At Bunny Studio, we value education. Whether it be with our internal mentorship network or at external conferences, we provide our team members with the tools they need to learn and grow.

One important tool we provide is support for external educational endeavors. What does this mean? Well, a number of our team members study for a university degree while working full-time, myself included.

Studying while working full-time is hard. But what makes it easier is knowing that your employer and your team leader have your back.

How can employers and leaders provide this support to their student-employees? By fostering an environment of mutual openness and compassionate listening.

So, how can you foster that environment? Specifically, what do you do if one of your team members expresses an interest in working while studying for a degree?

Well, here’s what you do.

Salun in our company retreat in 2019

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Firstly, and most importantly, talk to your team member. Why are they thinking of pursuing a degree? What are their aspirations? What degree are they interested in? How will studying affect their schedule? How can you, the leader, support them?

Ask questions, and openly encourage questions in return. Now is the time for both of you to gather information, so you can better understand each other.

Secondly, be open about your and your organization’s expectations. What targets does the team need to achieve? How will the team member contribute to those targets? How flexible is your team member’s role? What do you, as a leader, expect from them?

Thirdly, listen to your each other’s answers and discuss candidly. Listening to each other is key, as it is the only way to find a way to positively move forward. Listen with compassion and non-judgement. After listening, discuss and, if possible, work together towards coming up with a mutually beneficial support structure. How will you both successfully complete the projects ahead of you?