- McDonald’s has announced that it will allocate $150 million during the next five years to its global education program for employees and their families. It also has lowered the required employee tenure for participation from nine months to 90 days and the minimum shift hours for eligibility from 20 to 15.
- The program, Archways to Opportunity, offers college tuition assistance, help with earning a high school diploma, education advisory services and instruction on English as a second language.
- McDonald's says its plan was accelerated by changes to U.S. tax law.
Employees rate education assistance high among their benefits preferences, so adding these offerings should be a smart investment.
The move also comes as more retailers with largely hourly employee bases are expanding their benefits in the race to attract candidates and retain hires in a tight labor market. Strategies that increase employers' competitiveness by developing future leaders for the organization can also be a draw for employees looking for development opportunities.
Other employers are considering more unusual benefits, like tuition reimbursement. Employees often join the workforce saddled with college debt, and money concerns are a distraction and a great source of stress for one in three workers, according to a Center for Financial Services Innovation study.