Beyond a value proposition: Measuring employees’ perceived value of tuition assistance programs
Educational or tuition assistance programs are a common employer-provided benefit. Research supports that tuition assistance programs may reduce voluntary turnover of participating employees and improve multiple components of job performance (Benson, Finegold, & Mohrman, 2004; Ng & Feldman, 2009). Given research findings, organizations should strive to increase participation in tuition assistance programs.
One way to improve participation rates is to create a strong value proposition to increase the likelihood that employees will experience a high level of perceived value of the program
Although tuition assistance programs are a widespread and cost-intensive benefit, program effectiveness often goes unmeasured (Bersin & Associates Research, 2009). Common myths persist about the ineffectiveness of tuition assistance programs (Echols, 2005).
Understanding perceived value of a tuition benefit program can help organizations communicate the value and maximize the advantages of employee participation.
Measuring employees’ perceived value of tuition benefit programs can help organizations make necessary adjustments to improve program effectiveness and ROI.
Having a well-designed instrument to measure perceived value is critical for organizations that offer or are considering offering tuition benefit programs. Although measuring perceived value is critical, little consensus exists on how to measure it.
In 2010, researchers at a large organization developed a survey specifically designed to measure the perceived value of employee participation in a tuition benefit program (Miller, Ritter-Williams, & Rouse, 2010). Although organizations can use the results from the perceived value instrument developed by Miller et al. (2010) to determine the extent to which employees perceive value from participating in a tuition benefit program, findings from the literature support the need to continue development to increase the utility of the instrument.
A full understanding of perceived value requires consideration of both the perceived value of the tuition benefit program itself and the perceived value of the education received through the program.
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