Whether employees are seasoned professionals or recent college graduates, if they’re serious about their careers, they know they’ll have to continue to learn and grow if they want to climb the ladder. In most cases, they will have to seek training externally through conferences and seminars. As an organization, offering continuing educational programs to employees is a fantastic perk that can be extremely beneficial in engaging employees and also preventing unwanted turnover.
A recent poll reports that 41% of employees who are not offered training opportunities will plan to leave their current job within 12 months, compared to the 12% that plan to leave who are offered excellent training opportunities. One of the most staggering numbers is that 87% of millennial’s say that professional development is one of the most important factors in a job. Most companies assume that once employees are trained, they are more likely to leave the company for better opportunities. In reality, the opposite is true as employees who are continually trained are happier and more likely to stay put.
If you are an organization that does not have a continual educational program or has one in place but could use some improvement, we have you covered! Here are a few ways to create a CE program that both your organization and your employees will benefit from.
Step 1: Define Your Goals
The first step to creating a continuing education program is to make sure that your organization has put into place clear objectives and goals of what your CE program wants to accomplish. Examples of this can range from:
- Preparing your employees for future leadership roles
- Specific skill-building courses
- Industry-specific training
- Management training and development
This step is often overlooked when companies are in the process of creating a CE program. Two questions you should ask yourself before developing a CE program is “What do we want our employees to learn from this?” and “How will these new skills benefit and impact the company?” Once you have answered these questions, you can then put into place objectives and goals for your CE program.
Step 2: Educational Material and Content
After you have clearly defined your vision and goals for your CE program, the next step is to create the educational material that will be presented to your employees. This step will present its own set of unique challenges as we live in an age of overwhelming information. There are a few options that you can select for this step but you need to take into consideration time, budget, and resources that your organization has readily available.
If you have the resources available, you will have the ability to consult with an outside training and development organization that can provide you with a development plan that is tailored to your specific organization. If this option falls outside the scope of your budget and timeframe, you can look to external resources that provide general training and development courses. These resources can be a fantastic alternative as they have years of experience creating and producing industry leading training and development programs for companies of all sizes. The only downside to these programs is that they are not usually tailored to your specific company.
The final option you can utilize would be to create your own training and development material that you feel would benefit your staff the most. At the end of the day, your leadership team knows your organization and needs better than anyone else. This knowledge can allow you to create material that is specifically tailored to your organization as well as being cost effective. On the downside, it can be very time consuming to produce the correct material. All of these options can provide your organization with great value, but first, you need to understand what you are trying to accomplish with your CE program. Once your objectives have been identified, you can then select the right program for your company.
Step 3: Review and Evaluate
After you have selected and implemented a CE program within your organization, you should then take some time to evaluate the program and the results. There are many ways to go about this, but the most beneficial way is to ask for direct feedback on the program. Having an understanding of what was not beneficial is just as valuable as knowing what was. This feedback will help you make the appropriate changes to your CE program, which in the long run will help with the overall success of your business.
Implementing a CE program can sound like a daunting task but, if done correctly from the start, it can be a simple implementation that can provide a great benefit to your organization on a variety of different levels. At PharmaLogics we offer leadership and development programs for all of our employees at every level within the organization. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we continue to make changes to the program as the needs of our company evolve. We contribute our success to the people we hire and develop and we look forward to what the future brings!