Staying at the head of the pack is a tough thing to do in the dog eat dog world of business. Even if your organization is not commercial nobody is immune to the relentless march of progress and technological change. New avenues and opportunities demand a constantly learning workforce and any serious employer must always look ahead to anticipate the changes that will impact their future.
Consider how merely ten years ago Social Media was barely more than a tool for flamboyant teenagers. Nowadays, it’s an essential skill for nearly any organisation to have; every organisation has their website, twitter feed and facebook page. Meanwhile the fax machine is quickly joining the horse and cart on the great pile of obsolescence where outdated business practices go to die.
Why Investing in Your Staff Pays Off.
Of course it’s not all just Twitter and Facebook that staff need to know (and chances are, most of them already do know those). But whatever the changes and future plans of your organization involve, training your workforce is an ongoing concern. It’s true that you could simply hire new people with the skills you need. But consider for a moment if you might not be better served investing in your current workforce rather than expanding it
You Already Know Your Staff: Taking on a newcomer is a risk to any organization. As an employer you’ve no doubt had that moment where a new employee just hasn’t worked out the way you hoped they might. On the other hand if you know your current staff then you’ve got a good idea if they’re worth investing further in.
It’s Cheaper: Yes, you may have to give the new staff member a pay rise commensurate with their additional responsibilities. But compared to hiring an entirely new member of staff, it can be much cheaper. Especially if:
The Job Isn’t Big Enough: The new areas of your business that need attending to might not be important enough to justify a whole new member of staff to do them. In such a case, getting somebody you have already on the books to do them will work out better for you.
Why Distance Education Can Help Your Business
But before you pack your staff off to school consider a few things. First, can you afford to have your staff take time off to train? Then how much will their education cost? There’s an unfortunately all too real barrier between many traditional educational establishments and the needs of businesses that may make distance education a more acceptable solution for your training needs. Consider:
Cost: Distance education providers generally don’t have the same overheads as traditional schools and colleges do. There’s no classrooms or fancy facilities to maintain. Alright, maybe a few, but certainly nothing on the scale of a traditional education provider. This translates to cheaper costs for you.
Range: There’s an immense range of courses available out there. If your business is located in an area that is poorly served by local education centres then distance learning gives you access to learning from institutions around the world.
Specialism: A lot of traditional educational providers like to put their students through a comprehensive syllabus. We knew a college once that required students learning catering also learn French. While various cooking terms were indeed of French origin, a conversational grasp of the language was hardly required.
While this may be a laudable goal for the education of the young, for mature students such as company employees this is often superfluous to requirements and simply adds to your costs.
Time: Relatively few businesses can practically afford to lose key staff for a semester or more while they go to be trained. With a distance learning course, your staff member learns at their own pace, whether on their own time or perhaps during expected quiet periods of business. Distance learning gives you the flexibility to train your staff when you can afford to.