Businesses face many workforce problems. Among them are stressed employees, problems recruiting workers, and challenges retaining qualified employees. A business that differentiates itself with a student loan repayment program is a business that is meeting these problems head on. Student loan debt isn’t the only cause of the personnel issues, but for many people there is a correlation.
Student loan debt in the United States reached $1.5 trillion in 2018. More than two-thirds of 2015 graduates had debt, averaging $35,000. Almost one in five adults has student debt, and the rate for millennials is one in three. In the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans 2016 survey, HR managers said 66 percent of their employees worried about debt. Student loan debt isn’t just a personal problem; it can create a problem in the workplace.
Worry about student loan debt can have a negative impact on employee performance. “Financial stress can have a significant impact on the physical well-being of employees, causing memory lapses, increased adrenaline and cortisol for a persistent feeling of ‘fight-or-flight,’ elevated heart rate and blood pressure, and more. Chronic stress affects many systems of the body, including musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, nervous and even the reproductive systems, according to research from the American Psychological Association. This means that productivity takes a hit for those under student loan debt.” https://www.employeebenefitadviser.com/opinion/student-loan-anxiety-taking-a-toll-on-the-workplace
A Student Loan Hero survey of more than a thousand people with student loan debt reported:
• Over 61 percent fear their student loan debt worries are spiraling out of control
• 71.5 percent reported headaches due to stress of student debt
• 64.5 percent experienced sleepless night because of debt
• 67 percent reported physical symptoms of anxiety such as muscle tension, upset stomach, rapid heartbeat and fatigue
No employees can perform their jobs when stress creates mental and physical havoc such as this. Student loan repayment assistance is a valuable benefit that will provide relief from conditions such as these that can interfere with work and quality of life. It will relieve a burden that many employees experience and build a more productive workforce for a business.
In addition to improving quality of life and job performance issues, businesses that offer student loan repayment benefits will find that this is a beneficial way to differentiate themselves from other companies. Currently only 4 percent of businesses offer this benefit, but industry consultants predict the number will increase to 20 percent in the near future.
Competition for talent is keen today. Attracting that talent requires that employers be innovative and adapt their tuition assistance policies. Student loan repayment assistance will make a business standout and draw-in qualified workers: 95 percent of people under age 30 would be more willing to take a job if it offered student loan repayment.
And after businesses recruit top talent the challenge is to retain them. Millennials are willing to change jobs for better opportunities. Tuition benefits that include student loan repayment assistance offer opportunities for workers to focus on other priorities. If employees are not weighed down by student debt they can focus on their career growth and be productive employees that contribute at the highest level. They can invest in other savings plans that help them create a stable financial future and plan for retirement.
Edcor has been assisting employers in making student loan debt repayment an integral part of their tuition assistance benefits for several years. As part of comprehensive tuition assistance plan it offers immediate benefits to employees and results in a positive return on investment for employers.
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