Creating a Standout Educational Benefits Program: 4 Factors to Consider

In today’s ever-shifting business environment, many organizations are seeking to add value to their top investment: their workforce. At a time when competition for qualified talent is fierce, retaining your top performers and attracting new standouts is crucial to success. One well-established strategy? Creating an educational benefits program that develops your workforce while meeting business goals.

Why pursue an educational benefits program?

The employee retention and recruitment difficulties presented by COVID-19–related aftershocks are just one example of the challenges many organizations face in maintaining a well-qualified workforce. Research also shows the top reasons employees leave are related to lack of development and growth opportunities, with 94 percent of employees reporting they would stay in their current role if their company invested in their career.1, 2

Major retailers like Target®, Walmart® and Amazon® have responded by introducing comprehensive, “debt-free” education assistance programs.3, 4 While not every company can provide full contributions, there are multiple meaningful ways to create educational benefits that could serve your organization’s people and needs.

Four factors in developing an educational benefits program that works

Every organization will have unique needs when it comes to employee development and talent recruitment. Some may even have ongoing challenges in staffing specialized positions. Below are four factors to consider in decision making for these market-critical benefits:

1. Programs built for working adults

Set up your employees for success by selecting an educational partner that understands the needs and challenges of working professionals. For those balancing family, career and school, online programs and no-cost Professional e-Certifications are an obvious fit. Self-directed assessments, where your employees can demonstrate and get credit for what they already know, also help to reduce costs, making tuition reimbursement go further.

2. Curriculum with real-world learning

Selecting an educational partner that understands your employees’ need to engage with material relevant to their current role is essential. Designed and taught by industry experts, the curriculum at Rasmussen University covers the latest professional trends and developments, giving your employees real-world knowledge they can immediately apply to their current role. Plus, with competency-based education programs or Empowered Learning™, your employees can quickly demonstrate what they already know and slow down to focus on new concepts.

3. Development of transferable “soft” skills

Acquiring technical or “hard” skills is often the main driver for employers offering educational benefits. But transferable “soft” skills like communication, digital fluency, critical thinking, information literacy, diversity and teamwork, and ethics and professional responsibility are essential for growing and building a robust workforce. Soft skills are indispensable for your employees when it comes to navigating constantly changing business environments.

4. Apprenticeship solutions for hard-to-fill roles

A solid educational alliance can help you build a talent pipeline for your most vital positions. At M Health Fairview, a healthcare partnership that combines academic and community medicine based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, faculty developed an apprenticeship model leveraging Rasmussen University to address labor shortages.

Jessica Pike, a student in the Surgical Technologist apprentice program at M Health Fairview, provides an example of the power of the apprenticeship model.

“Let’s say I learn about a hysterectomy procedure in class,” Pike explains. “Then I go to work and I get to observe a hysterectomy. The operating room director I report to wants me to keep her updated on what exactly I’m learning in school, because then she can apply it to my job.”

An educational benefits program that meets your needs

Building an educational benefits program is crucial for organizations that want to remain competitive and draw top performers. Having a robust alliance with an established educational institution is critical. Through an alliance with Rasmussen University, your employees can access career-focused programs and tuition savings to help them earn their next degree. Plus, we provide all the informational materials you’ll need to communicate about these opportunities to your employees. Learn more today about becoming a Rasmussen University alliance by visiting the Workforce Connections page.

1 SkillDirector Personalized Learning. “What the modern learner wants and how you can give it to them”. [Accessed October 21, 2021.]
2 LinkedIn Learning. “2018 Workplace Learning Report”. [Accessed October 21, 2021.]
3 “Target Announces it will pay for its employees’ college education.” [Accessed October 21, 2021.]
4 About “Amazon to pay full college tuition for front-line employees.” [Accessed October 21, 2021.]
Walmart is a registered trademark of Walmart Apollo, LLC.
Target is a registered trademark of Target Brands, Inc.
Amazon is a registered trademark of Amazon Technologies, Inc.