The ROI of Human Capital Investment
People are our greatest asset.” Have you heard or perhaps said that before? It’s amazing how many leaders let that statement roll off their tongue and never take steps to fully develop their team. Before any business leader makes that claim, some self-examination needs to occur. Leaders should start by asking questions like:
- Does my company’s budget include resources for regular training, education and development at all levels?
- Are communication channels in place to ensure that team member capabilities and aspirations are clearly understood?
- Have organizational barriers to individual achievement and recognition been removed?
Leaders who can answers “yes” to these and other similar questions have placed proper value on their human assets and are probably already seeing a return on their investment.
In fact, research shows that companies that view
employees as valuable assets, and not cost centers, outperform companies that don’t. They are more productive, more creative, attract talent more easily, and have higher employee retention levels than companies that don’t invest in their human capital.
“Employees are a company’s only non-depreciating asset, and if you want to keep your employees, you must invest in them.” So says Robin King, president and CEO of CareerSource Flagler Volusia.
And you can attract the best talent when you encourage the existing workforce to grow. When companies offer effective workforce development programs, they can also attract employees from external sources. By offering workforce development programs, outlining career paths and diversifying responsibilities, companies give employees an incentive to stay for the long term. It’s clearly a win-win for employer and employee alike.
There are many examples of creative workforce investment programs across the whole spectrum of industry types and sizes. One that is well established and nationally recognized is the “Live Better U” education program offered by the nation’s largest employer, Walmart.
Walmart – Tuition Free Education
Walmart announced it will pay 100% of college tuition and books for associates through its Live Better U (LBU) education program. This means approximately 1.5 million part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club associates in the U.S. can earn college degrees or learn trade skills without the burden of education debt. As the largest U.S. private employer, Walmart is committing to invest nearly $1 billion over the next five years in career-driven training and development.
“We are creating a path of opportunity for our associates to grow their careers at Walmart, so they can continue to build better lives for themselves and their families,” said Lorraine Stomski, senior vice president of learning and leadership at Walmart. “Walmart is always looking for new ways to encourage more associates to pursue further education. This investment is another way we can support our associates to pursue their passion and purpose while removing the barriers that too often keep adult working learners from obtaining degrees.”
“We’re also excited to add in-demand college degree and certificate options in business administration, supply chain and cybersecurity. These additional offerings join a robust catalog of programs to set associates up for new career opportunities,” Stomski said. “Our education offerings tie directly to our growth areas at Walmart, and what better way to fill the pipeline of future talent than with our own associates.”
In addition, Walmart will add four academic partners, including?Johnson & Wales University, the University of Arizona, the University of Denver and Pathstream. These complement the existing partners: Brandman University, Penn Foster, Purdue University Global, Southern New Hampshire University, Wilmington University and Voxy EnGen. These institutions were chosen for their history of success with adult and working learner programs as well as their focus on degree completion.
“Walmart is creating growth opportunities for their workforce and preparing them for the future of work.”
Since launching LBU in 2018, more than 52,000 associates have participated in the program and 8,000 have already graduated. Nearly 28,000 associates have been active in an LBU program this summer.
When an associate enrolls in LBU and earns a certificate or degree, he or she takes important steps toward creating a long-term career within the Walmart ecosystem.
For more information about Walmart’s LBU program, visit
Security First – Rapid Upskill
Creating new careers is a priority at local company Security First Insurance, which recently opened its new corporate headquarters in Ormond Beach.
Security First has established a program where candidates, who have a bachelor’s degree but no experience germane to the insurance professions, are immersed in a rapid-development series to arm them with skills necessary to become claims examiners. The Entry Level Claims Training program gives new hires a chance to undergo concentrated training that leads to a position in the company’s claims unit. After an intense 120-day period, successful candidates will have been fully trained in claims processing and administration and prepared to handle homeowners’ claims.
“We look for people with the right aptitude and attitude, and who have an affinity for this area,” said Frank Molinario, Vice President, Human Resources. “If they find a great job locally, they will be more likely to remain here in Volusia County. This is extremely important in light of ‘storm chasing,’ where some claims processing professionals are lured to employers that service areas hard-hit by storms. These temporary jobs are lucrative and attractive to some, but we believe that with competitive wages, a great working environment and an exceptional community in which to live, work, play and raise a family, Security First is the better choice.”
Security First Insurance is committed to offering continuing education and is planning to expand such offerings. Already, the company’s staff includes many people who have developed new skills and risen to higher positions, including policy underwriters who are now filing roles as director and vice president at the firm.
For more information about Security First Insurance, visit https://www.securityfirstflorida.com/
Halifax Health – Education Scholarships
Halifax Health has served the community for 93 years. It has grown with the community and today offers a diverse portfolio of health, wellness, medical and surgical services.
Maintaining an exceptionally well-qualified staff for so many services means Halifax Health must work to retain its team members and attract new talent. It does so through initiatives that have a common denominator: education.
“Our education benefits and scholarship programs address team member retention, advancement and attraction,” said Kimberly Fulcher, senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “Growth and learning options include the Scholarship Program, Tuition Assistance Program and the Education-to-Employment Program. If an individual wants to work at Halifax Health and have a great career as a new or advancing team member, we’ll pay for his or her education to get them there.”
Scholarships are available for existing Halifax Health team members, offering a benefit for those seeking additional knowledge in a particular discipline and for those advancing their education level. For essential areas of study such as nursing, 100% of the tuition is paid by Halifax Health. But even for other areas of study Halifax Health will pay up to $1,500 per year.
Offering scholarships as a recruiting initiative is front-and-center thanks to a partnership between Halifax Health and Daytona State College (DSC), forged in 2019. Under this program, Halifax Health committed to fund scholarships in nursing and health-related fields – up to $500,000 over a five-year period.
“This is a partnership that has tremendous benefits for students at Daytona State and future employees of Halifax Health,” said DSC President Dr. Tom LoBasso. “By working together to provide both educational and employment opportunities, we’re able to help fill critical health care positions with home-grown talent. Daytona State College has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with Halifax Health for many years, and we’re confident that this new scholarship will provide long-term benefits for everyone.”
Halifax Health President and CEO Jeff Feasel underscored Dr. Lobasso’s comments. “Halifax Health represents opportunity to so many in our area. Every year we provide scholarships for our team members to enhance their education. This program with Daytona State College – Education-to-Employment – is a great way for us to build a sustainable pipeline of lifesaving caregivers and increase the economic vitality of our area.”
Numerous specialties are covered under Halifax Health’s education and scholarship programs. Among them are certified surgical technicians, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), medical assistants and certified nursing assistants. While recruiting is a year-round endeavor at Halifax Health, its retention levels underscore its reputation as a great place to work. In fact, it celebrates longevity through its “100 Club,” an exclusive club of Halifax Health’s 100 longest tenured team members, each of whom has provided more than 30 years of service, a stunning fact for at least the past 10 years. At its annual induction ceremony, the 100 Club welcomed 26 new inductees and recognized its longest tenured member, Sharon James, whose career at Halifax Health spans 47 years.
Volusia County Economic Development Quarterly
THE WORKFORCE ISSUE
Table of Contents