Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Improve employee education from the inside out

“Give the proper tools to a group of people that want to make a difference, and they will.”
The above quote is a header on the Benefits page at Google Jobs, a company that was built on the premise that work should be challenging, but fun at the same time. For the hardworking employees who accept the challenge, Google offers some outstanding benefits.

From dining facilities, to gyms and even laundry rooms, Google tries to help out their employees in every way. That practice also holds true when it comes to continuing employee education.

The company offers up to $12,000 per calendar year for employees pursuing outside education that is relevant to their career. As long as employees show they’re serious about furthering their education and keep grades of “B” or better, Google will continue paying for it.

Though your company may not have the funds available to support a $12,000 education reimbursement program like Google, there are creative ways to promote employee education without spending a fraction of that kind of money.

From office to classroom

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to promote ongoing employee education is to create an in-house learning library.

Find a spot in the office, it can be anywhere from an empty cubicle to a hallway cabinet, to turn into a library. If possible, find a location that is central for everyone in the office to ensure accessibility.

Start building your library by asking everyone in the office to contribute and bring in books related on industry topics or career advice. Visit local used book stores and stock up on interesting titles that employees would find value in.

Don’t have the space for a physical library? Take it online. Set up a company Wiki using sites like PBWiki or Wikispaces and create an online learning library. Encourage employees to share information and post valuable resources that others in the office can learn from.

Give employees time, whether daily or weekly, to explore new topics with resources from your learning library. There’s no reason for creating a library if employees don’t have the time to use it.

For employees with the desire to further their education or learn more about their industry, an office library is an indispensable resource that they don’t even have to leave the office to take advantage of.

Providing employees with the tools they need to make a difference doesn’t have to cost a fortune. All you need is a great idea and anything is possible.

1 comment:

CCC said...

Great post; it shows what a little creativity can do even in the face of limited resources.

What we did in my company was form a study group for those taking the SPHR/PHR exam. Not only did it help two of us pass (myself included) but it fostered a greater sense of teamwork and accomplishment.

Thanks again!

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