One of the best investments a company can make is in its employees. One way to make a lasting investment is by offering educational opportunities to employees.

Employees greatly value education benefits. They know that tuition reimbursement and specialized training courses enhance their professional prospects and make them more marketable. Education benefits also show that a company truly values its employees and their future. A recent study showed that 61 percent of respondents who received training or mentoring said they were highly likely to remain with their current employer for the next five years or more.

As innovation impacts all fields, continuing education is an excellent way to offer employees a chance to learn new technologies. Skills need to be updated, modernized and developed to best suit the needs of the organization. If a company wants to grow and thrive, it should not solely rely on the skills its employees arrived with in today’s competitive business world.

Your company can benefit from this in many ways. A smart, well-trained work force is critical to productivity and the bottom line. By offering employees the opportunity to expand their education, your company may see these added benefits:

  • Ability to take advantage of innovation
  • Increased rate of employee retention
  • Reduced rate of employee absenteeism
  • Increased quality of work or service
  • Increased productivity

Here is a breakdown of these five benefits of profitability. Increased ability to take advantage of innovation, which can be measured by:

  • Better team performance
  • Improved capacity to cope with change in the workplace

BusinessWeek magazine reported in 2009 that in the midst of the worst recession in 50 years, there are approximately 3 million jobs that employers are actively recruiting but cannot fill. The article pointed out that a help wanted sign is a bad sign. Workers thrown out of shrinking sectors like construction, finance and retail lack the skills for growing fields like health care, data mining and accounting. That is why the nation has millions of jobs that continue to remain unfilled. Without retraining, U.S. workers may not be able to fill them and take advantage of innovation.

Increased rate of employee retention, which can be measured by:

  • Savings in recruitment and hiring
  • Increases in job satisfaction
  • Increases in customer satisfaction

Employees truly appreciate education benefits. In an article in HR World magazine, 6 out of 10 respondents who received additional training or mentoring said they were very likely to remain with their current employer for the next five years.

  • Reduced rate of employee absenteeism

The Conference Board reported that in a survey of 500 CEOs, 98 percent reported at least one business benefit from workplace training. One-third reported a reduction in absenteeism and another 40 percent said that workplace training led to increased employee retention.

Increased quality of work or service, which can be measured by:

  • Decline in waste
  • Decline in error rate
  • Increase in customer satisfaction or retention
  • Better safety record

A study from The Aspen Institute found studies in its literature review that correlated employee training with reduced production error rates.

Increased productivity, which can be measured by:

  • Less time spent per task or per unit
  • Increased output of products or services
  • Time savings for managers and supervisors
  • Improved capacity to use new technology

A recent productivity study found that 92 percent of firms participating in a Massachusetts training program reported increases in quality and 91 percent reported increased productivity.