As a contact center technology provider where Voice of the Employee (VoE) importance is ever increasing, employee engagement and satisfaction are core focuses for Calabrio’s product strategy and development efforts. This focus on the employee, however, permeates everything we at Calabrio do. That’s why we strive to continually seek out and put in place innovative programs that positively impact, motivate and bring great work-life balance to our own employees.
It was in this spirit that we launched in March 2017 a student loan repayment program for our U.S. employees. Working with Peanut Butter, a company that administers student loan repayment assistance programs, so employers can attract, retain and engage college-educated talent, we developed a new benefit to help our employees more quickly become debt-free.
Never before has an initiative like this one been more relevant or necessary. Currently, more than 44 million Americans hold more than $1.5 trillion in student debt, resulting in a student loan delinquency rate of 11.2 percent.1We all know how stressful it can be to carry any kind of loan burden, but it’s particularly stressful when you’re first starting out.
That’s why college-educated workers rate paying off their student loans as more meaningful than graduating college, landing their first job or getting promoted. In fact, in its Millennial Benefits Preferences study,2 Peanut Butter found that:
- 85 percent of respondents who received two similar job offers (salary, benefits and perks) would accept the offer that included contributions to student loan payments;
- Respondents indicated they’d stay with their employer up to 36 percent longer if receiving loan assistance; and
- Millennials with a college degree prefer loan repay benefits two to 12 times more than any other perk (including retirement funds and health coverage).
I think it’s safe to say our own employees would agree. As I reported to Forbes back in March, today 30 percent of our U.S. employee base participates in Calabrio’s student loan repayment program. In total, we’ve helped our employees save more than $233,000 and accelerate their payments by a total of 26,120 days, getting them one step closer to being debt free. And the program continues to grow.
While the benefits employees receive are reason enough for this program, Calabrio benefits from our student loan repayment program as well. We’ve become an even more attractive place to work, helping us differentiate ourselves and compete more effectively for top talent (and hire more quickly in the process).
Plus, the program helps us better engage and retain our current team members as well. Our employees intuitively understand (via this program alone) that Calabrio empathizes with their financial situation and is committed to building a mutually beneficial, long-term working relationship with them.
It’s the fresh thinking and modern approaches like this program that make me proud to work at Calabrio.