Employee Investment: Why Sponsoring Your Employee’s Education is Good for Business

To recruit and retain the best employees, it takes more than a paycheck every two weeks. Instead, a company needs to show that it cares, and one of the ways to do so is with some perks and benefits. Though health insurance and free lunches are nice, the best perk is one that benefits the employee and the company, and sponsoring an employee’s education can do just that.

When you sponsor or reimburse an employee who wants to further their education, you open the door to a world of possibilities. Not only will you create a more efficient staffer, but your company will see some perks as well. Let’s look at some of the great benefits and a few considerations as you set up this new program.

A More Educated Workforce

When an employee returns to school, their education makes them more well-rounded and makes your business better. They learn both hard and soft skills during classes. These include managing time more efficiently, handling personal responsibility, and working with a diverse group of people. Plus, students who work while getting their educations can use school as an opportunity to learn via real-world examples.

By providing an employee with this advanced education, your company will also be in a good place to fill open roles down the road. If you sponsor management classes or Executive MBA programs, you can set up the future leadership of your organization, up to and including the position of Chief Accounting Officer. The CAO is responsible for financial statements and payroll management, and you will want a smart, educated employee in that role.

Some employees are unable to afford a quality education unless you offer it to them. If your business is in the trades, this is especially important. Currently, the trades are experiencing a labor shortage from reduced interest by younger job seekers. Many buy into the perceived stigmas that these positions are not as important. Yet, if your company can sponsor an employee’s education at a well-regarded trade school, they could learn the skills they need to thrive in their new trade job and help your bottom line at the same time.

Direct Benefits for the Employer

Besides getting a more balanced employee, your business also gets other perks when you offer education assistance. For one, by having this in your job description, you will find better candidates right out of the gate. Recent studies show employees prefer professional development over other perks.

People also want jobs where they feel appreciated, and happy employees are often more productive. This is why you shouldn’t turn down an employee who wants to go to school. It doesn’t mean that they will leave you as soon as they graduate. It does mean the employee will appreciate your company more, and they may refer other high-quality candidates.

Another employer perk is tuition reimbursement is tax-deductible to up to $5,250 annually per employee. There are some stipulations involved, such as the education must pertain to the employee’s current job. This deduction is a nice perk, and management can use those funds elsewhere in the business should they choose to do so.


Proper financial planning is essential to ensure that both your company and the student have the best chance at success. Before going forward, meet with your accounting and finance teams to ensure there are funds in the budget for the money promised in your program. Don’t make it available until you are aware of the cost and the greatest number of employees you can allow at any given time.

It is also important to be mindful of employees who are experiencing burnout by having too much to juggle. You don’t want the student to fall behind in their classes, but you also want them to remain efficient at work. To allow both, management should stay in contact with the employee to ensure that they are not feeling overworked. If they are, consider offering a shortened schedule or an earlier shift one day each week.

Another way to combat exhaustion is to recommend that students in the program take virtual programs. Online learning has had a boost as of late, providing classes of all types to learners of all ages. With online learning, the participant can avoid long commutes and can take classes at work during breaks in their day.

Sponsoring employee education is not a benefit we consider often, but it is an important one. By encouraging your staff to further their education, you will have more well-rounded employees who will go the extra mile to help your company succeed.

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