Compensation is MORE than Just a Dollar Amount – Why Your Company Shouldn’t Go Without Education Benefits

There are plenty of company benefits that have been used to attract and retain talented employees. Healthcare packages, for example, are a huge make-or-break line item for incoming trainees and whether or not they sign on to the job. Retirement savings contribution matching is another example of a benefit that is ubiquitous in the job market. 

However, a sector of benefits, that has gained in popularity over the last few years and is particularly of interest to the incoming workforce, is that of offering education support and tuition assistance. These perks have been slowly making their way into organizations’ benefits packages and have proven to be the underdog asset that HR is starting to rely on more and more. 

Whether you’ve contemplated implementing a new employee perk to an already substantial compensation package, or are embarking on a more robust education benefit for employees, it’s important that you implement the right program to garner the ROI and  implementing education assistance for employees will be swept away when you look at the fine details. 

Stay Competitive

Finding the right candidates for positions is tough. There is a highly educated and highly motivated workforce that is growing ever more judicious in how they select a future employer. This means that companies often don’t get first, second, or even third pick of the top talent. If they want high-performing talent, they are going to compete for it.

It’s no wonder, then, that more employers have turned to education benefits. Now more than ever, new graduates entering the work force will rate education assistance programs as “very important” in whether or not they take a job. 

With 71% of employers offering some form of tuition assistance, it’s no wonder finding good talent is becoming harder. The only way to compel great minds to come to your organization, it’s essential to offer them benefits that allow them to develop and flourish.

Benefit from Highly Skilled Labor

When you’re sending your employees back to school, employers get to set program qualifications. This includes minimum GPA and limitations on coursework and fields of study

These factors allow for the employer to guide the training their employees receive to fit the needs of the organization. And with many employer’s top complaint of having too few qualified individuals to fill jobs, helping employees along a path to enhance their skills becomes all the more appealing. While it’s true that assisting workers in getting a degree doesn’t have instantaneous pay-off, they will be well worth the wait in the long run with proper planning.

Any time and resources spent on education assistance is one that saves on recruitment, helps fill high-need job faster, and offsets upfront costs and replacing them with a more productive and skilled workforce.

Cash in on Tax Deductions

There are clear tax incentives for employers who distribute tuition assistance. Up $5,250 is tax deductible for an organizations annual earnings. It is also considered tax-free income for the recipient. 

While it is by no means a make-or-break amount, it’s not pocket change either. With a robust education benefits program with a sizable group of enrollees, an organization gets all of the upside of higher-skilled workers with a significant break on their upfront investment. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Improve Workplace Culture and Retainment

By far one of the most poignant arguments to be made for education benefits is its effect on employee happiness and retaining talented people. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that participants in tuition assistance programs were 15-20% more likely to stay with a company over a period of five years. This direct effect on retention is a huge win for companies looking for continuity in their staff, products, and services.

Investing in the development of employees provides them with economic dignity. This is one of the most overlooked but most important benefits of providing education and training. If workers feel happy, invested in, and fulfilled in their workplace, they are more likely to stay with the company, invest their energy in their work, and be more productive overall.