Continuing education is crucial for not only improving skills, but making sure your company is up-to-date on the latest industry research and developments. Learning new tricks or approaches gives access to different ways to solve problems and keeps you from getting into a mental rut.
Education takes time, however, and there’s only so much time in a day. To find out the best ways to help your staff to keep learning, we asked eight members from the Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:
Q. What is one way you use continuing education or training to keep your team members at the top of their game?
1. Attend industry events
Industry events can be a complete waste of time or they can be incredibly valuable. The right industry events will have presentations covering the latest industry trends that your team needs to be on top of. To see if an event is worth going to, take a look at the speaker list and content topics. Aside from the presentations and classes, general networking at the events is also beneficial. —Andy Karuza, FenSens
2. Use online courses to develop new skills
We encourage our team to take online courses that develop new skills so that they can expand their roles within the organization. This includes our content team, which has added graphic design and coding skills to help with projects. They enjoy the growth opportunities. —Angela Ruth, Calendar
3. Form a company book club
We’ve always set aside time for personal development, but we recently saw enthusiasm spike when we set up a company book club through BetterBookClub.com. We decide what books are on the reading list and assign points to each book, depending on its overall value to the company. As team members complete books and earn points, we hand out awards and gifts to keep the momentum going. —Nathalie Lussier, AmbitionAlly
4. Fund employees’ continuing education
I encourage my people to continue their education, and I support them by compensating them for the costs whenever it’s appropriate. This is pretty open-ended, so they can pitch the kind of education that interests them. I also have a list of books on Amazon that they can get paid back for purchasing. —Adam Steele, The Magistrate
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5. View webinars
I encourage team members to view webinars in their spare time. Since there’s no set timetable as there would be with traditional continuing education, they can be watched at the employees’ leisure. Webinars are available on just about any topic that can help team members stay on top of their game, with sales being one of the best categories. —Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
6. Get alerts on developments
My team and I have set up alerts on Google for when research or news relating to meditation or women’s wellness is released as a way to stay up-to-date. We also share important articles or books with each other and discuss not only the main ideas, but ways we can incorporate the information to strengthen the company. —Mark Krassner, Expectful