You’re a CHRO struggling to recruit top talent and retain your most valuable employees. You want to invest in a workforce education program to show your team and potential recruits that you’re invested in their careers. Only 1-2% of your workers are taking advantage of your tuition reimbursement program, and you want something that delivers a drop in attrition, builds your talent pipeline and makes people your competitive advantage.
In this article, we’ll outline four important things to consider when choosing a workforce education program and platform to deliver on your strategic goals.
Key components of an effective workforce education technology platform
1. A user experience designed for your learners that drives ROI
When you implement a workforce education solution, you need to deliver strong and measurable ROI for your business in the form of better employee retention, improved talent acquisition efforts and measurable outcomes for your internal talent pipeline. To achieve this, it’s critical to create access and awareness to drive employee engagement, participation and program completion.
InStride offers HR teams robust support in communicating your offerings to your employees. These customized communications educate potential learners about the career growth opportunities within your company that they could obtain by joining the program. Our messages incorporate key motivators (like career advancement, flexible scheduling and earned admission options) across multiple channels, including email, text, postcards and workplace signage, to create awareness.
Through this approach, you’re able to engage employees in a way that’s modern and accessible wherever your workers are, including through text message campaigns and in-person worksite events. More importantly, this drives 3x the enrollment of traditional tuition assistance or reimbursement programs.
All of these touchpoints are intended to guide employees to your program website — a guided digital experience where they input their goals and education history to receive program recommendations based on their unique needs. The platform is intuitive and familiar and provides the user experience that employees expect from any online interaction. They can view eligibility status, request information and apply for or enroll in programs right from this portal. Within the platform, employees also have access to tailored career education paths that help them align learning options to specific roles within your company.
We also know that even with all the information in hand, embarking on an education journey can be a tough decision. With InStride, your learners have access to support from Personal Education Advisors to provide a helping hand and sounding board to those with concerns or questions about returning to education.
2. An adaptable platform that meets your needs
A traditional workforce education partner’s platform can feel like it was designed for someone else. Their budget management systems are one-size-fits-all, without options to adjust based on the needs of your learners. They lack options to integrate with your company’s existing programs, and many platforms lack the ability to reach all geographies.
Cookie-cutter design doesn’t work in workforce education. Every company is different, with a different strategy and different priorities, so you need an adaptable platform that can be customized to meet your needs. In our experience, companies with traditional platforms struggle when faced with these common needs:
- Integrated billing and reporting in one place
- Program customizations (learning options, coverage, etc.) for different groups of employees
- Coordination between disconnected internal systems to determine employee eligibility
- Autonomy for franchisees to choose to adopt the program or modify their own eligibility rules
- Different spending and tuition coverage caps by groups of employees or program type
- Reaching a Spanish speaking language population in their language of choice
InStride works with its partners to custom-build a platform that meets all of their needs and aligns with their strategies. Here are some examples of what this looks like in practice
- Your company might have a legacy workforce education program – we’ll work with you to connect it with your new platform so that your learners can access their programs through one portal.
- You might have unique budgetary requirements, or geographies or security specs – we are SOC 2 compliant with a platform that works in more than 160 countries and are ready to dive in and craft a solution that works.
- You might have thousands of franchises – we’ll launch dedicated sub-platforms for each franchisee to operate their own program that meets their needs.
3. ROI and learner insights that can guide your financial decisions
HR leaders need to communicate the value that education programs deliver, and that means easy and comprehensive access to performance data. Traditional programs don’t make it easy to find such data — scattering information across different sources and making it hard to gather. The burden falls on you to synthesize these different sources into a clear assessment of your program performance.
InStride offers an administrator experience that helps you tell your story easily, including access to key performance insights on program participation, employee feedback and skills acquired. Our robust administrator features offer expert analysis on where your learners are in their journeys, how you can best support them and what they need to make it to the next step in their careers.
Without data, it’s impossible to know the impact of your program. Your time is better spent making strategic decisions on how to maximize the benefits of your education program for your company’s workforce, not merging disorganized spreadsheets.
4. An interface that reflects your culture and brand
Too many workforce education platforms barely look like they are associated with the companies that sponsor them. In our experience, employees feel more connected to their employer when their workforce education program carries your brand, message and ethos. The platform we provide for our partners isn’t about InStride – it’s a representation of your commitment to your employees. We put your brand front and center so that your program can help strengthen your connection with your employees. This approach also encourages employees to participate by making it clear that your strategic workforce education program is an investment in them.
Offering education programs to employees is a big decision for company leaders. It has the potential to change the lives of learners and build a lasting connection between employer and employee. With the InStride approach, we work with you to develop a learner-centric platform that makes for a seamless user experience, helps you track and measure ROI and reflects the bond between your company and your people.
Curious to see what a custom workforce education platform could look like for your business? Get in touch today.