What’s New in Employee Benefits: Partner With a University for Professional Development

You likely heard the expression It’s a buyer’s market (or seller’s market) related to real estate. But there’s a similar term gaining traction that’s connected to what’s happening in the world of work: It’s an employees’ market.

Today, employees have the advantage. They want to work for employers who consider their full set of needs — more advancement opportunities, more flexibility on when and how they work, better pay and a rich employee benefits program. And if those needs go unmet, they’ll resign.

We could blame the pandemic on employees having the upper hand and threatening a mass exodus (the “Great Resignation,” as some call it). But employees’ desires and demands dates back much further — and we can thank the internet for much of this, where a new job opportunity (or a negative review about a company’s pay or benefits) is just a click away.

The widespread awareness of employees’ new expectations is why, for years now, companies have been in reaction mode, working hard to be employers of choice for their industry or market by offering innovative programs and incentives that attract and retain people.

What’s New in Employee Benefits

One way employers meet the needs of a more discerning workforce is to build out employee benefits packages. Health savings accounts, employer contributions to 401(k)s and legal insurance used to be considered unique benefits; today, employees expect to see them. What’s newer on the horizon are benefits such as access to mental health resources, workplace giving programs, four-day workweeks and pet-friendly offices.

Education, training and professional development score high marks with employees, too. According to Lorman, a training solutions company, 87% of millennials believe learning and development in the workplace are important. And 74% of surveyed employees feel they aren’t reaching their full potential at work due to a lack of development opportunities. (You can find more about this research here.)

For employers who want to help their workforce grow and learn and stay committed to the organization, many explore partnerships with leading, accredited universities. Our Business Partnership program is one such benefit that Cincinnati- and Ohio-area companies are taking note of.

FAQs About UC Online’s Partnership With Businesses

At the University of Cincinnati (UC) Online, we help business owners develop and retain employees through an innovative benefits program that provides tuition scholarships they can offer employees and their qualified family members.

As we talk with employers about our university-to-business (U2B) program, they typically ask the same questions; here are the top ones:

Why would I want to add this program to our benefits offering? When employees can “learn while they earn,” it’s a win/win for you and them; here’s why:

    • You benefit from introducing a more robust benefits program, enticing both current and future employees in a way that builds interest and appreciation and fosters long-term engagement with your organization.
    • Your employees are excited to get access to a unique benefit and appreciate knowing the tuition scholarships extend to their family members.
    • It’s likely many of your employees have considered going back to school. (One study says more than 35% of employees believe they need more education and training to get ahead in their job or career.) Your workforce will quickly see how our online programs are tailor-made for working adults.

Does a U2B partnership replace our tuition reimbursement program? The tuition scholarships complement whatever education reimbursement your company offers. And if you don’t offer tuition reimbursement today, the U2B partnership fills that gap nicely.

Does it cost anything to set up the program? By partnering with UC Online, you provide an exciting, new benefit to your employees and their families at no cost to your business.

Do you help me communicate this benefit to my workforce? We pair you with a U2B specialist, so you have the access and information you need. Their expertise includes our best practices on communicating the new benefit to employees.

What are the biggest benefits for my employees? There are several, including:

    • Employees get access to top-tier academic programs from an accredited university with deep experience — 20+ years now — in online education.
    • They don’t have to spend hours and hours searching for a university that fits their needs. Employees are introduced to our well-known, respected university and the 80+ online programs we offer, from associate to master’s level degrees.
    • Another benefit is that a student success coordinator is paired with each employee. Our coordinators are online program specialists, and their efforts help ensure your employees enjoy their learning experience and stay on track with their studies — from day one in a program until they graduate.

UC Online Business Partnership

UC Online’s Student Success Coordinators are focused solely on our students’ success. Get to know one of them, Mallery Schulkers.

Connect With a U2B Program Expert

When your organization partners with UC Online, you’re able to introduce a new benefit to your employees. The return on the (no-cost-to-you) investment can yield a workforce who is excited about the new offering and wants to immediately take advantage of it. Prospective employees will pay attention, too, as you activate a strong recruiting tool to entice top talent. And, of course, more highly skilled and motivated employees are the types of individuals you want interacting with your valued customers and strategic business partners!

Getting started with this employee benefit is easy. Your first step is to connect with a business partnership specialist who can explain the program to you, answer your questions and brainstorm timing for the benefits roll-out that works best for your business.

Contact us today to unlock the power of UC Online’s high-quality, online professional development for your employees and their family members.

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Helping You Build a Better Business Through Continuing Education
Employee recruitment and retention is crucial for the growth and profitability of an organization and should be a high priority for every business. At the University of Cincinnati Online, we want to help develop and retain your employees through our Business Partnership offering.

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