Should You Encourage Staff Who Want to Study Part Time?
With the popularity of online training and things like online degree courses these days, it is no surprise that at some point in their careers, lots of people start to think about gaining additional qualifications. As a business owner then, you may wonder whether it is better to support and encourage staff of your own who want to start doing a course outside of work, or not. Undoubtedly studying will mean they may not be able to put in lots of extra hours at work, or may even want extra time off, however on the plus side, if you encourage them then you keep your staff, who will soon be more highly qualified, happy and keen to stay with you.
Each Case Is Different
Of course, you can’t stop people from doing an online college course or similar in their spare time anyway, so there is no benefit to actively discouraging it, but if you provide active support, such as offering extra paid leave for exams and preparation, offering up some of your own time to help coach them, or even paying in full or part for their course, this can offer some real advantages. However, if you offer everybody on your work force support in getting any qualification they feel like, even if it doesn’t fit with their potential career with your business, you stand to be taken advantage of! You just need to weigh up whether each individual case should be supported as much as possible, or whether you should just leave the staff member to it.
Staff who show an interest in doing something relevant to your business in their own time to gain qualifications are usually well worth helping. If, for instance, someone at a junior level in a business wants to do an online business administration degree, it is likely that they are interested in moving up within the company in future. Encouraging people to do relevant online business programs can actually end up being less expensive than other forms of internal training, and while you may need to sacrifice some working time from your employees, it can work out very well. Things that are less relevant to your business, or relevant only at a much higher level than the staff member is at, are still worth offering ‘soft’ support to however you probably don’t stand to gain much by paying for someone to do them.
Of course, supporting your staff when they start a course like an online business administration degree is only part of getting the benefits of them feeling encouraged and wanting to use their new skills in your business, so it is important to also celebrate when people pass exams or gain qualifications when they have done them part time while working for you.
Supporting staff in their own personal efforts to study can help a lot with staff morale and retention, so when the case looks as though it could help your company, offer as much support – including financially – as you can!