Signs of Triviality

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Why Companies Should Pay For Their Employees To Attend Conferences

February 28th, 2017

"What happens if we spend money training our employees and then they leave?"

"What happens if we don't and they stay?"

As a company, you should support your employees and pay for them to attend or speak at conferences not because you're looking for a quid-pro-quo ROI. Don't expect an employee to collect resumes or yield hiring "leads" -- if that is your objective, sponsor the conference, hold a social event, have a vendor booth.

Instead, you should support your employees in attending because:

  • broadening one's horizon and learning about new developments in one's field are a necessity in just about any job
  • exchanging ideas and participating in a professional community helps keep your employees engaged
  • speaking at conferences helps employees focus and understand the work they are presenting
  • speaking at or attending conferences helps employees develop community ties and contacts; this directly benefits their employers through the exchange of ideas and information about current events, incidents, etc.
  • having your employees represent your company at conferences shows the community that you care about professional career development; that you support the community; their presenting their work shows that you have interesting problems to solve
  • supporting your employees in their career development without specific ties to you helps build trust, loyalty, reputation

Don't nickle-and-dime conference attendance. Encourage all your employees to attend, to submit, to speak. Even if it's not the industry's biggest conference. Even if it requires a travel budget. Even if they do not bring home a stack of resumes or a closed sales deal. Do it to show your employees that you care about their professional development.

The benefits to both the employee and the company are indirect, hard to measure, and long term. They can't be measured in dollars.

See also:

February 28th, 2017

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