When I was a kid, I remember my little brother watching Disney films pretty much constantly from the ages of probably 1 to 6 or so. As a result, I have an embarrassingly encyclopedic memory of the plots and songs of the movies from that specific time window. Probably at the epicenter of this Disney knowledge for me was the film, “The Little Mermaid” and I can remember that crazed chef chasing Sebastian the crab around and still giggle to this day. But of all of the songs in that movie, there’s only one that makes me think of the corporate world. I’ll come back to that.
Claw Back, Disney Style
There are a few standard perks in corporate America (and, I’m sure the world, though I’m only familiar with hiring in the USA). Health insurance is pretty much table stakes for serious employment these days, and with a decent employer contribution to boot. Paid time off is certainly up there, along with holidays and general human decency, one would hope. There’s another tier that includes 401K contributions or some other retirement provision, perhaps a pension of some kind, things like life and disability insurance, and so on. And, then, you start getting into a land more exotic where employers offer weird, unexpected stuff like “take your dog to work day” or sabbaticals or something. One that usually shows up in this slightly more exotic realm is some concept of tuition reimbursement for employees that seek degrees or want to acquire skills through classes, certifications, etc.
This perk is a classic win-win situation. The company invests in the career development of an employee and, in exchange, reaps the benefit of the employee’s learning and added skills. The employee becomes more valuable to the organization by virtue of new knowledge and skills and, all other things being equal, will wind up earning more money over the course of a career. What could be better than this arrangement? Employees donate their spare time to improving themselves for their companies and companies donate money to the cause. Sounds like a pretty good exchange of consideration.
And the company, really, just wants to help. Advancing one’s skill set and education isn’t cheap, and there are so, so many poor unfortunates that just can’t afford it. You know what? I’ll let Ursula from the aforementioned Little Mermaid explain.
Poor unfortunate souls,
In pain, in need!
This one longing for more skills
That one wants a new degree
And do I help them?