As an employee retention speaker and employee retention expert, I love tuition assistance. Tuition assistance is the best bargain that an organization can find yet organizations are so cheap and restrictive when it comes to people using it. In one breath we say we want people to be “life-long learners” and in the next breath if someone wants to take a class we scrutinize if it is “work related.” My philosophy has always been, if someone wants to take a class, let them take it.

Classes tend to energize and stimulate people. They get them thinking about new and different things. As an owner of a business, I want my people stimulated, thinking and energized, not acting like potted plants. That is the death knell of any organization. If people are excited about their life it carries over to their work.

Another great benefit of tuition assistance is that as an employee retention trainer, I tell my clients to require a payback for the money they spend. If the employee leaves the company in less than a year after completing the class, the employee has to pay the company back. Guess what, that gets people thinking about staying because nobody wants to pay money back.

Lastly, I want the person on my payroll who wants to go to class at night. I want the person who will sit in class and learn instead of the person who is at home drinking beer and watching Monday night football. Those are the people I WANT on my team. Let’s reward those people by offering tuition assistance.

It’s time to stop thinking about tuition assistance as a cost, and see it as a benefit…a benefit to the organization because that is exactly what it is!