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Lucinda Pouw

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Training budgets for employees


Hi all,

I am currently developing a training budget protocol. We want to provide every employee from a certain level a individual training budget. I am not sure how this is working in other companies, but I am curious to know a few things:

1. What would be the requirements for an employee to get this budget (e.g., time worked for the company etc.)

2. Are there any consequences for this? (e.g., should employees be 'forced' to keep working for the company after completing the training?)

3. How do you keep track of these trainings

4. Should HR evaluate these trainings?

5. Would it be useful to develop a database gathering all these training providers and experiences?

I am very curious to know about your experiences. 


3 Responses

  1. Hi Lucinda, David D’Souza has
    Hi Lucinda, David D’Souza has raised an important point on Twitter:
    “There’s an initial question, I guess, about the cost and consequences of committing to individual allocations.”
    Is there a reason you’re going for a budget based on individuals, or is it in the interest of being fair?

  2. Hi Lucinda,
    Hi Lucinda,

    I’ve worked with models where budgets were allocated per person before and I would say it created far more problems than it solved. Here are a few off the top of my head…

    Firstly, it’s very admin-intensive, in terms of reports and increases in person-related queries, such as: ‘how do I know how much I have left to spend?’; ‘I have $500 left, but this course is $650 – can we split it?’; ‘If I haven’t used my allowance this year, can I carry it over?’; ‘What happens if I leave and haven’t spent it?’; etc, etc, etc…

    Secondly, it is difficult to be transparent about the rationale between differences in allowances – and a lack of transparency causes resentment and disengagement.

    What I have found in my experience is that top performers use their training and lesser performers do not. Assigning person-level budgets will not change this – probably you’d start holding back your top performers, whilst your lower performers continue to find gripes and complaints.

    Regardless of the way it goes, I would absolutely recommend continuing to measure business impact and ROI against business cases for training. Some organisations are starting to allow employees freedom of choice for training – I would suggest you need to know your workforce very, very well! If you’re a Google or Amazon of this world, then you can be quite confident that the majority of such free choices will benefit your organisation anyway – but for most organisations, this is a big risk to under-pressure budgets.

    Best wishes, Mark

  3. The big problem with
    The big problem with allocating an individual budget per person is that life isn’t like that. Some people will need more or specialist training and some people will require less or general training.
    It should be allocated on a business needs basis i.e. what business objective will be achieved if this person is allowed to do this course.
    I also think it would be quite labour intensive to apply one approach to all.


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