Talented employees are a terrible thing to waste. While it may seem like you’re keeping them engaged with a litany of tasks and responsibilities, there’s another force that you have to combat: monotony.
Your employees will be content if their job interests them. A study by The Conference Board finds that 59 percent of employees report being interested in their work. So the other 41 percent are bored.
When people consider new jobs, they’re not just looking at salary, location, and job description—they’re thinking about their career potential. They want to sharpen their skills and ascend the career and compensation ladder.
Offering educational opportunities to help with career advancement is an effective way to show your employees how much their success matters. It crafts a company culture with motivated employees who want to improve themselves in order to better the company.
Here are four ways to maintain a vibrant, engaged workplace through education.
1. Offer access to online learning resources
There’s no shortage of online avenues to learn new skills on your own time. Internet learning resources such as Lynda.com, Pluralsight, and my company, One Month, allow employees to take initiative and educate themselves at a pace that suits them.
Signing up for these sites is simple—either buy a company account or construct a list of resources, and let employees peruse it and pick which ones they want to explore. Providing employees with a gateway to these outlets is a good way to make sure they take advantage of them.
2. Start a monthly book order
Even with all the high-tech advancements in learning materials, there’s still a lot to learn from books. For example, my company offers employees $50 a month to spend on books.
This not only gives employees new reading material every month, but it also lets them engage in conversations covering topics that rarely get discussed. It’s nice to have a water cooler devoid of office small talk.
3. Create a ‘Learnsday’ event
Try scheduling a guest speaker each month to address a topic that might interest employees. Whether the topic is related to work or not, set aside a nominal amount of money—$500 to $1,000 each month—and encourage colleagues to reach out and invite their own speakers.
If you want, open the event to the public to gain more exposure for the company and potentially recruit talent. Feel free to swell with pride when you start to hear your employees say, “Happy Learnsday!”
4. Encourage a mentor program
One of the best ways to learn is to teach. A mentorship program pairing experienced workers with new hires can reinforce new concepts and continue to develop a strong learning environment.
Having a disinterested workforce is an avoidable and correctable problem, so it’s critical to nip it in the bud. Give your employees the tools they need to stay engaged and cultivate an environment that lets them explore their capabilities.
Photo credit: Lauren Kallen