Last fall, EdAssist partnered with Bersin and Associates to conduct a study on the state of tuition assistance in the United States. The study focused on major corporations, the landscape of tuition assistance, and the direction that companies are taking their programs. It was a fascinating study, and we have shared the findings with our clients over the last few months, through webinars and at our Client Conference in San Antonio.
While the study revealed a number of things, the number one take-away for me from the entire study was the debunking of a long-standing “myth” in the world of tuition assistance management. For years, companies have approached educational assistance programs with hesitation, privately fearful that “…employees will use our dollars to get degrees, and then leave.”
According to the Bersin study, that simply isn’t true.
In fact, the study revealed that, “…of the companies that believe their Tuition Assistance Program provides high value to the enterprise, 92% agree that their program participants are more likely to stay with the organization.” (Bersin, 2012)
So what does that mean, and why is it important?
Well, for starters, it would indicate that employees do have a sense of loyalty to the organizations that fund their education and moreover, employers know it. They understand that if the culture of the organization is one that promotes higher learning and breeds advancement opportunities, employees will look to utilize their new-found knowledge and education where they are.
And second, everyone likes to be recognized for their accomplishments. It doesn’t always matter whether that acknowledgement is public or private. They want to know that SOMEBODY noticed. It is the reason why colleges and universities hold graduation events. It is the reason that the Olympic Games have medal ceremonies, and Hollywood has award ceremonies. Recognition matters. And if an employer is willing to recognize their employees for furthering their education and acknowledge that their education can help advance the company, it seems like a no-brainer that the employee would remain loyal.
Fostering a sense of loyalty through tuition assistance programs
So the question is, what are employers doing to foster a sense of loyalty from their employees who pursue and obtain advanced degrees? How are they ensuring that employees feel recognized and acknowledged?
If you are an employer funding your employees’ education, or you yourself have used tuition assistance at your company to obtain a new degree, what made you stay or leave? Does the Bersin study hold true to your particular situation?