Top 3 Reasons Why Employees Aren’t Using Your Education Benefits

Your company has put all of this time and effort into assembling an amazing education benefits program for your employees. It’s brimming with tuition reimbursements and incentives for your workers to get back into the virtual classroom and learn something new. However, the tuition program sits unused and your company loses money.

So, why are your employees skipping out on such a golden opportunity to keep skillsets fresh, nurture their talents and curiosity, and increase their professional value to your organization?

Take a look at three of the most common reasons why employees aren’t taking full advantage of education benefits offered by employers.

1) “Enrolling is Just Too Difficult”

As a workplace, you offer an education benefits package that has generous tuition reimbursements and numerous advantages for employees to continue or further their education. Though for many on the front lines, just “qualifying” to use the benefits through HR can be a major headache. Accessing these perks may result in mounds of paperwork submitted through a bevy of channels, a long approval process, and a small list of options that for some, may make the process – too much of a process. And for others, the reimbursement logistics may be unclear leaving many to front funds without fully understanding what they would be getting their investment back. If you find that your employees are not utilizing your organization’s education benefits, look at the requirements that are built into the reimbursement program and see if there are any barriers in benefit enrollment requirements.

2) The Programs are a Bad Fit

It’s not uncommon for companies to partner with schools looking to bring students to their programs. When clearly it should be the other way around. If employees are forced into selecting a degree program from an approved list via the company, you’re basically offering a one-size-fits-all approach to education benefits. And let’s face it, when has one size fits all ever fit all? Employees want the benefit of choice. They want to manage their own path, work towards their own specific goals, and pursue interests. This cannot be achieved by companies limiting the programs of choice through approved or partner educational institutions. Which begs the question – where’s the real benefit? And certainly, why employees think twice about using it.

3) Lack of Visibility

So you’ve got the ideal program in place. You maximize reimbursement, work with your employees to uncover the right opportunities, and you still don’t have the enrollment to make it worth the ROI. Why? The answer may be as simple as communication. It’s not enough to have the benefits in place, you need to promote them through your organization. You need to educate your staff on the advantages of education benefits. We’re talking about more than a poster in a break room or a bullet in a monthly internal bulletin. You need to convey the ease of enrollment, tout testimonials of colleagues who have used the benefits, the possibilities of internal promotions as well as individual growth.

Underutilization of any benefit can be traced back to lack of communication. Onboarding can be a rushed process so it’s up to HR to continue to promote tuition reimbursement and education benefits throughout the year. A little visibility goes a long way.

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.