The Good Ol’ College Try

Employee Perks and Retention

By In Weekly Email 5 Minute Read Time

The Good Ol’ College Try: Employee Perks and Retention

In 2018, Under Armour did away with one of their perks. They put an end to reimbursing strip club expenses that employees accrued while wining and dining sports stars and potential clients. (That’s right, ladies, we’re talking to you. No more taking clients to The Thunder from Down Under next time you’re on the Vegas strip.)

Tuition Reimbursement as a Perk for Employees

Other cool perks remain, though, and one of the biggies is tuition reimbursement. If you think you’re going to get yourself a scholarship, think about joining corporate America. Getting big biz to foot the bill for school is old hat. Even back in 1998, Hewitt Associates peeked in at 460 corporate tuition programs and that found that 77% covered educational expenses, such as books, in addition to signing on the dotted line for big tuition bills. More than one in ten of these programs cried for exploitation as there was no ceiling on the amount of tuition to be reimbursed…Hello Harvard!

But… Is There a Benefit for Organizations? 

Up until Professor George Benson and a couple other colleagues decided to scratch their itch, nobody really knew if organizations benefited or saw a return from sending an employee back to school. Thanks to them, we now know how tuition reimbursement programs influence employee turnover. Specifically, they examined 9,439 employees at a high-tech firm to see how participation in tuition reimbursement programs affected an employee’s decision to quit. Without further ado—

The Research 

Using a fancy statistical tool called Cox Regression Analysis, they found that employees didn’t bolt for the door while taking college courses. In fact, employees who were actively participating in tuition reimbursement programs were 55% less likely than nonparticipants to walk. All of that changes when we don our cap and gown. Those earning their graduate degrees were 76% more likely to quit than those taking classes without reaching their diploma. A lesson here—if you’re going to hit the books, do so at the graduate level as earning an associate or bachelor’s degree didn’t seem to matter either way. This isn’t good news for businesses that shell out big bucks only to watch with despair as their newly minted grads run for the hills. Thankfully, there’s a catch. When the organization capitalizes on these new employee skills obtained through graduate school, we get a much different scenario. When the organization matched their degree completion with a promotion, regardless of any wage increase, the employees decided to stick. Of this sample, they were 55% less likely to hit the road than graduates who did not receive a promotion.

What’s it all mean? 

The bottom line–if you’re going to school these bright minds, you may want to offer a promotion to them upon graduation. Otherwise, hasta luego!

School’s out at the Kimono!

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