10% coursework, training, and other formal learning events

The critical takeaway from CCL’s study is that effective leadership can be learned

The 70/20/10 rule goes beyond the traditional learning methods to incorporate all methods of learning in the workplace by providing employees with a diverse range of opportunities to learn, grow, foster internal relationships, and network within their industry. 

Don’t get too caught up in the ratios here; they’re certainly not set in stone. Instead, you can view this as a general guide to how each type of learning can benefit your teams. You can adjust depending on your organization’s unique needs.

 

When your team feels empowered, everyone has a chance to succeed

Empowering your employees through continuing education isn’t just about making sure each employee knows how to do their job efficiently as new concepts are introduced or new technologies replace old. Rather, you should view this as an opportunity to engage your employees while encouraging them to advance their own careers. 

Your employees may stay with your organization for years to come, but they may also find an incredible opportunity to flex their skills elsewhere in a role you’re not currently able to offer them. Either way, consider it a win, because you helped them succeed in every way you could. 

 

Ready to see your employees grow? We’re here to help them reach their goals, too. 

Being proactive in helping your employees reach their educational goals is the best way to ensure it can happen in the first place. And if you need some help getting started, we know just how to help. Contact us and learn about how we can develop internal communications and support materials for your continuing education program.