Merge's Blog

Seeking employee development strategies? Implement a tuition reimbursement program

For the past several months, I’ve been sharing specific employee development strategies on the blog via short videos: each time, one explicit, pragmatic, and actionable idea you can use to help your employees develop and grow into accomplished professionals and the future leaders in your organization.  Today’s advice: implement a tuition reimbursement program.

Implement a tuition reimbursement program

A tuition reimbursement program is a great way to support learning that isn’t provided in-house, and to provide assistance to employees who want to further their education. Such programs are usually external learning curriculum provided by colleges, universities, professional associations and vendors in relation to industry certifications.

Now it’s true, an employee who takes classes may not finish the degree for several years.  But each class offers new skills and information they can apply immediately. And as an organization, you get the benefit of having fresh ideas introduced into your company. For example, an employee may help streamline the work processes or come up with a new way of doing things that completely changes the way you do business.

If you’re worried about costs going out of control, don’t be.  You can set limits on how much you reimburse.  You might limit the amount to a percentage of the tuition costs, a number of credits or classes, or a flat amount. Some of my client organizations even have certain requirements like earning a minimum GPA or working for the company for a set length of time.  And keep in mind, just because you offer this program doesn’t mean that every employee is going to take you up on it.

The value goes beyond just employee development

As far as employee development strategies go, offering tuition assistance is a winner.  But there is another just as worthwhile benefit.  When you offer tuition assistance, your employees feel valued because you’re willing to invest in their advancement.  Learning new information, especially if it relates to the job, can leave your employees feeling motivated and excited to apply those things to work duties.

Does your organization offer tuition reimbursement to employees who wish to further their education?  What have been your experiences?  Please share by adding a comment below.

If you’re interested, the most recent video blogs in this series on employee development strategies were:

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