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.
# 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!