Why on earth would organisations REDUCE training spend when retrenching staff?

Why not to reduce training spend - L and D Generous

Confused? You will be!

Ok, yesterday’s post ‘How many L&D/OD jobs are there in Australia, where are they and how to they relate to L&D spend?’ got me right back on my high horse about one of my massive Learning & Development related bug-bears. That being, WHY ON EARTH WOULD AN SLT REDUCE TRAINING SPEND WHEN RETRENCHING STAFF!?!?!

Now, I realise that I’m almost certainly preaching to the choir here and, being a self-confessed L&D tragic, possibly a bit biased, but here’s my thinking…

What happens in a downturn

  1. The organisation/industry/economy/whatever is going through a tough time (fair enough, it happens sometimes…indeed, periodical downturns are an unavoidable law of economics)
  2. The SLT decides there needs to be budget cuts and staff retrenchments (again, a harsh decision to make but unfortunately a necessary one)
  3. Despite the cut in workforce, the SLT is keen to maintain productivity, quality, service, etc levels
  4. One of the first budgets to be cut is Learning and Development’s, meaning less capability development opportunities

Now, call my nuts if you like, but if you’re working with half the workforce but want the same levels of productivity, etc, don’t you then need your remaining workforce to be twice as capable?

Does that not mean that you should INCREASE your Learning & Development budget, not REDUCE it!?!?!

Ok, rant over 🙂

Thanks, as always, for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. Please be sure to like, comment, follow, and share.




About the Author:

I’m a self-confessed Learning & Development tragic. In my work-life, I’m a an Industry Engagement Manager for the University of Queensland’s Business School, meaning I work with clients to design, develop and implement ‘end-to-end’ blended capability development solutions. If you’d like to find out how UQ Business School can help your organisation, feel free to email me on sam.russell@uq.edu.au.

I’m also a keynote speaker on topics including (but not limited to) ‘Creating the workplace culture you want to work in’, ‘The future of organisation learning’, ‘Simple strategies for maximising transfer of learning to behaviour’, and ‘Speaking C-Suitese, not L&Dese, to win L&D budget approval’. If you’d like to engage me to speak at one of your events, feel free to contact me on the email address above.

UQ Executive Education Programs




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