3 Tips to Support Employees Earning their Degree
Your organization has joined the ranks of the 62% of all businesses offering a tuition reimbursement-based educational benefit for their employees. As management, you know that the costs can be intimidating, but they are far outweighed by the benefits of investing in your workforce.
With an educational benefits plan in order there remains a single question: How can you support employees who are earning their degree?
It’s a deceptively simple question with answers that become more complicated as you dive deeper. Shouldn’t just offering the education benefits be enough to create opportunities for employees? It’s true that almost one third of employees state that educational assistance from their company is “very important.” However, a surprising amount of companies see their tuition assistance programs go underutilized.
Here are a few tips for helping employees along who have decided to earn their degree while working for you:
1. Don’t Just make their options known to them: Invest in your people.
It’s one thing to host mandatory conferences on an annual basis to reiterate employee benefits packages. It’s another thing entirely to develop talent.
One of the greatest ways to ensure success of educational benefits usage is to know your employees and make it clear that you’re playing to their strengths. The act of investing resources into a tuition assistance program already signals that management wants to see talent rise within the company. Go the extra mile to forge a relationship with your employees by showing them you see their strengths and are willing to capitalize on them.
Perhaps the most effective way to go about this is through mentorshipprograms. Partnering an employee with another who has already moved up through opportunities provided by educational benefits is crucial. These casual relationships need not take up copious amounts of company time and can amount to a monthly check in that helps keep the employee going through training motivated and focused.
2. Be crystal clear with expectations, benefits, and goals.
This is the most constructive way for both parties in the relationship to make the employee’s educational experience outcome-driven. Unclear expectations on the part of the employee is a recipe for emotional confrontations and broken workplace relationships.
If your educational benefits have any sort of qualifications, make sure that they are expressed directly and clearly in a formal one-on-one briefing. For example, if a grade point average needs to be maintained or a specific set of courses are going to qualify for reimbursement, it’s important to make sure these expectations are directly communicated to the employee.
On the other side of the coin, make sure that the outcome of your employees’ success is just as clearly expressed. Share the ways in which utilizing their educational benefits will make them an asset at the organization and clear the way for internal growth.
3. Create space and time for success.
Every education program is going to have time and energy demands of the enrolled employees. Predict the nature of these needs and ensure that as part of your process you’re discussing their preparation for the time and effort demands of a degree program.
Every organization is going to have different levels of adaptability to flex around their employee’s educational programs. However it’s important that the employee knows that the demands of getting a degree are in addition to work, life and other responsibilities.
Your employee CAN do it all, they just need to be sure they’re willing to before you both start spending money on a degree. The payout will be twofold: less stress for employees and a better training result at the end of the day.
ClearDegree is an education concierge partner that works with companies and their employees to tailor tuition assistance programs (TAP) programs and increase the likelihood of completion of higher degrees. We represent a smarter way to invest in education benefits by bringing degree programs to professionals and creating a short list of ideal opportunities that are cost-effective and relative to corporate goals. Contact us for more information about ClearDegree and start to realize the ROI from tuition assistance programs.