Staples officials believe that investing in and engaging with their employees will reap positive customer experiences.

With a nod to that noble notion, Staples recently announced the first phase launch of its new student loan repayment plan for associates, leading the industry as one of the first omnichannel retailers to publicly announce this associate benefit. 

The program will initially impact specific new hire sales associates and existing internal candidates who have been identified as high potential and top performers. In the future, the benefit will be offered to additional groups. For those employees who qualify, Staples will have their loan principals paid at $100 per month for 36 months. 

“Staples is always looking at cutting-edge programs and innovative ways to attract and retain associates,” Regis Mulot, executive vice president, global human resources for Staples, told Loyalty360. “Our goal is to invest in our associates so they will, in turn, invest in Staples.”

Education is an important theme for Staples, evidenced by its Tuition Reimbursement Program where eligible associates are offered reimbursement for a portion of their tuition fees based on the number of years of service and the Dependent Scholarship Program, which provides 30 awards of $3,000 to associates’ dependents who plan to continue their education at a college, university, or a vocational-technical school.

The Student Loan Repayment Plan for associates is part of Staples’ series of innovative recruiting efforts, including the company’s new internal head-hunting program and its commitment to ending the gender wage gap, and advancing women in the workplace by becoming the biggest retailer to join a consortium of companies that share best practices and promote new ideas called Employers for Pay Equity.

The Student Loan Repayment Plan is being administered by Tuition.io, the leading platform for employee student loan contributions.

Employee engagement is something that can bring differentiation to any brand.

“If our associates are happy and engaged, they will create good customer experiences,” Mulot added. “It (the program) shows that Staples wants to invest in our talent and that we want to have a variety of benefits that target all age groups.”

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