Why Investing in Employee Education is a Win for Everyone
The important difference here is with win-win-win, we all win. Me, too. I win for having successfully mediated a conflict at work.
–Michael Scott, The Office
When it comes to employee education, it might seem like it’s a one way street heading in the direction of the employee, but those benefits have a way of making their way back to the company and providing real value for everyone involved.
Not to outdo the great Michael Scott or anything, but we might even say employee education is a win-win-win-WIN scenario. That’s right–four wins; not just three!
- Winner: Companies!
Companies win by using these benefits to attract top notch talent, connect with their workforce, and separate themselves from their competitors. A recent survey report showed that a major US company saved $1.29 in reduced turnover and recruiting costs for every dollar it invested in tuition reimbursement for its employees. There are federal tax benefits too: up to $5,250 of employer reimbursement costs are tax-deductible–meaning businesses actually pay very little to offer this perk to their workers.
- Winner: Employees!
Workers often receive cold hard cash for education expenses and people who participate in these programs are 10% more likely to be promoted and make a considerably higher salary than their colleagues who do not. Also, the American workforce is changing. In 2016–for the first time, more US workers were college graduates than high school-only grads. Added credentials in the workplace have created a new demand not only for better educated workers, but for workers with specialized, advanced skills. Employees win by using education assistance to acquire and hone new skills that make them more valuable resources.
- Winner: Academia!
It’s estimated that about 20% of graduate students and 6% of a much larger pool of undergrads receive some form of tuition assistance from their employers. In fact, outside of the federal government, corporate tuition assistance is one of the most common sources of college financial aid. Higher education institutions use corporate education benefits to attract new streams of nontraditional students and support their bottom lines.
- Winner: Clients!
Fulfilled employees tend to be happier employees, which means they tend to be more involved in the work they do for clients and customers. The knowledge they gain through employee education and training programs often is directly applicable to the services they provide, as well. While not all education programs directly relate to the work at hand, most of the time it’s at least in line with it. Even if it isn’t, learning to research, writing reports, and working with fellow students and teachers can pay dividends when it comes to client communications and account management.
Traditional employee education assistance programs remain the most conventional corporate benefit. According to a recent survey on US employment benefits, 61% of companies offer undergraduate education assistance and 59% graduate education assistance. These percentages fluctuate very little over time because they’re well-known, well-received commodities.
Other companies are partnering with niche education providers like Market Motive to offer self-paced and coached courses in a particular focus area such as digital marketing. These programs are directly linked to specific job functions to promote a greater overall competence as well as the acquisition of highly desired specialized skills.
But are you looking to separate your company from the pack? A small but quickly rising number of companies today offer student loan repayment benefits to help their employees pay down on accrued education rather than to pursue new educational inroads.
Whatever you decide, make sure people know about the type of benefits you offer. Having your educational assistance benefits well defined and well-known means more of your employees will know you value them and their personal and professional development–even if they choose not to use it.
If you’re looking for candidates that align with your values and mission of continued learning, reach out to us today! Shyft Careers specializes in matching excellent, hard-working candidates with awesome companies, so make the Shyft today!