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Why pay for employee training beyond the job?


About five years ago, I came to the conclusion that although my undergraduate degree was in computing, I was much more suited to an accounting role. However, I knew I needed to learn a lot more on the subject – much more than the standard pick-it-up-as-you-go, on-the-job training. After some research, I thought to myself, “Oh, I’ll just go get a CPA license.”

Little did I know that obtaining that license was not going to be easy. I would need to go back to college for at least two years and take four exams that have a lower pass rate than the bar. Although the prospect seemed daunting, I decided to take it one semester at a time.

The first thing I did was warn our president that my ability to work overtime would diminish due to night school and homework. He was delighted that I was taking the initiative to learn more and grow in my position, and to my surprise, he even offered to help subsidize the cost of my education.

To subsidize or not to subsidize?

I have interviewed hundreds of technical recruits over the years, and I am frequently asked if we pay for certification training and exams. There is a wide variety of technical certifications that pertain to information technology, most commonly offered by companies like Microsoft and Cisco, and the cost of training materials and the exams themselves can quickly add up for employees.

However, business owners are often conflicted about whether they should help pay for outside training. Some balk at the upfront cost, while others fear that employees may take the education and get another job elsewhere. In my experience, these fears are unjust. In fact, I’ve found that paying for outside certification provides a great return on investment.

Accountability goes both ways

Because technology is constantly changing, we must continually improve in order to quickly adapt to new environments. That’s why learning is one of our core values here at MyITpros. We have always firmly believed in the merits of education and work to spread that attitude throughout the organization.  Part of this entails creating a development plan for every MyITpros employee that includes specific education- or certification-oriented goals, then monitoring everyone’s progress via a dashboard of training tickets.

Not only does this process create accountability for each employee, but it also holds the company accountable to its educational commitment. Due to lack of follow-through and the hectic pace of doing business, many companies’ well-intentioned promises to pay for employee certification tend to fall by the wayside. However, when a plan is clearly defined and monitored across the organization, employees will know you’re serious about their education, which will in turn enhance their own dedication to honoring their commitment.

A win-win situation

Fast-forward to today, and I’m thrilled to say that in September, I received notice that I passed the last of my four exams and am now awaiting word from the board that I am officially a Certified Professional Accountant. I have no doubt the knowledge and experience I gained throughout the process has been invaluable to MyITpros. The company and I grew together, and as the knowledge I was absorbing advanced, so did our accounting processes. Furthermore, the company retained a loyal employee thanks to our president’s willingness to help me out.

If you’re still weighing the pros and cons of subsidizing your employees’ education, keep in mind that in the end, your workers will be happier and more loyal to your business if you show that you care about their personal growth. What’s more, their job performance will improve as they expand their knowledge, resulting in a more efficient and productive environment. The result is reduced employee turnover, which ultimately saves much more than what you’d spend on getting someone certified.

SheridanCircle.pngSheridan Steed, Controller

The purpose of this blog is to answer the questions you ask! Check out related posts here for more information around MyITpros business practices. Feel free to contact us to discuss managed services and how MyITpros might be a great partner for you and your company!

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