Report: Two-thirds of staff pay for training themselves
Sep 6th, 2019
Development no longer comes with the job, according to a new survey. Meanwhile, cafe staff are getting charged for their own training. If cost is causing managers to abandon responsibility, Small Batch Learning has an answer.

You just got your paycheck. You’ve put the hours in. Outlet is doing well. There’s a buzz. And then… the boss has taken back GBP 200 of your hard-earned because of “training” costs. Seriously…? Seriously.

Here are two pieces of evidence that companies are routinely passing the cost of training on to staff themselves. First, a BBC report about workers for a Costa cafe in Essex, England, whose final payslips had GBP 200 deducted for training costs. Next, the What Workers Want report from recruitment specialists Hays, which surveyed 14,500 professionals and found that two thirds (65%) of employees who were receiving training said they were paying for it themselves.

Whether directly (by deducting from salaries), or indirectly (by not supporting employees, who therefore decide to take matters into their own hands), companies are – intentionally or not – dropping the ball when it comes to providing learning and development as part of employment.

If training simply comprises essential skills, there’s no justification for employees having to pick up the tab

While it’s arguable that professionals should cough up themselves for long-term upskilling and to gain the professional qualifications needed to achieve their own career goals, companies should be aiming to support staff on that journey. It’s a win-win after all, and much more likely to deliver a committed workforce that brings a business sustained success.

And if training simply comprises the essential skills that staff need to complete their day-to-day tasks, to make revenue for their company (as the Costa scenario suggests), there’s no justification for employees having to pick up the tab. Especially in the low-paying service sector, for a boss to “manage” their overheads like this is grossly unfair.

The Costa situation isn’t a one-off. Although the outlets in question were run as a franchise, Costa’s head office confirmed that its standard contracts allowed for "clauses relating to deductions", although it qualified this by explaining "deductions are circumstantial and reviewed on a case by case basis”.

Companies are – intentionally or not – dropping the ball when it comes to providing learning and development as part of employment

Yet even if the Costa situation was a really just a rogue penny-pinching franchisee, trying to maximise the bottom line by passing on costs, the Hays report still suggests a general disconnect between company and staff attitudes towards training. While 41% of employees stated that their organisation should focus on supporting them with upskilling, only 30% of employers felt the same way. Why?

Of course, the biggest obstacle for employers is cost, followed by time investment and the effort needed to bring about cultural change in the workplace. With most existing training solutions (in-house specialist staff, external consultants, digital LMS, or face-to-face class time) costing money, even getting to grips with the second two means you have to overcome the first. Training isn’t free – as everyone thinks they know…

But, actually, with Small Batch Learning, it is. Our training doesn’t cost a cent.

We provide free online beverage service training, delivered straight to staff’s smartphones. Whether you have five staff or 5,000, it’s still free, with no signing-up fees and no hidden extras. That Costa franchise holder could be removing those training costs altogether, still improving staff performance and therefore company revenue, and probably issuing less final payslips anyway – because if you train staff, morale improves, they feel valued and are less likely to leave.

If this is the solution you’ve been looking for to ease your staff training headache, get in touch. Find out more about the training we offer here, or to set up your outlet’s own free training account, click here.

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