And Aetna's showing everyone how it's done.
The company created a lot of buzz at this year's Health Benefits and Leadership Conference where they outlined how - and more importantly why - they believe education's time has come. Have we mentioned we're big fans?
The particulars (with thanks to Human Resource Executive's Danielle Westermann King):
"We truly believe that employees are our greatest asset, said Aetna's Kay Mooney, vice president of employee benefits and well-being at Aetna. "It's up to us to treat them as such."
On why loan repayment:
"When we think about it, if an employee struggles with financial stress, that impacts the quality of their work. If employees are healthy and happy, they're more productive and engaged and can better focus on our customers. It helps them, and it helps us it's win-win."
"Education is a powerful vehicle to help employees advance their career. If, five to 10 years down the road, our employees are still only earning $16 an hour, we've failed them."Aetna's more than talk. The company pays employees' education up front at $5,000 per year. Full-time employees can get up to $10,000 of student-loan assistance during the life of their careers.
How's it working? As Danielle writes, "there has been a 45-percent faster promotion rate among student loan repayment program participants and a 27-percent faster promotion rate among employee tuition assistance program participants. Additionally, there has been an 8 percent retention gain among tuition assistance participants."
With 4.1 percent unemployment and more than 6-million jobs idling open, those are some stellar results.
To answer Danielle's headline, "Will Education Benefits be the Next Big Trend?" We say a hearty...yes.
Congrats, Aetna, for being ahead of the pack!