Cigna Educational Reimbursement Programs: Benefits all round
Cigna discovered that reimbursing employees for tuition spent on higher education is a good business practice that benefits the company as well as the employee. An analysis of Cigna’s own Educational Reimbursement Program (ERP) revealed that encouraging and helping employees attain a secondary or post-secondary degree increases employee retention and career opportunities.
Moreover, participants in the program are 10 percent more likely to receive a promotion, 7.5 percent more likely to be transferred within the company, and 8 percent more likely to stay with the company long term. The company benefits from high employee retention, of course, but it also realizes savings on talent management and recruitment costs, and that’s good for the bottom line.
Cigna launched the study in order to determine the efficacy of tuition reimbursement programs across the board after realizing that although a full sixty percent of US employers offer tuition reimbursement, only 2 to 5 percent generate data that shows how those expenditures affect the individual organizations. The study examined differences in rates of promotions, transfers, and retention between employees who took advantage of the ERP and those who did not over a course of two years.
As a result, Cigna determined that the benefits to organizations far outweighed the costs, and increased its own tuition reimbursement levels from $5,250 for undergraduate courses and certificates and $8,000 for graduate courses each year to a maximum of $10,000 and $12,000 respectively. They have also added advisory and mentoring services to help employees navigate the process of returning to academia.