Tired of New Employees Abruptly Quitting? Here’s a Novel Solution for Recouping Your Training Costs

One of the most costly and infuriating aspects of running a business is training new employees only to have them up and abruptly quit. It takes a lot of time, effort, and extra expense to onboard new hires and get them familiar with practices and procedures. When they depart shortly after their training, it means having to fill that position all over again. Since this is such a huge hassle and a costly one at that, some companies are actually billing employees who quit. The strategy is to ensure new employees don’t receive critical industry training only to leave and use their new skills at a competitor paying higher wages and/or offering more enticing benefits packages.

Companies Recovering Employee Training Costs through TRAPs

Healthcare, retail, trucking, beauty, and more companies are adopting a new approach in order to reduce their workforce losses. Known as Training Repayment Agreement Provisions or TRAPs, these clauses are included in employee contracts. Nearly 10% of all American companies are now using these provisions, according to a recent report by Reuters News.
When a valued employee quits, the loss can have a detrimental effect on the person’s team and department and maybe even on the entire company. Not only can an unexpected departure lead to lost revenue, but it also could lower the morale and productivity of remaining employees. —Society for Human Resource Management
Other industries may follow this emerging trend if it proves successful and legal. There are already federal and state government agencies looking into the practice, and it appears to be legitimate. If it continues to grow in popularity, it should be not only a big benefit to businesses but to employees as well, as both parties will know precisely what’s expected of them and how to proceed accordingly.

How to Use Employee Training Repayment Agreement Provisions

Because this is somewhat new, it’s very important to take thoughtful, measured steps in order to implement such a practice. Here are some suggestions for how to use an employee training repayment agreement provision in your business:
  • Consult a labor law attorney. The very first thing you should do is to speak with a lawyer who specializes in labor law in your state. Even if a future employee willingly signs such an agreement, there may be something on the books that does not allow you to enforce such a provision. So, be crystal clear it is legal and actionable in your state.
  • Speak with your human resources department. Obviously if you are able to include an employee training repayment agreement provision in your hiring contracts, you’ll need to get the right people in your organization on board and in the know. You can help to develop a new section in your training process that discloses and advises potential hires and new team member about this provision.
  • Make sure new hires are made fully aware of the provision. When you’re recruiting someone new to your organization, be sure this is made abundantly clear before you proceed with follow-up interviews and probably before the very first, initial interview. Any job candidate should be made aware of this provision well before you get deep into the hiring process.
  • Include a mechanism to recoup new employee training costs. Of course, you’ll need a way to actually recoup those training costs. So, if you offer a sign-on bonus, that may be one way to recapture the expense. Here again, you’ll need to consult an experienced, licensed labor law attorney in your state to establish a recuperation mechanism for the provision.
What else would you suggest business owners do to deal with new hires who quit shortly after being brought on? Please share your thoughts and experiences so others can benefit from your input! Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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