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Investing in your employees and helping them continue their education isn’t always an easy process. Offering employees these benefits has many rewards. For instance, a study by Spherion Atlantic Enterprises found that 61 percent of respondents who continued their education said they were likely to stay with their current employers for five or more years. For those human resources professionals who want to encourage and facilitate professional growth within their organization, consider the following options:
Paying for your employees to head back to school to develop job-related skills and knowledge is a good way to help them expand their skill set and benefit your organization. While it may seem expensive at first, the cost of reimbursing an employee for their education is tax deductible for your business. Additionally, if the education program qualifies under certain conditions, your employees do not have to pay gross income tax on the benefit under the working condition fringe benefit.
To qualify for these tax breaks, the education program must be required for the employee to retain their employment or current salary or the education must improve or maintain skills necessary to perform their current duties. For example, science education programs like those shown by College Online are tax deductible for employees who need continued education for them to continue performing their duties in the lab or field. However, this doesn’t apply if the education is required to reach the minimum industry standards required for their current job or if the education qualifies them for a new trade.
The final condition for tax-deductible education reimbursement includes an accountable plan. This means that the education expenses paid must be work related, The employee also must adequately account for the expenses being reimbursed. If these conditions are met, then education for your employees is both beneficial to your organization and gentle on the company coffers.
If university education for your employees isn’t cost or time efficient for your organization, consider bringing in a certification instructor. A certification instructor gives your employees personalized education based on their fields, which helps them grow in their careers. There are many certifications available, so be sure to research the programs that are important and respected within your industry.
Not only do these certification programs build your employees skills, but, according to Business Insider, the average income of a Six Sigma certification holder is more than $116,000. Best of all, an employee who is certified in their field can become an in-house educator, allowing you to pay your own staff more to teach others rather than sending those funds outside of your organization. If your employees know that certification means professional growth, more promotion possibilities and potentially more money, they will be eager to take you up on the offer of free certification programs.
In the long run, building your employees’ skills and knowledge through education and certification programs benefits both your business and the quality of life your employees have.