The United States is experiencing a student debt and employee engagement crisis.
With the burden reaching up to $1.6 trillion and rising, and repayment at an all-time low due to lack of substantial economic growth, the student population in the U.S. is being forced to reconsider their future life choices; should they get a college education and spend more than half their life paying it back, or should they opt out of it and make ends meet with limited education and resources?
An alarming situation, this is why in recent years, many companies have taken steps to offer free college tuition, as a way of helping students with their student loan issues.
The Role of the Service Industry in Employee Engagement
Starbucks, UPS, Publix, Chipotle, Bank of America, Walmart, Disney—there are just some of the companies that offer tuition coverage for bachelor’s and college degrees for part-time and full-time employees. And while some of these companies do have caps and limited programs as well as eligibility requirements, their usually not that stringent.
But, why is it that companies are taking on this financial burden? In truth, it’s because in the long run, paying for college is a small price to pay for the loyalty and hard work their employees will provide once they’re done studying.
Paying for College as an Employee Engagement Tool—The Purpose and Benefits
Financial problems are the number one reason why students drop out of college or simply do not pursue a college degree.
By taking this specific problem out of the equation, companies are not only allowing their workers to gain an education they deserve, they’re investing in their employees’ future and their own!
Considering the general skills that students gain from college courses—analytical abilities, communications and management—companies essentially allow students to receive training from their colleges, which comes in handy in the workplace.
With these general skills, it becomes a lot easier for their employees to receive training in the office as well, since they utilize their lessons and teaching in both environments.
It also helps that by no longer having to worry about their college tuition, this gives students the opportunity to study the subject they want, rather than what they should.
So, for a student working in a tech company as a PA or an intern so they can learn something through observation, an offer for free college education gives them the chance to pursue a career in a specialized field in IT without having to worry about added expenses, something that might not have been possible for them before.
Of course, employers are not going to provide their workers with college tuition assistance simply out of the goodness of their heart, as a part of an employee incentive programs.
With their purpose being to attract, engage and retain worthwhile employees, the offer of a college tuition attracts better candidates who can help the company succeed in the long run. An offer of tuition tempts employees to stay with the company longer as well, which results in lower turnover rates.
As a result, this saves the company more money than if they were to keep replacing people.
While employment in the U.S. is at an all-time low, these statistics can change very easily. Low employee morale and lack of benefits, in addition to financial issues as a result of a tumultuous economy, can result in a higher employee turnover.
But if people work with a company that covers the complete cost of their education and training, this shows the employees that the company genuinely believes in their skills. As a result, employees think twice before leaving. Rather than taking any rash decisions, they communicate their needs with the upper management because they want proper guidance, and in most cases, the company is able to retain them.
This gives them a greater team with loyal employees who have good education, good training and have the relevant skills to help take their company to greater heights.
Conclusion: Employee Engagement in the Future
Despite the industry’s action on making a college education accessible for all, much work still remains to be done.
For many students, a greater problem is not finding a good college and gaining an education, it is finding a good job that would suit their needs. Studies show that 57.5 percent of college graduates do not work in their related field of study, which prevents them in getting a job in their line of work in future.
By providing students with better opportunities for education in their own field, companies can creating a lucrative path for their future, and are cementing their organization’s success by gaining employees who will be trained, educated and facilitated by the best institutions. This is one of the best employee benefits. You can use a student loan payoff calculator to know how much you need to pay from the budget.