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Investing in employees' continuous learning

WE all face change every day. As they say, change is the only constant thing in this world. Just like seasons, life and people, industries are constantly changing, too. Business trends, professional qualifications, laws and regulations are only a few of many changes that businesses need to deal with.

For workers to stay current and updated with the latest developments, skills, technological innovations, and laws and regulations required for their field, continuous learning is essential. Providing continuous employee learning is one of the most effective tools for sustaining business growth in this fast-changing business world.

Continuous learning is the concept of constant skill and knowledge development in response to changes in the workplace. Some professions require continuous education, like certified public accountants or CPAs. Not only to mention the compliance with the certificate of professional development required to licensed professionals. Continuous education is also an important factor to ensure that employees and professionals' knowledge stays relevant and up to date. In this global and more competitive market, employers must invest in the continuing education of their employees. This will not only benefit the employees, but their businesses as well. The following will show you how valuable implementing continuous learning is for your business.

Increased productivity and efficiency. Continuous learning is a win-win for both employees and companies. It allows employees to become more productive and efficient, and helps the company build a highly skilled and engaged workforce. More work can be done in less time the more a person becomes skilled at their job. Providing pieces of training, mentoring or sharing knowledge give employees a better understanding of their role and responsibilities. Better understanding and more knowledge help employees work more productively, easier to finish a task or job, respond to customer needs, and marketplace demands more quickly and effectively.

Competitive edge in the market. Having competent, skilled and experienced employees in this rapidly changing industry will help your company stay ahead of your competitors. The growth of your employees follows the growth of your business. Know your employees' strengths and help them develop those. Your employees are the face of your brand. The way your employees interact and engage with your clients greatly influences your client's impression and loyalty, which could affect your business competence in the market. Clients engage with you because they believe in your competence.

Higher return on investment. Investing in your employees is one of the key factors of a successful business. Your employees are considered human capital. Human capital is an intangible asset that includes all the competencies of people within an organization. Investing in human capital requires cost for pieces of training, seminars and continuous education programs. However, this investment can be recouped through improved employee work performance, productivity and growth in income.

Employee retention. Employee retention is a critical issue for businesses. Promoting continuous learning and providing a clear path to greater compensation and responsibility helps employees feel that they are valued and a vital part of the company's success. Professional development and career growth opportunities greatly influence an employee's decision of whether to stay or leave their job. Investing in your employees' continuing education and providing professional development programs is an effective way to improve employee retention, especially in today's generation, where most employees shift from one employer to another. This will also help reduce expenses caused by employee turnover.

Identify future leaders. Training and continuous learning help employers identify future leaders. Employees who are interested in improving their skills and knowledge are often the perfect candidate for a future leader in the company. When an employer feels like employees have the potential and fall for management material category, providing leadership development programs will help groom the future leaders of the organization.

Continuous learning undoubtedly benefits both the employer and employee in various ways. Continuing education is important for career satisfaction and boosts employee confidence. Well-trained and well-educated employees help companies to attain lasting viability and success. Like life, business is also a never-ending process of learning. Learn how to deal with rapid changes and develop your employees' career growth. Expand their horizon. Do not limit them on what they only know. Invest in your employees' knowledge as Benjamin Franklin once said, "An investment in knowledge always pays the best."


Aileen Melchor, CTT is a manager of Paguio, Dumayas & Associates, CPAs (PrimeGlobal Philippines), an institutional member of the Association of CPAs in Public Practice (Acpapp). The opinion of the writer does not reflect in any way the opinion of these institutions.

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