In a radical business move, US coffee giant, Starbucks, has recently announced that it will offer free four-year tuition reimbursement to their American employees who complete their degree through Arizona State University’s online learning programme.
The public company is using $250 million in funds to create this programme.
Some UK companies have offered this perk to their employees, offering to pay for their education while they are employed.
While this certainly provides a great benefit to the staff, it also offers benefits to the organisation, such as:
Employee Retention – Paying for your staff’s education shows your employees that you are invested in their future. Some companies offer to cover certifications, while others spring for actual bachelor’s or master’s degrees. The great benefit of this to the company is employee retention; more workers stay with the company, at least until their education is complete. Some employers require that an individual work at the organisation for a certain amount of years to recoup the full cost of the tuition, which is a smart idea. This locks in a term for a valuable employee in which he or she will not be able to look for other posts, lest your company stops paying for the tuition.
Better Employees – Probably the most obvious perk of covering employees’ education is that it leads to smarter and more well-rounded individuals that work for you. The more skills that the students will acquire in their chosen fields, the more innovation and creativity they will bring to the office. They will be able to work more efficiently and on a different level once their training has been completed.
Better PR – Organisations, especially public companies and corporations, need to have a good company image in order to attract clients and investors. As part of this, establishing an employee tuition reimbursement programme puts the company in good light. It shows to the employees and outsiders that the business truly cares about its staff, which means that it is a good company to work for. This creates great PR, as customers often believe that an organisation that takes care of its own is a good one to invest their money in.
Investing in employees is a great mission to undertake for those companies that can afford it. Obviously, it is much harder for small companies, but even those that can offer some percentage of tuition to be covered show that they care about their staff’s future.
Senior Trainer & Consultant