13 Key Tactics the Pros Use to Encourage Continuing Education for Your Employees



13 Ways to Encourage a Culture of Continuing Education for Employees

Education doesn’t stop after you’ve earned your degree. As a business owner, you might recognize a gap in an employee’s experience or skills that might be bridged with further learning, or that as new tools and approaches develop, you need people on hand who are mentally flexible enough to not only learn the systems, but embrace the possibilities. To find out more, we asked entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council the following:

“What is your preferred method for encouraging employees to do continual education?”



Encouraging Continued Education for Employees

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Lead by Example

“Want your employees to engage in continual education? Then show them how much you treasure constantly learning by modeling the behavior yourself. Take an interest in your own education and be an example of what you want to see in your team. Lead by example and take an interest in your own role.” ~ Chris ChristoffMonsterInsights

2. Schedule Educational Training

“We like to encourage employees to continue their education by breaking off a couple of hours a week for classes or testing. If you’re offering your employees digital lessons, you can give them an hour or two every other day to work on their coursework during normal work hours.” ~ Blair WilliamsMemberPress

3. Share Your Own Development

“When it comes to fostering an environment that cherishes continuing education, it is important to lead by example. We share our own professional development experiences, share resources that we have found helpful, and encourage employees to share what they have learned or what they are interested in learning more about. It sets a tone and encourages others to want to follow their leads.” ~ Blair ThomaseMerchantBroker

4. Offer a Development Stipend

“We offer a development stipend that employees can use in a variety of ways to continue their education, including an online course, in-person course, conference or even a sabbatical. This shows that we are willing to invest in their growth and continual education.” ~ Angela RuthCalendar

5. Find Online Classes They Can Take

“If you want your employees to further their education in the company niche, look for great online classes that discuss topics in the field. Make sure you run through the course once yourself so you know whether or not it is worth paying for and presenting to your employees. Often times, the opportunity to take online classes will encourage employees to further their education.” ~ Syed BalkhiWPBeginner

6. Incentivize Education

“There are two potent methods of motivating an employee to further their education. The first is to assist them in paying for their classes and exams, either in part or in full. The second method is to incentivize them to educate themselves with the opportunity for upward mobility in the company, along with the potential for fiscal bonuses and raises.” ~ Bryce WelkerCrush The CPA Exam

7. Send Employees to Conferences

“Attending conferences with your team is a great way to encourage continual education. At a conference, your employees will get the opportunity to learn in a variety of ways such as listening to a keynote speaker, participating in workshops and speaking to top professionals in the industry. A conference is a fun way for employees to learn new things and it’s great for team bonding as well.” ~ Stephanie WellsFormidable Forms

8. Have Them Report Back

“We have employees in several major cities and we encourage them to attend industry events, both to educate themselves and to make contacts. Many employees will enjoy the social aspects of these events, especially if they involve travel. We have all employees complete a report about the event, noting what they have learned and any contacts they have made. We circulate these via Slack.” ~ Ismael WrixenFE International

9. Let Them Network During Business Hours

“We send employees to advanced marketing conferences, like PubCon, and to local networking events during working hours. Incentivizing teams to participate in these conferences together with prizes independent of participation also is a great way to increase the thirst for industry knowledge. Continuing education and events are a part of the core culture at my agency and they are a perk of the job.” ~ Matthew CapalaAlphametic

10. Explain the Benefits of Continuing Education

“I’ve found that one of the best ways to encourage continuing education within my team is by explaining the benefits. There’s the obvious benefit of knowledge from the coursework, but explaining the professional benefits seem to be the deciding factor when encouraging employees to continue their education.” ~ David HenzelLTVPlus

11. Provide Actionable Training

“Instead of offering training courses that are more formalized, such as online courses with questions at the end, make them part of your work day in your office or work environment. When training or education is more centered on action rather than research, your employees will be more likely to participate and succeed.” ~ Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

12. Make Learning a Requirement for Promotions

“Make people feel like this is not just a job but rather an amazing career opportunity. Let them know that they can be promoted based on their skills. This incentive will work much better than any abstract reasons why education is important. In the long run, you will build a team of skillful and self-sufficient professionals.” ~ Solomon ThimothyOneIMS

13. Assign Mini ‘Fun’ Projects That Involve Learning New Skills

“We’re a software engineering team, so what we typically do is every quarter or so block off 40 hours or so to build an internal “just for fun” project using some technology that none of us have used. Typically, we look at the ThoughtWorks Radar and figure out a tool or technology that we’re planning to use in the next quarter and experiment with that.” ~ Ashish DattaSetfive Consulting

Image: Depositphotos.com

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The Young Entrepreneur Council


The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

One Reaction

  1. Aira Bongco

    There are some free allowances for employees who manage to finish continuing education. It is a way to motivate them to study while working.

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