There are numerous benefits to continuous learning and they can make a many positive differences to companies. It’s natural that employees will learn new skills as they perform their job. At the beginning of a new job or position they will learn more compared with after a few months / years in the position. It is at this stage where programs for continuous learning can help.
Keeping skills sharp
In some fast-paced industries the landscape can change quite quickly (lawyers, teachers, accountants, IT consultants, etc.). Part of their job is to keep abreast of laws, technology, trends. Failure to keep training up-to-date can have a wide range of consequences:
- Clients of accountants could have lost earnings due to missing out on new tax schemes.
- IT consultants could miss out learning about better / faster / improved technological solutions.
- Lawyers could fail to understand the new interpretation of the law.
The key challenge is to keep your skills of your employees up to date, in the best manner possible.
Employees that are not challenged mentally can start to lose focus and motivation for their jobs. The cost of a re-hire for a replacement should be always a consideration when you think of investing in your current employees. Typical training budgets for Fortune 500 companies is in the $1,000 per year range  , but many businesses fall far below this, many can’t afford this.
The cost of a re-hire can be close to 50% of the annual salary of the employee when you account for recruiter fees, benefits packages, training & lost productivity.
“A survey of 610 CEOs by Harvard Business School estimates that typical mid-level managers require 6.2 months to reach their break-even point.”
Successful businesses are always looking for better employee retention plans.
Money, while being an important factor, isn’t always the reason as why an employee will choose to leave. In fact over 90% of employees that threaten to leave but stay due to an increased salary offer, leave within 12 months anyway.
Employees need to be engaged & have a sense of connection to their work. The feeling of making progress, progression or a difference in their job is important. Education is a great method for reaching out to staff and helping them stay engaged.
Education can help to uncover new unknown skills or aptitudes. Employees that are engaged regularly tend stay longer with companies.
Re-engaging staff with education
There are a number of ways that you can use education to re-engage staff. Using seminars, off-site workshops, field-trips or motivational speakers gives your employees a different perspective on what they are doing every day. You can educate employees as to why something is done a particular way, rather than just forcing them into blindly accepting a rule, and thus making them more aware of what they do in their job.
Of course we would have to recommend our product EmailTrainer, a system for scheduling online training as another possible continuous learning method.
Further training and education can lead to your staff to being able to perform their jobs at a higher level or more effectively. The potential benefits include increased sales, making less mistakes or working more efficiently. Staff might be able to qualify for a promotion or a new job. Having a more productive workforce will lead to happier employees and employers.
-  Bersin & Associates’ 2012 – http://www.bersin.com/News/Content.aspx?id=15142
-  The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels by Michael Watkins – ISBN-10: 1422188612