Tuition reimbursement programs – agreements in which you (the employer) agrees to finance all or part of an employee’s post-secondary education – are one type of benefit that many employers choose to provide to their staff.
But it can sometimes be difficult to decide whether or not a tuition reimbursement program is right for your company. Obviously, employees benefit immensely from the reduced or eliminated cost of college tuition, but just how much do tuition reimbursement programs benefit employers?
The answer to that question depends entirely upon your views as a business owner. Every individual has their own unique set of ideas about what matters in business and what doesn’t, so some of the benefits listed below might resonate with you more than others.
But whether you’re a bottom-line-obsessed number-cruncher or the owner of a casual office in which creativity is king, be sure to consider the possible benefits below before making a decision about whether or not to implement a tuition reimbursement program at your company.
Whether it’s a premium healthcare plan, extra vacation days, or – you guessed it – a tuition reimbursement program, it’s a well-known fact that benefits have the ability to attract star employees. Your company’s willingness to fund all or part of the sought-after employee’s education could be the deciding factor between them agreeing to come on as a part of your team and them passing up your job offer in favor of a position with a more competitive benefits package.
In addition to helping you attract star talent, workplace benefits also have the ability to help you KEEP it. Employees feel more bound to companies that take care of them, and like unlimited sick time and other benefits, tuition reimbursement shows your employees that you care about their well-being (in this case, their intellectual well-being).
But in addition to the organic sense of loyalty created by tuition reimbursement programs, these education arrangements also enable you to literally guarantee that your employees stay with your company within a certain timeframe. In many companies, contracts are signed between employer and employee as part of the tuition reimbursement program in which the employee agrees to remain a part of the company for a set period of time (usually around 3-5 years) after the company finances their education.
If the employee decides to leave their position before that time is up, then they become responsible for paying for their own education bills. And while a threatening “If you quit, you have to pay for your own college” agreement might not be the most desirable way to keep your staff from moving on to other jobs, it DOES ensure a reduction in employee turnover.
Every employer wants a knowledgeable staff, and the best way to have a workplace full of industry experts is to create them yourself. Educated employees make the most competent and productive employees, and with a tuition reimbursement program, you help to present your staff with educational opportunities that might otherwise not be available to them.
Tuition reimbursement programs aren’t for every company, but they’re definitely something to consider. With some thought and planning, financing your employees’ educations could help to take your company to the next level.
Photo credits: Top © Jason Stitt / Fotolia; Middle © Dmitry Nikolaev / Fotolia; Bottom © Fotolia