Employment and Jobs

Upskilling Done Right

June 1, 2017  • UpSkill America & Jaime S. Fall

Even if your company is already investing in the education, training, and development of its workers, does it maximize the impact and benefits of these investments?

Developing America’s Frontline Workers, a 2016 study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) released in partnership with UpSkill America, found that many companies fail to achieve maximum results from their education benefit programs. This is because many companies view tuition assistance programs only as a benefit that must be provided to remain competitive in recruiting. To maximize the results of education benefit programs, companies should instead embed these programs as the cornerstone of its learning culture. [i]

By thinking more strategically about education benefit programs, you can increase the value they bring to your company and your employees. To find out how your company is doing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What education-related benefit programs do we offer employees?
  • How frequently do we market these programs?
  • Can new employees participate in the programs immediately, or do we make them wait?
  • How easy is it for someone to sign up for a program?
  • Do we track workers who participate in these programs and recognize them when they make progress or complete programs?
  • Do our employees pay tuition up front and receive reimbursement later, or have we developed a plan so they can avoid out-of-pocket costs?
  • Do our employees need their manager’s approval to take classes, or can they self-direct their enrollment?
  • Are our managers in any way penalized or disadvantaged when a worker enrolls in a program?
  • Do we assess managers on how well they develop workers and reward those who do a good job?
  • Do we help our employees understand how education is linked to opportunities to advance in our company?
  • Do we share information with our employees about positions that will have future growth potential and the skills needed to compete for these positions?

The bottom line is that companies can either enable workers to better themselves or be an obstacle so they can’t. The policies and practices around your education benefits programs can be the determining factor.



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[i] “Developing America’s Frontline Workers,” Institute for Corporate Productivity (2016).