Employee education has benefits

Both businesses and workers recognise the benefits of lifelong learning.

Courses for adults, illustrative stock photoCourses for adults, illustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

Gaining new skills that enhance chances for career growth is one thing that younger workers appreciate from their employer. By providing such benefits, employers gain not just more qualified workers but also gain more loyalty.

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Training courses shape not only the professional skills of an employee but also their entire personality and behaviour. Companies mostly offer language courses and education which helps develop working skills, according to HR experts. 

“Training, education and career growth supports the formation of the relationship between employee and employer,” said Peter Peregrim, the operations director of Adecco Slovakia, adding that by providing training the employer also demonstrates its commitment to developing people.

Young workers in particular are ambitious and want to improve themselves to help their chances for future career growth. 

“They are in turn more loyal towards an employer who takes care of them in this way,” Peregrim told The Slovak Spectator. 

Improved work force

Both graduates and job seekers with previous work experience tend to lack many of the skills needed in their respective field. The education of employees is a result of businesses’ natural effort to remain competitive on the market, according to Peregrim. 

“It’s very difficult to succeed and be competitive without employees who have the most recent knowledge and [know the most recent] working methods,” he said. 

Through additional education, companies can increase the skills of their employees and fill a position for which they were unable to find a suitable candidate in the long run, said Katarína Klembalová, PR manager of the Profesia.sk job portal.

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While some employees perceive the possibility of further education as a benefit, there are others who might find courses and trainings bothersome and unnecessary, Dana Blechová from Blechova Management Consulting noted.

“It is fundamental to offer the employees such training courses that allow them to do their job better or to help them grow to a higher position that is available,” Blechová told to The Slovak Spectator.

In some sectors, companies have to cope with a higher turnover of the work force, for example in shared service centres, mainly those with less sophisticated services. In such sectors, companies invest a lot of money in training new employees who then leave after one or two years on the job, Blechová noted. 

“The companies will never see such investment returned, but it is necessary to train the employees to allow them to carry out their job well,” Blechová told The Slovak Spectator.

Education as a benefit

Investing into training is risky as such investments may not pay themselves back with returns. To minimise such risk, Blechová recommends to invest into more expensive training courses for employees who have been with the company for longer – workers with a strong performance history who show potential for growth. 

“It is important to offer such possibilities to employees who will really appreciate them,” Blechová said.

On the Platy.sk web portal, 20 percent of employees in Slovakia say they have education as one of the non-financial benefits, said Miroslav Dravecký . 

The motivating factor for employees is the possibility for career growth, with the potential to make more money. Through training, workers develop themselves in practical and also theoretical areas according to Lucia Nacíková, a consultant with Amrop.

The most popular courses

Language courses belong among the most popular, along with various courses focusing on developing hard and soft skills (coping with stress, time management), Nacíková noted. Language courses are the most frequently offered, as well as the most in demand.

“Improving in foreign languages that they use at the workplace on a daily basis greatly increases the employees’ confidence at work,” said Peregrim about the most frequently used type of training courses. 

Firms also often offer technical and IT training, Blechová pointed out. Equally popular are special seminars on accounting, marketing strategies, sales techniques, and communication workshops, Peregrim added.

Employees with many years of experience and more participation in training courses are focused mainly on motivation, psychology and human development, such as how to work under pressure, how to find balance in life, how to work with emotional intelligence and so forth, according to Blechová. 

Tailoring courses to individual employees

Companies should not leave the training of their employees to chance or to their own motivation, experts note. 

“Every company should have its own strategy and vision for education,” Klembalová stressed, adding that this should be based on the latest trends in employee training. Within its education plan the company should also determine whether they want to focus on flat-rate education or rather on specialised training for key employees. 

Nacíková does not recommend offering an employee a lump sum of money that they can use on training courses based on their own preferences. Rather, the company should make sure to prepare a training plan for each individual employee, “tailor-made with the aim to achieve maximum possible development of a concrete employee to be able to do their job”.

Disclaimer: The articles included in the “Human resources” supplement were created by authors enrolled in the educational programme organised by The Slovak Spectator in cooperation with the University of Economics in Bratislava. The programme seeks to train journalism students on how to cover business- and economy-related issues. The articles were prepared in line with strict journalistic ethical and reporting standards.

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