Turning your Education Benefits Portfolio from Good to Great | Edcor

Turning your Education Benefits Portfolio from Good to Great

Education benefits have been historically popular for the high ROI (return on investment) they provide on the retention and recruitment front; upskilling being the cherry on the cake. These benefits lead to employee engagement through professional development and make the benefits package competitive. As someone who has been in the education benefits administration industry for almost 3 decades and has seen the ups and downs organizations go through, I want to share the difference between a good education benefits program and a great one.

Are you ready to hear it? Drumroll please – it’s simply to be ‘holistic’ with the offerings. While I understand that it’s not feasible to offer something to everyone, the business goal should be to have a ed-benefits portfolio that caters to the varying needs of individuals in all stages of their careers. Let me explain this further while highlighting a few discerning factors contributing to the success of these programs.

Leadership or Management Commitment

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan

In my years interacting with a multitude of clients, I have seen good leaders and I have seen some exceptional ones. A couple of qualities that have always stood out in the exceptional ones – humility and the drive to do good for the long-term success of their organizations. These leaders are always keen to learn what more can they do to build a stellar team that can deliver results for their collective success. They realize that good pay, health care benefits, and a nurturing workplace can only go so far. What it takes to retain a star performer and build loyalty is deeply anchored in the hierarchical needs of an individual to reach their highest potential while maximizing mental and financial well-being. Education benefits come into play in catering to these needs. While Tuition Assistance is a must-have, adding Student Loan Repayment Assistance and Workplace Scholarships makes the education benefits portfolio rock solid.  However, this buy-in and thought process needs to trickle top-down and not the other way around, emphasizing the importance of leadership commitment to these programs.

Edcor has been a key player in the education benefits space for close to 43 years now. Following our mission to be the most loved education benefits provider in the country, we are a one-stop-shop for everything education benefits. If you are a senior HR leader and feel like you’d benefit from a chat about aligning your business strategies with your benefits strategies, feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you in any way I can.

Moving on to the next one.

A Holistic Education Benefits Portfolio

So, what does a holistic education benefit portfolio look like? Does it mean you have to have all the three services? Well Yes and No. In most cases, ‘holistic’ is what works as an ‘optimal’ solution for your organization and industry. It could mean a combination of Tuition benefits and one other benefit, or it could mean all three. This is largely governed by how heavily attrition affects your industry and how competitive you are willing to get to retain your workforce. As veterans in the HR industry, we know that there isn’t a dearth of talent per se, rather there are too many businesses fighting for the same talent to develop an A-team of players who drive organizational goals. If you don’t offer holistic benefits to your teams – your competitors will.

Let me elaborate with a couple of examples. Healthcare is a niche for Edcor, quite boisterously, we know the industry better than anyone else. For this industry specifically, with the cost of education being higher compared to any other industry, Tuition Assistance coupled with Student Loan Repayment Assistance and Nurse Scholarships works very well to recruit, retain, and upskill the Gen Y & Z Nurse populations whereas Dependent Scholarships work well for the Baby boomers or Gen X populations from other job codes.  We have seen many of our Clients who were early adopters of the strategy now reaping the benefits from it in a tight labor market where the U.S. is still grappling with the Nurse and healthcare worker shortage.  According to the data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the shortage is mainly caused due to high turnover rates ranging from 8.8 to 37% depending on specialty and location. The obvious solution for this industry’s needs is a competitive education benefits portfolio.

Another major sector for Edcor is Logistics and here we see high retention rates as a result of the Tuition benefits combined with Dependent Scholarships. The retention rate for those going to school for 4-year degrees or equivalent with employer-sponsored programs is 400% higher compared to those who do not utilize these benefits. Renewable Dependent Scholarships help in the retention of high-turnover job codes that are difficult to recruit and train. Data like this is hard to ignore. These are just a couple of examples. We work with Clients in almost all industries and help them find a good balance suiting their specific needs to make their portfolios holistic. We encourage you to explore the idea of going for multiple education benefits for higher recruitment and retention rates. And yes, we’d very much like it if it’s through us because we do offer multiple-service line discounts that sweeten the pot for you.

The Right Third-Party Administration Partner

You can have the best of intentions and spend millions of dollars, yet your program will not deliver the right results if you are trying to work this internally or worse get stuck with a third-party administrator that doesn’t understand the industry well or doesn’t deliver value through service. Yes, a part of education benefits administration is accomplished through software but largely how well your program delivers is based on your service provider’s commitment to excellence and more importantly to your success. In this industry, experience matters, and you get what you pay for. Remember the adage “no free lunches” and “if you aren’t paying for the product, ‘you’ are the product.”  So don’t let the marketing jargon sway your decision-making, look for a partner who is the right fit for your business and is ready to fix issues if they arise, and works with you every step of the way.

Unsurprisingly, Service is a differentiator for Edcor and our business. Even though our products are software-driven, we consider ourselves a service organization. This has been designed purposefully and painstakingly over the years after I took reigns as CEO because I believe that impeccable service is an intangible competitive advantage that cannot be replicated. You either have it or you don’t. At Edcor we believe in impeccable service, and even if there are rare missteps, we fix them and work with our clients and partners for our collective success. All our teams are trained with Service and Client focus or ‘Customer delight’ as we call it as their primary deliverable. We are not the biggest and that’s not our goal either. Our passion is Education, and our focus is ‘Everything Education Benefits.’

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So, what are you waiting for? Let’s Future Together!

Adrienne Way, CEO, Edcor 

Edcor is a woman-owned business and is the benchmark in education benefits administration. For 40+ years, our customized service and solutions have allowed Fortune 1000 Clients to use education benefits programs for employee recruiting, retention, and development. Please feel free to reach out to us!