Employee Education Program (MDPs) – Opportunities and Hurdles

There is a discussion going on related to the same topic, which makes me write experiences through this editorial. Investing in Employee education program would enrich and improve employee productivity and performance moreover directly affecting the company’s own efficiency and profitability. A coin has two sides- positive and negative, hence we will discuss the hurdles that come in the way of Employee education programs in organizations; what an employee perceives and what is the employer’s side of the story and then gradually we will share the opportunities that can be tapped through organizing such programs in firms. So here we go:

Flip side story- Employee opinion

# The absence will create a gap: many employees feel that once they are absent for a longer duration from day to day work, their absence will actually cause more gaps in terms of team building, office politics and sometimes it’s a belief that employers also do not support them.

# The acting team leader takes over the team and then the difference in personality type and techniques of team handling often causes a rift between two individuals. Sometimes to the extent that the person who has just returned is given an altogether new area and team to work on and someone else bears the fruits of their efforts.

# Without the management’s support the learning of many months or days goes waste if the employees are not given a chance to utilize these skills and knowledge in the organization as it may require changes in the system or offering of some new projects. Sometimes the management looks at this initiative as an expense without realizing that in the long run such investments can bring many benefits.

# Managing work and education side by side creates hurdles, there is less time for studies, no option for flexible timings, lack of support from the team leaders for studies, all this and more can create a mind block for the employees to opt for such benefits.

Miffed employer

# Many employers assume that once employees are trained they are more likely to leave the company for greener pastures, but actually, the opposite is true: trained staff are happier and more likely to stay put.

# The cost is high, and these expenses actually will bring in more complications, lets not waste our money on something like that, where there is no guarantee if the employee will stay with us or leave for better opportunities.

# Employers feel that absence from work for a long duration may result in less productivity, which indeed is the case in many companies where the employees have to go for full time courses or university/institute courses and their absence does cause less productivity – but isn’t that a short term drawback?


# Team Work: Employees who take part in workplace education programs are better equipped and motivated to work successfully with others. They gain a clearer appreciation of how teamwork is essential for workplace success and how they can contribute to the performance of the team. At the same time, they gain skills that they feel would make them better team players who can perform at the same level as their colleagues.

# Latest development: Such programmes often enhance the knowledge in latest developments and technologies. It is a useful tool to keep employees up to date with what’s new and can benefit the organizations. Keeping abreast with new and improved techniques and technologies- is important to fight competition and overcome monotony.

# Succession Planning: This is one tool which can help you in succession planning, once you have identified the resources (human resources) who can take up a larger role with bigger teams then you can invest in them. Sending them for MDPs bridges the gaps that are currently there and equip them with the required skills and makes them capable of handling enhanced new roles.

# Individual development: Good way to enhance their capabilities. Not only is the company giving the employee added skills, attributes or a value addition to their resume, it is also investing in something that would reap a lot of benefits in the long run. Employees are able to train themselves and acquire new abilities for company expansion. It should be used as a tool to transform its human resources into agents of development.

# Retention: It is one way of retaining your employees, contrary to the common myth that people will leave once they are well equipped with such skills and knowledge; whereas the people becomes more loyal and would like to stay for longer durations to apply their newly learned skills.

# Less employee turnover: Once you sponsor their education, they are more likely to stay with your company. If their education is paid and they are learning while earning what better things they can ask for, especially for employees who have to leave their studies to take up family responsibility.

Cisco is one such company and surely the retention problems are fairly low apart from other benefits. Coca Cola is another example for initiating such programs. Punjab National Bank is another name.

Share with us for the benefit of other members; your story of such programs, there success ratio and benefits!

  • Kranthi

    Good article.
    Most of the organizations believes in hiring trained candidates rather than trainable.

  • chetna

    Hi Archna! This is one important concern in every organization, whether to train their employees further as the role demands or not as the rightly sighted reason is their retention. But The trend which I see in future would be -hire freshers and train them as per the need of your organisation, it would be more industry specific and skill based selection.

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thanks di….very well said….:) hope employers are reading it….

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Yes, Kranthi unfortunately this one problem still remain in many companies…many global companies work with freshers or people who are trainable by investing in them…hope this practice will soon follow in India too…..

  • Samina

    Hi Archana..
    Good Article really. In Pakistan many Organization hire well train staff. hardly few organization investing in their employees. may be they would be think that employees learning like training its a time consuming and costly.Employees learning it’s a very important aspect it should be continue in every organization.

    Samina Hassan

  • Hklrao


    DR. H.K.L.RAO;hklraO@gmail.com BEFORE APRIL 30

  • Manohar

    Hi Archana, this is realy a true experience and true for any organisation. If it is followed without going to the myths, certainly any org will be benefitted. Basic of HR is continuous training as learning ends with death only

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Yes Samina..similar story is narrated by many employees in India, that all good companies are looking for the creme’ Dela creme’ from top institutes..in fact the whole education system is like that. If IIMs or Harvard are so good why don’t they take an average student from campus and train him/her to a future genius….Naah..we are quite far from that…Let us contribute what we can to change the system….one small dent will also be effective..:)

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thanks Dr. Rao…Will surely write to you…to learn more. :)

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thank you Manohar…..very true..my firm belief is that, life is the biggest teacher and learning will continue till we breathe…and who knows even after that as well….:)

    keep pouring your thoughts…its nice to learn from you all..

  • Shaikh Hrd

    I would like to inform you that our company hire fresh candidates and send India for assignment and they perform well. They have an eagerness to learn and perform better.

    Organization should focuss on continuous development of employees to sustain in market and I spend about half my time for this. I believe expenses should be treated as investment rather as cost.

  • Dear Archna Khurana,

    This is outstanding effort and wonderful article – as mentioned “I wish Employers are reading” ——–

    I strongly in favor of Training employees, enhance their skill to perform as per the expectation of the management —–

    Many a time management wants to hire trained employees rather than enhancing skill for current employee. —– Impact of the same:-

    1:- Current employee will see that we got new supervisor and this company not willing to promote old employees.
    2:- Old employees will also take that in this company I can’t learn further – which may later result to ATTR.
    3:- If employers can invest on learning & development of current employee than ATTR rate will surly go down and over all performance will go up.

    By above mentioned pointers I am supporting learning and development of OLD Employees but it doesn’t mean – New Hire employees will not worth for company —-

    As New hire will bring up new ideas & health competition.

    Jaspal Singh

  • Vineesha

    i am pursuing my mba i was a big fan of citeman network which gives lot of information about HR and i use share my knowledge with friends

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Great Vineesha..hope we keep living up to your expectations…:)

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Dear Jaspal Singh,

    Thanks very much for taking your valuable time to read and write such nice words of appreciation.

    I sincerely am thankful to you for writing these points in nutshell and showing us a different side altogether. I could not write much on how training and MDP’s will effect employee turnover…

    Agreed, a balance of old and new employees, combination of fresh ideas and experiences is the key for a successful organisation.

    Please keep sharing such nice insights…..:)

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Hi Shaikh Hrd, very rightly contributed. Thanks for this. :)

  • Tarlochan Kaur

    Hello Archana, I totally agree with all that this article is ‘spot on’. The results of an employee survey conducted for employees in my company last year revealed that the top 3 motivators for employee retention in a company are remuneration & benefits, opportunities for training & freedom to explore and practice what has been learnt. Training must be embraced irrespective of the form in which is done: on the job, internal, external etc etc.How do we get employers to accept to invest in it?
    Tarlochan Kaur (Kenya)

  • Piviramana

    Training of employees is very much required for the organization to get a quality work.Training in required latest developments and technologies only improves productivity with quality.Organization should plan only short time programes in the specialised fields as required to selected personnels

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thanks Mr. RamanaRao….

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Hi Tarlochan, I have experienced the same as well in one of the organisations i worked for. I would say involve employers also in the LDPs or MDPs, we did that and the result was simply superb. MD was the first one to come for the training and, completely participative, and willing to learn….
    It took almost 3 months to convince him to come for the program, finally had to put my foot down, and told him that the investment we would make in LDP will show better result only when he and his sons will participate and they all did…and Bingo!! they are now 800 crore turnover company.
    And it is not there(employers’) fault when they disagree from conducting training programs with the fear of losing their top talents, courtesy to some not so loyal employees who left after company has invested in their trainings and higher education.

  • Ravikant

    Hello mam ,

    This is ravi kant from Mohali.i want know about SAP and ERP . i m management Trainee in Connect Televentures Ltd.

  • Krishnapraveenj

    Thanks madam, i also agree with Jaspal SIngh, kindly keep guiding us. Its readly nice learning.

  • Dwarkanath_rao

    hi Madam
    Liked your thoughts as mentioned many employers feel once they sponsor or impart such trainings how many would be continuing in the organization. But madam one point I would like to mention that HR should be competent in indentifying such training programmes, but here in our organization our HR is very weak and also are managed by the employer himself as a result of this we are facing very much negative approach too, in that case what is to be done pls let me know


  • Bijaya K Shrestha

    Hello Archana,
    It’s a really important matter for this generation people. If organizations are albe to do this i’m sure there destination is not so far. But some organization where i see they are facing problem, they trained and they send their people for higher studies but when people come back after finish their studies/trg their demand was high and they left organizations. Not only i see so many organiztions here in Nepal sometimes like a culture. So what can we do for this situations?

    I really agreed with you interesting topics and my opinion people also to know organizations investments for organization benefits.

    Bijaya K Shrestha

  • Emmanuel Guobadia

    Very good write up on Staff Education, it’s obvious that the benefits out-ways all negative consequence. This should be encouraged in Organisations.

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thanks Bijaya for highlighting this issue of employees leaving and demanding high salary, thats is one of the reasons why employers are reluctant to invest in people. I hope people are reading it and will take corrective actions wherever required even as an employee also…once we change employer will also be convinced to invest in us…Thanks again..:) Keep sharing such valuable inputs.

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Hi Dwarkanath. if HR is weak in any organisation there is nothing much we can do unless employer themselves will change. If HR becomes a puppet in the hands of employer then what can be done, one such department which can yield good results only when they are given freedom and trust.

    Such insecure employers can only learn with time and experience.the employer should be shown benefits of a healthy HR department, with benefits in monetary terms, some employers understand the language of monetary benefits and profits only. so show them the path and they will follow.

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thank you Krishna for such nice words…keep sharing and reading!

  • Roger Georgesongunn


    I understand that while we refer to training as a cost we deserve no return. Once employers understand that training is an investment and thus have a rightful expectation of a return on that investment, then employers will view staff as an asset into which they have invested and so should take a different long-term view of employee careers and their moveability within the organisation.

    This requires a procedure or process to capitalise on the investment into the employee by utilising them in new and different work positions. Currently companies only get ‘spin’ off benefits from their trained employee, because management have no plan for the trained employee.

    Management in investing in employee education should have a plan of that employee’s future use in the company, to the benefit of both parties. Once an employee is well trained and not utilised, then obviously a more intellegent being will want to use that new ability and so will leave, not necessarilly for greener pastures, which hints at leaving only for the money, but for more interesting work and personal expression; i.e. Maslow’s law of the Hierarchy of Needs comes in to force thus it is no surprise staff leave. so the answer is quite simply ‘invest in staff training then apply Maslow’s law.’

    Roger D. Georgeson-Gunn

  • dinesh

    Dear Archana

    A very well thought out article which rightly brings out both the employer’s and employee’s apprehension towards training. I believe that there are ways to iron out these issues:

    1. As someone said the training has to be need based. When I say need based. it is both the organisational needs and the employees needs. From the organisational perspective how does the training add value to the employee in achieving the organisational goals. From the employees view as to how it will enhance his skills to perform his current as well future roles.

    2. All trainings to be planned keeping in mind not only the employees current but also future roles and responsibilities.

    3. I strongly believe that employees will be motivated if organisations are able to leverage on the training imparted. If even after the training the employee is not able to apply what he has learnt, it will be a factor towards de-motivation.

    4. Most importantly as you said the training should be current.


  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thanks Dinesh for summarizing your thought process in such articulate manner.