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Annie Hayes



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Clawing back training costs: The truth


The mindset that requires staff to claw back training costs is probably the same one that is responsible for high staff turnover and retention difficulties.

An estimated 85% of people leave their employment because of what has been done to them by management.

When you invest in training for the workforce you are sending a message that tells them they are valuable and that you believe they can be more valuable through the training that they are being given and the investment the organisation is prepared to make in the individual.

This makes the trainee feel good and special.

The trainee enters the training proud that the company should think this and is determined to show that their faith was not misplaced by using the training to give the organisation a return for their investment.

More commonly, the trainee is selected for a course that they have not asked for.

There follows a whole host of conditions attached to the training, that send an entirely different message to the trainee.

The message the trainee receives is that management need the training to be carried out but they resent having to give it to the individual selected.

The host of conditions applied to the training sends a message to the trainee that says: “The organisation does not trust him and that they will take the first opportunity they can to rip his heart out if he ever thinks of leaving.”

This is exactly the sort of behaviour that will make the trainee feel undervalued, distrusted and used.

This is exactly the behaviour that will cause the trainee to leave.

By setting all the conditions that are intended to stop the trainee from leaving the company, the management are actually creating the conditions that make it almost inevitable that their trainees will leave.

The answer is simple to do but it involves transforming the way that management treat the workforce.

As we mentioned earlier, creating the rules that attempt to clawback training costs are only one of the things that management do that causes the workforce to want to leave.

Wanting to clawback training costs is only one symptom of the lack of understanding shown by management of what the workforce really need to perform.

Respect, trust and support.

We are entering a new world in which these are the new managers most powerful tools.

Those who don’t understand how to use these tools will find the market for their services shrinking.

Peter A Hunter is author of Breaking the Mould.

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Annie Hayes


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