In today’s hyper-connected, globalized marketplace, small business owners need every advantage they can get to remain competitive. One of the most efficient ways burgeoning entrepreneurs get themselves ahead of the pack is by making sure their employees have access to continuing education courses. While cost-conscious owners may be dubious of the prospect of making expenditures that don’t have a direct financial benefit, here are three reasons why extended education will only help grow your business.
Continuing education can help you expand into foreign markets
Recently, during the announcement of his company’s partnership with Chinese media distributor PPC, WWE superstar John Cena spoke about his enthusiasm for the new international venture in Mandarin Chinese. As this Verge piece makes clear, the fact that Cena took time out of his busy wrestling and acting schedule to address a Chinese audience on their own terms was seen as a sign of good faith on the WWE’s part. The PR coup was made possible by the fact that the organization makes free language courses available to its talent. Given that China has displaced the United States as the world’s largest marketplace, it behooves business owners in every industry to ensure that their team are proficient in the new language of money.
Continuing education will help you attract A-plus players
Investing in continuing education is also important because it will help you attract the best and brightest potential hires. Whether it’s through a reimbursement program, an internal educational tour company or the temporary contracting of certification instructors, offering to help your staff expand their existing tool kits will be a relatively low-cost way to appeal to the most ambitious and innovative thinkers in the job market. One American Management Association survey even found that among today’s workforce, continuing education rated higher than raises as a perk when looking at prospective employers.
Continuing education will boost employee productivity and job satisfaction
In addition to being a boon to employee recruitment and expansion efforts into foreign markets, continuing education also pays dividends in terms of employee retention. One survey found that 61 percent of employees who have access to continuing education courses plan to stay with their current employer for at least five years. That enhanced level of satisfaction can be attributed to the fact that acquiring new skills sets and expanding their knowledge bases for free is something that is highly sought after in the current job market. Given that employee disengagement costs the U.S. economy more than $550 billion a year, it’s not hard to see the tangible financial benefits continuing education offers employers.
Furthermore, consumer education can also increase productivity, with one study finding that 96 percent of companies noted that it provided a substantial boost in that metric. By making a long-term investment in your employees’ skill set, they can take on responsibilities outside of their current job description. Down the line, these select employees can assume increasingly crucial positions in your organization, which will further solidify employee loyalty while also precluding the need for a headhunter or protracted talent search.
This article was written by Mario McKellop for Small Business Pulse