How Do You Support and Retain Your employees Who are Also Students?

how do you support and retain your employees who are also students

Every day is a learning day!

I have always enjoyed learning new things but have to admit when I took on my latest course, even though it was only a short programme, I had forgotten the impact studying can have on a person’s life.  I certainly felt an increase in stress levels and at times uncertain how to manage it as I neared the end of the course.

There was added pressure not only to continue to do my work, but now I had course material reading, research reading, and two assignments to write – and everything had a deadline.  It was made a little easier by the fact that I work for myself and had full control of when I worked or studied.  But the stress was there and it was real.  I very much enjoyed the course but am glad it is over and I can take a break.  It has not put me off studying, I know I will study again.

For now, my stress levels have been diverted as I try to get my daughters ready for their return to school and I am thinking about how I will support them (it is a double whammy of Junior and Leaving Cert!).  They do not want to think about it – so they are leaving that to me!  My thoughts eventually circled round to employees who are also either returning to their own studies after a summer break or perhaps starting a new course.  If I was thinking about how I can support my daughters, I began to wonder if employers think about how they can support their employees as they become students?  Are employers even aware of how many of their employees are actually studying? 

In an April 2022 Forbes article, M. Perna references a report which states that 50% of employees are pursuing learning opportunities on their own, outside of training at work. 

Do you know if any of your colleagues/employees are studying?

How is their capacity to live, work and study impacted?

If you do not know they are studying – how can you support them?

It is widely known that the labour market is in disarray as we continue to experience an evolving world of work.  I know of several people who are studying to advance their career, but I equally know of others who have transitioned into new jobs and have had to undertake some study to support this change.  I also know of a few people who are looking to redirect their career and are trying out a course to test their interest in an area.  Whatever the reason, studying places demands on a person’s life, it is not just as easy as signing up for a course and starting in September (or other date)….. but things can be done to make it easier.

Watch out for my articles throughout the month when I delve in deeper into the juggle for managers of an employee-student and their desire for career-enhancing education.  I will be discussing questions such as

  •     What can workplaces do to support an employee-student to help them maintain their job? 
  •     How can you as an Employer avoid or limit the risk of absenteeism?
  •     What can be done to retain your valuable employee and their new found knowledge?

Of course, if you have some specific questions or comments on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected].  I always love to hear your feedback.