Why Providing Continuing Education Opportunities Matters, The MDC Group

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”— Benjamin Franklin

There are three reasons to provide team members with educational opportunities.

  1. Doing so attracts the best job candidates.
  2. People who continue to develop professional skills help themselves, and their company grow and progress.
  3. People who enjoy enrichment activities have less stress and better work-life balance.

Attracting Top Applicants

An Entrepreneur article says 76% of employees surveyed believe a company offering skill training is more appealing, and 87% of millennials think learning and development at work are essential.

Candidates looking for opportunities to grow and improve are the ones companies want to hire. By definition, applicants looking for opportunities to learn and improve their work skills are applicants who wish to do their best work. Job seekers who are ambitious for themselves are usually also ambitious for their team and company. Team members who understand the importance of life-long learning and healthy outside work passions are members who bring positive energy and less stress to the workplace. With a better work-life balance, team members work more efficiently.

Professional Development Benefits Team Members and the Team

People want to continue to learn for various reasons. For example, some might want to work towards getting degrees or certificates that will help them advance in their chosen field. That provides a steady flow of potential team leaders for the company. Others might want to learn or improve certain skills to do their job better. Even if team members don’t want to advance in their profession, they need to continue learning to keep up with changes. Technology, machinery, and business strategies are changing faster today than at any other point in history, and trained people can take advantage of the advancements and be more innovative and productive.

Life-Long Learning and Outside Passions Provide Work-Life Balance

Smart companies encourage life-long learning to promote better work-life balance. The MDC Group and other progressive organizations pay not only for professional development opportunities but for all continuing education. Employees can learn to paint, speak a second language, or cook gourmet meals, and the company pays for it. Individuals who can’t otherwise afford a life-enriching night class can reduce stress and be mentally healthier because their company cares enough to provide non-work-related learning opportunities. For a person who works hard all day and has demanding personal obligations, a little “me time” can make a huge difference. A night school creative writing or woodworking class can reduce stress and help a team member concentrate better at work.

How Can Companies Offer Employees Educational Opportunities?

Formal College or Technical College Classes

Most companies allow employees to continue their formal education. Team members looking to finish an associate or bachelor’s degree or start work on an advanced degree can apply to local or online colleges and universities. Students register and usually pay for the class themselves, but once they complete a course successfully, the company reimburses them. Companies usually control costs by limiting the amount of money any individual can receive towards college credits each year, but they know paying for education benefits both the individual and the company.

Connect with Local Continuing Education Venues

Local government and community colleges often offer a wide selection of non-credit or certificate-earning classes, and the cost is usually much lower than at colleges and universities. For example, there might be computer classes leading to a certificate in computer literacy or courses to learn a language for the workplace. There will also be enrichment classes like art and history. Employees can register and pay, and companies can reimburse participants for class costs once they provide a completion certificate.

Another way a company can take advantage of continuing education venues is by asking for specific classes. For example, if a company decides many team members could benefit from a course on public speaking, it can request such a class and guarantee to provide the students. This is an inexpensive way to get customized training, and sometimes the course can be brought onsite or be offered as a hybrid with some of it onsite and some online or at a 3rd party location.

In-House Training and Seminars

For updating both soft and hard skills, companies often provide learning opportunities during the workday. Whether to improve interpersonal communication skills or learn new software, a class or series of lessons built into the workday can be ideal for teaching multiple team members together. A Lunch and learn, day or part-day seminars, and training sessions can be conducted online or by onsite training companies. When a company purchases new equipment or software, the seller often offers training. Many other organizations provide training modules in everything from time management to team building. Consultants will sometimes create custom instructional units to fit a company’s specific needs.

Mentoring Programs

Mentoring and coaching provide face-to-face training by experienced, knowledgeable employees. These kinds of programs help companies train new people and retain the knowledge and skills the teacher has accumulated over years of experience on the job. Depending on a team’s needs, member-to-member training can be ongoing one-to-one mentoring or can take the form of a single class or seminar. Your most knowledgeable people will eventually retire and having them teach helps you retain some of their knowledge. The teachers also feel great about being recognized for what they have accomplished during their careers.

School Partnerships

Partnerships with community colleges and trade schools can provide companies with continuing education opportunities and a pipeline of potential new hires. The partnership can consist of several components. For example, the company provides visiting teachers for industry-related classes, mentors or internships to students, and information about industry changes and upcoming staff needs.

Professional development increases a team’s production capacity and fosters employee loyalty. The cost of turnover can cut profitability and damage team morale, and loyalty means improved employee-retention rates and a more positive work atmosphere. Non-work-related learning opportunities help people cope with stress from work and home life. Companies like The MDC Group pay for life-long learning because they understand the importance of healthy work-life balance for their team. All continuing educational opportunities, whether college courses, online seminars, or recreational education, support company growth and employee health. Companies that are generous when it comes to these opportunities attract and keep the most sought-after people.


Want to know more about how MDC can help? Drop us a line!