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3 Ways Complicated Tuition Reimbursement Policies Hurt Companies

Attracting and retaining outstanding employees is a complicated process for management. Why complicate it further by turning a job benefit – tuition reimbursement – into something that is both time-consuming and confusing not only for HR managers but also for employees?

If you're not sure if your policy could use a little polishing, take a look at the three reasons below that explain how and why a complicated tuition reimbursement policy could be hurting your company.

1. It Decreases Productivity

Whether you use tuition assistance software or not, an overly entailed policy creates an unnecessary workload for all involved.

For example, without software, you have an exceptionally high room for error, a process that continually takes more time than it should, and a high level of inefficiency when it should be organized and automated.

However, even when using tuition assistance software with a complicated policy, you will find that the hours spent manually validating your unique customizations will eat up an inordinate amount of time, causing loss of productivity within your organization.

And what happens when productivity decreases? Employees feel overwhelmed with their workload, and a general dissatisfaction and detachment from their jobs can occur. (Otherwise known as disengagement.)

But what happens when employees are able to stay on track and engaged with their companies as a whole? According to the Workplace Research Foundation, "Highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity."

The Workplace Research Foundation also states that, "Companies that foster engaged brand ambassadors in their workforce report an average of 2.69 sick days taken annually per employee, compared to companies with weak engagement efforts, reporting an average of 6.19 sick days."

As you can see, adding unnecessary steps to HR's already full workload (which, in your case, could be the complicated requirements of your tuition reimbursement policy) can be costly for employers.

Yet, a simple, standardized tuition reimbursement policy will help keep productivity and efficiency at average levels for your company, which will also minimize profit loss that can be attributed to inefficiency from management.

2. It Frustrates Employees

When you offer tuition reimbursement, it shows your employees you are invested in their future with your company, as well as their personal growth and success.

However, if you make your policy too complicated, tuition reimbursement can be viewed as a negative benefit rather than a positive for these two reasons:

  • An overly involved policy can confuse and frustrate employees who aren't familiar with insurance claims, expense account reimbursements, and financial forms. This could lead to lengthy visits with HR due to extensive questions and extra assistance needed. (Again causing loss of productivity for employees, management, and loss of profit for the company as a whole.)
  • Employees may think you've created a difficult process on purpose to ensure the red tape is a sufficient roadblock to claiming tuition reimbursement. (E.g., Offer a great job benefit to attract top talent, but make it too difficult and time-consuming to cash in once hired.)

3. It Can Decrease Job Satisfaction

For HR and management, dealing with a complicated tuition reimbursement policy on a regular basis can lead to job dissatisfaction.

The same goes for employees who initially considered the perk of tuition reimbursement as an attractant to your organization. If your policy is so complicated that they decide it's easier not to take advantage of it, this may also turn into job dissatisfaction.

As we all know, unhappy employees will eventually decide to look elsewhere, often leaving negative reviews of their job experience once they're gone to permanently damage the company's reputation online.

Whether on social media – where tweets have the potential of being retweeted an infinite number of times – or on an employer-review site like Glassdoor, negative reviews can have a detrimental effect on organizations.

However, according to Workplace Research Foundation, if you're able to keep your workers satisfied and engaged with their jobs, it will lead to:

  • Higher service, quality, and productivity
  • Higher customer satisfaction
Which then leads to:
  • Increased sales (repeat business and referrals)
  • Higher levels of profit
  • Higher shareholder returns

If there are requirements you can eliminate from your tuition reimbursement policy to help make things easier on management and employees, it only makes sense that you would.

It's clear that there is a direct correlation between happy/engaged workers and higher productivity levels. And by making tuition reimbursement accessible for your employees, you'll also be eliminating the potential for this benefit to cause job dissatisfaction in your organization. (And you'll also make things much easier on management.)

Revising Your Tuition Reimbursement Policy

Your policy might be overly complicated right now, but once simplified, you will create a more efficient process for your company, which will positively impact productivity levels of HR management.

This is in addition to creating a more positive experience for employees who take advantage of this benefit, which can help keep them engaged with your workplace and more productive throughout each day.

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