If you’re an employer who is offering or considering offering Student Loan Assistance as a benefit to your employees, these five tips will help you create buzz in your organization (and community!) and generate employee excitement.
The first consideration with a new benefit offering is how you frame it for your employees. All benefits are not created equal. Some, like healthcare coverage and 401(k) are considered “table stakes” by today’s employees and/or prospective candidates. The advantages with Student Loan Assistance as a benefit is that it’s:
- New(er): Many employers are offering this benefit, but it’s still new enough that your company can stand out by promoting that you offer it, if you promote it well.
- Relevant: With student loan debt surpassing $1.5 trillion dollars according to a recent article in Forbes, there is a lot of press about the problem. Your employees and prospective hires will appreciate that your company wants to be part of the solution.
Your organization can capitalize on the newness and relevancy of Student Loan Assistance as an employer-sponsored benefit by including the following tactics and channels in your roll out plan:
Issue that press release! Student loan debt is a nationwide problem, but also one that will feel very personal in your community. Showcase that you are an employer who understands this and its downstream effects. You genuinely care about the financial well-being of your employees and realize that by offering solutions to help employees better manage their student debt, you can help them get out of debt sooner. This is especially relevant if you are offering Student Loan Repayment as a benefit, where your monthly employer-sponsored contribution makes a direct impact on your employees’ debt burden.
Economic impact is yet another angle. Employees who are burdened with a significant amount of student loan debt are usually unable to consider other financial life choices such as buying a house or contributing significantly to their retirement. What’s more, the economic impact is increasingly being felt by older generations, too. This may include parents who have taken out student loans in their own name to help their children pay for college or those who are deferring their own retirement savings to lend or give money to their children to reduce their student loan balance.
Once you’ve gotten your initial press bullets articulated, reach out to local publications, trade journals, news stations and schools to let them know what you’re doing. Include a link to any open positions on your company’s career page to make it easy for potential candidates to apply, now that they’ll see you as an employer who cares about this important issue.
2. Company Announcement
Best practice for a new benefit launch is a company-wide announcement. With Student Loan Assistance, given the high number of college-educated talent who leave school with student loan debt and the decades they face to pay it off, you’ll likely get a lot of interest.
Capture this engagement by using your company’s communication channels -- benefits newsletters, corporate intranet, TV’s in common areas, etc. By posting about Student Loan Assistance in various digital channels, you’ll ensure your employees are aware and you’ll minimize the HR team’s time spent announcing it. To help with this, Peanut Butter clients receive a communications toolkit for launch, including an example program announcement.
The most important thing to communicate is that it will only take a few minutes of your employees’ time to enroll and your Peanut Butter Student Loan Assistance partner provides support for anyone who has questions.
3. Social Media
Similar to the promotion of your new Student Loan Assistance benefit in the press, make sure you’re communicating to your social media followers, too! If your company uses internal social media channels like Slack or Salesforce Chatter, include those, as well. Gather quotes from your CEO, CFO or other senior management on the importance of offering Student Loan Assistance to your employees and the positive impact it will have on the community. Have the company’s benefit administrators or department heads post stats, quotes or stories about the success of Student Loan Assistance. Include stats about America’s student debt program and how your company is helping with solutions for your employees.
Once you’re a few months into the program and employees are enjoying the benefit, get testimonials from employees on the personal impact Student Loan Assistance has had for them.
4. Recruiting Materials
Be sure to update all recruiting materials with this new Student Loan Assistance offering! This includes the Careers page on your company website, online job postings on your corporate intranet or third-party sites and anywhere else where a potential candidate may interact with your recruiters. Adding a tagline to recruiter email signatures is also a nifty tactic, for example, “Ask me about our student loan assistance benefit”.
Our clients tell us time and time again that offering Student Loan Assistance as a benefit has been a significant recruiting tool for them. Make sure you’re leveraging Student Loan Assistance to work just as hard for your organization!
5. Ongoing Promotion
Once you’ve rolled out your Student Loan Assistance program, make sure you build in tactics for ongoing recognition and promotion through all of your communication channels. This keeps your benefit top of mind to current and prospective employees, which can help further your overall hiring and retention goals.
For example, if you choose to offer Student Loan Repayment employer contributions, Peanut Butter will notify you each time an employee has paid off their student loans. This is cause for celebration and a great opportunity to promote your employee’s awesome accomplishment on social media, in internal newsletters or on your company intranet. We even provide an honorary “diploma” to graduate them from the Peanut Butter program once their loans are paid in full.
Are you ready to create excitement in your organization with a Student Loan Assistance benefit? As a Peanut Butter client, your Customer Success Manager will provide you with best practices our many client launches and a communications toolkit with examples and templates for press releases, company announcements, social media and more. Schedule time with a member of our team to learn how Peanut Butter can help.