Workers today can expand their professional skills with less financial stress thanks to a majority of employers offering to cover or offset educational costs, new research suggests.
In a survey from global financial recruitment firm Robert Half Finance & Accounting, most CFOs (94 percent) said their companies foot the bill for some or all costs for staff to obtain professional certifications. Ninety-five percent provide full or partial support to maintain credentials.
Executives reported bottom-line benefits from this incentive, with increased productivity (41 percent) and enhanced retention efforts (30 percent) topping the list.
CFOs also indicated providing financial assistance for employees’ professional development can bring in additional revenue, contribute to succession planning and enhance information-sharing among colleagues.
While most businesses offer this benefit, small companies lag behind their larger counterparts. One-sixth (17 percent) of organizations with 20-49 employees don’t help with expenses for obtaining certifications, compared to just 3 percent of firms with 1,000 or more staff members.
“Given the tight hiring market, companies are doing more to attract and retain top talent,” said Steve Saah, executive director of Robert Half Finance & Accounting. “For job seekers, continuing education aid can set an employer apart. Organizations investing in employees’ growth show they value team members’ contributions and career progression.”
Saah added, “Firms reap major benefits by supporting their staff’s professional development. Employees can take what they learn, including industry trends and best practices, and apply that knowledge to meet business objectives and coach their colleagues.”