What have you done for your employees’ education of late? Perhaps it’s not a topic you think about a lot.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 34% of smaller companies offer their employees tuition reimbursement. It’s easy to understand why. In the current economic climate, many small businesses are struggling to make ends meet, and tuition doesn’t come cheap.
But if you’d like a more engaged, more productive, and more loyal workforce, educational reimbursement just might be a smart move for your business.
Here are five reasons why:
1. Your Employees Will Gain Skills You Need
When you need a more skilled workforce, where do you look? Do you turn to temps, or start recruiting?
By offering tuition reimbursement for courses relevant to your industry, you can find the skilled workforce you need among your existing employees. You can offer anything from a full degree in a relevant field, to enhanced training on new technology or business related courses.
Not only will you save on the expensive recruitment process, you’ll find many employee educational fees attract tax breaks.
Instead of putting yourself through the stress and uncertainty of finding new employees, why not make the most of your existing workforce by helping them to gain the skills you need?
2. You’ll Gain a More Productive Workforce
Further education increases productivity in two ways.
First, your employees will learn relevant skills that will help them to get even better at their jobs. But there is another bonus too – further education teaches a range of “soft skills”. These are skills that aren’t directly related to your company’s daily business, such as:
- Better time management;
- Increased confidence in public speaking;
- A more active and engaged mind;
- Enhanced teamwork skills.
The skills learned while studying are transferable skills that can be great assets to your company overall.
3. Staff Morale Will Go Up
Who doesn’t want a happier work force?
Increased staff morale means good things for both you and your employees:
- A better working environment for your employees;
- Less stress for you;
- Less time spent dealing with interpersonal problems and despondent employees;
- Tasks getting done and done well as employees approach their work in an upbeat frame of mind.
Offering tuition reimbursement can help to increase staff morale by showing your employees that you care about their future. By offering education and the chance to progress in their roles, you’re giving your employees something to aim for.
In fact, a study by the ROI institute showed that an impressive 64% of employers who offered tuition reimbursement noticed a significant increase in how engaged their employees were.
4. Company Loyalty Will Increase
“But if I offer my employees education, won’t they take the skills and go elsewhere?”
It’s easy to worry that if you pay for your employees more education, they’ll take those skills to your competitor and you’ll be left out of pocket.
In fact, the same study that found offering educational reimbursement increased loyalty, also found a 64% increase in company loyalty. Employees feel they have a future with a company that cares enough to invest in them.
You can safeguard against losing your newly trained employees by offering reimbursement as part of a contract that specifies how long your employees will need to stay with your company to get their fees paid.
And of course, you can make sure the programs you are offering are relevant to your company and to career advancement within it.
5. You’ll Have a Competitive Edge During Recruiting
Offering educational reimbursement can help to increase employee retention, but of course there will come a time when you need to recruit, whether that’s due to expansion or an employee taking extended leave.
As a small business, it can be hard to compete against bigger employers who can offer flashier recruitment packages. A good educational reimbursement package is another string to your recruiting bow.
As well as showing you care about your employees and want to invest in them, it’s a signal to new recruits that there are opportunities for growth within your company. You’re offering them more than a job; you’re offering them a career.
A well-planned tuition reimbursement program is a smart investment in your business, leading to happier, more skilled and more engaged employees.
If you offer relevant education in return for a certain period of loyalty, both you and your employees will benefit.
Photo credit: cmm.com.au
About the Author:Â Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing, Education via Yahoo, and SEO.