Associate Today. Management Tomorrow. How Tuition Reimbursement Programs Advance Degrees (and Employees)

Finding the right fit for management positions is an exhausting task. Finding a professional who has the right skill set requires time and money. These expenditures provide few guarantees about how a candidate fit in with preexisting staff and company culture. While facing down these uncertainties for an outside hire can certainly be worth it in certain circumstances, the difficulty involved begs a question: is there an easier, more reliable way?

The internal hire is the obvious solution. That said, taking this route presents its own challenges. Candidates don’t frequently have all of the skills needed to fit the bill. With a strong education benefits program, however, in-house talent can be developed in a more cost-effective way than hiring externally. Investing in your employees has the added benefit of retaining talent and reducing uncertainty. 

Tuition reimbursement programs are designed to incentivize employees to pursue higher degrees. These benefits programs allow for employees to receive financial assistance from their employer—an amount that can vary company to company, but usually amounts to the $5,250 that can be deducted by an employer in their annual tax filing. This aid significantly reduces the cost of higher education for motivated workers and provides them with a structure to get the right training to ready them for a management position.

Helping your people advance their degrees while remaining employed at the company gives the organization additional leverage to guide the learner to develop specific skills for an intended role. Most tuition reimbursement programs establish requirements for employees to qualify for reimbursements. This includes minimum GPA requirements as well taking courses in a designated field. These factors help the employee sharpen their skills and get ahead while simultaneously cultivating a loyal workforce with the right know-how to take on difficult-to-fill roles. 

One of the largest impacts that a degree impacts moving talent from associate-level positions to managerial ones is the impact on morale and work culture. Pulling in a hire from outside of the company means a significant learning curve for new managers. Getting to know their team, preexisting systems, as well as differences in management styles from predecessors can all cause stresses on productivity and morale. Developing talent internally softens that adjustment period and communicates to employees that there is a clear path for growth in the company.

It’s important to acknowledge that in-house talent cultivation takes time. For the employer with immediate personnel needs, investing in education benefits can feel like a hard sell especially when starting from ground zero. But like any other investment, the adage goes “the best time to plant a tree is ten years ago. The next best time is today.” Establishing the foundation for talent cultivation is the most advantageous way to ensure that candidates from within are in the pipeline for development and promotion.

In the world of hiring, nothing is a sure bet. What is clear, though, is that a well-established tuition reimbursement program is going to help hedge risks and develop in-house talent that will be a perfect fit for roles down the line. With the proper foresight and management, these education benefits not only serve to attract new talent to your organization but ensures hassle-free transitions for management positions further down the line.  

ClearDegree is an education concierge partner that works with companies and their employees to tailor tuition assistance (TA) programs that benefit both the organization and the individual. 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 our services that lead to higher completion rates of higher education degrees.