'Should You be Paying for Continuing Education Training?'

Sharon Boyd has nearly 25 years of experience between both the healthcare and marketing industries. In addition to being an RDH and content writing expert, she also holds a degree in business. Her responsibilities primarily include tackling the communication barriers between small business owners or healthcare providers and their prospective clientele.

'Should You be Paying for Continuing Education Training?'

As soon as you start hiring people to work for you, you’ll start discovering some hidden costs. Insurance is one; not just your employees’ health or life insurance, but also the insurance that covers you as an employer. You also pay for errors, even small ones, that they may make like ordering the wrong size paper or being taken in by a phone scam for super expensive toner. In some cases, you may even need to pay for continuing education (CE).

Figure It Out: Professional Licensing and Mandatory Training

One of the biggest factors in determining whether you should be paying for your employees CE units is whether or not the course is mandatory for their job. For instance, in most states, an insurance salesperson must pass rigorous coursework and an exam to be able to sell their product. Since it is mandatory to their employment, the employer may be responsible to pay for it. Other licensed professionals that may require continuing education units include medical personnel, teachers, and social workers, among others. Offering it as a benefit is an incentive, but you’ll have to check with legal regulations to determine if you’re financially responsible for it or not.

Even if your staff does not have a professional license, you may want them to attend similar training. There are companies that offer courses in business skills like time management, project management or software use. At this point, the decision is yours. Making the courses mandatory or scheduling them during business hours means you, as the employer, will have to pay for them, as well as for your employee’s time. If you don’t want to assume the cost, the training cannot be mandatory or during regular working hours.

Returns On Your Investment

Something to consider, though, is that continuing education pays for itself. Sure, in the beginning you might have to shell out some money to pay for the class. But think about the return:

  1. Your new insurance rep will know the ins and outs of his product and be able to answer questions.
  2. The recent college graduate you hired could come back from time management training and knock your socks off with her new efficiency.
  3. After a staff wide class on your web app or on a standard office product like Excel, your office productivity will go through the roof.

Make It Enjoyable

Not all continuing education is fun, and you may hear your employees grumbling about it under their breath. Whether or not they have fun, the facilitator should be someone who makes learning enjoyable. Pick the right trainer and the right time of day. If you have in house procedures to train on, think about serving a catered “brown bag” lunch. The expense can be minimal when compared with the cost of poor morale and grumpy workers.

Employers who provide continuing education for their staff tend to retain workers longer. Your employees will know that you want them to do their best and are willing to provide the tools and training to help them. This goes a long way toward building trust and earning loyalty, as well as making a more pleasant work environment for everyone!