When it comes to employee perks, education and training is increasingly important both to people already in, and about to enter, the workplace. Small wonder then that companies increasingly offer a variety of educational incentives.
For many companies, it comes down to paying for their staff to do a degree programme through a physical or online university. That’s great, especially because it opens up doors to people who might not otherwise be able to afford them.
You only have to look at what people from the likes of Starbucks and US insurer Anthem have been able to achieve because of their programmes to see that.
There are, however, some companies that go above and beyond. These are just a few of them.
Anyone who’s ever interviewed for a job at Amazon knows that it’s not the simplest company to get into, especially at the executive level. Once you’re in though, the incentives are more than a little competitive.
On an educational front, employees receive a month-long leadership and training programme prior to starting with the company. Amazon also prepays 95% of tuition for employees at fulfilment centers to take courses in in-demand fields. A “Virtual Contact Center”, meanwhile, trains employees to work from home.
One of the world’s largest hotel companies, Mariott, employs more than 200 000 people globally. Among the educational perks open to them are a variety of courses aimed at both nurturing skills and providing work and career development.
Topic areas include work-life balance, leadership and management.
Technology and search behemoth Google is renowned for the wide variety of benefits available to its employees.
When it comes to education though, one of its most innovative initiatives is one that can easily be replicated by even the smallest of startups.
Called “Googler to Googler,” it places employees from across the company’s various departments into teaching roles.
Some of the classes they teach are part of a core curriculum and cover topics such as management, orientation, and public speaking.
Other classes have been designed by Googlers and cover everything from kickboxing to mindfulness, and parenting.
If you’ve got a few techie friends, chances are at least one of them will go on about how they can’t live without Evernote. Thing is, there’s no way the company would’ve been able to build itself into the indispensable tool it is today if it didn’t look after its employees.
One way it uses education to do that is through Evernote Academy. The in-house training programme allows employees to learn everything from job-related skills like management, to more off-beat things like sausage-making and barista training.
You might not expect a company with as long a history as AT&T (its origins date back to the original Bell Telephone Company, founded by Alexander Graham Bell after his invention of the telephone) to be a leader in the employee education space.
That is, until you find out that it helped create the first-ever Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMS CS) in partnership with Georgia Tech and Udacity.
It also partnered with Udacity to launch a series of self-paced, fast-track technical credentials called Nanodegrees. These courses include web and mobile development, data analytics and tech entrepreneurship, with more programmes to come.
Asana is best known for its project management software, which competes against the likes of Trello and Jira. Founded by Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-engineer Justin Rosenstein, Asana doesn’t really have a formal education programme. Instead, it offers its employees free executive and life coaching, as well as mentorship.
Does your company take an innovative and inspiring approach to employee education? Let us know in the comments section below.