Creating a Learning and Development Strategy as a Secret Sauce for Employee Retention by Clint Misquitta

Clint Misquitta Blog Cover

This article is a lightly-edited summary of the key takeaways from our speakers’ appearance on our podcast, “The Shape of Work.” If you haven’t listened to our show yet, be sure to check it out here. These speakers have an incredible stable of startup experiences to draw from, the kind of stories that are unbelievably helpful for HR/people managers to hear.

On this episode of The Shape of Work, we have Clint Misquitta, a Learning and Development leader and the author of the book “Ruthless Dictators”.


Name of the guest: Clint Misquitta

What he does: Lead Learning and Talent, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance.

Find him on LinkedIn.

Get Smart: “More retention comes with more learning success which leads to more customer success.”


In this episode, you will get valuable insights into:

  1. Ruthless dictators: inspiration and the central idea behind this book.
  2. Segregating the framework of Learning and Development.
  3. The significance of L&D in the overall retention of employees.
  4. Is tech a major factor in the success of L&D programs?
  5. Inspiring people to learn new things.
  6. Taking care of employee well-being.


Ruthless dictators- inspiration and the central idea behind this book:

Clint tells us about the story behind writing his book. According to him, this book was an accident, not a choice. He tells us about the woman from Magna publications that he came across while working on a project. That is when they discussed his love for writing. 

Clint further talks about the title of the book. He finalized “Ruthless Dictators” because of his love for history. He has a keen interest in learning about these dictators and their situation.

Segregating the framework of Learning and Development:

Clint starts on a very simple yet insightful note- the difference between being taught and learning.

There are two types of learners:

(1) one who is motivated, has high agility, and can learn anywhere.

(2) One who wants to learn but cannot bear the discomfort that comes along.

To learn effectively and reduce the hassles that come along, there has to be clarity in the learning process. It needs to have an alignment with an individual’s career, and he needs to have the freedom required.

A learning process establishes three things: clarity, alignment with the manager, and social learning.

Furthermore, it also showcases a few timeless principles. The learning process needs to be the base of our approach. It is not going to be comfortable or isolated. It requires engagement. According to Clint, the most insignificant part of learning is training. In his company, they prefer to put the learner and the manager on center stage. They respect and align the aspirations of their employees and then craft individual plans for them.

There is a high focus and function on learning. Self-learning is not a capability that learners can inculcate within themselves. Thus the company is working to improve on these modalities.

The significance of L&D in the overall retention of employees:

It is safe to say that every employee in an organization expects growth. Clint divides the benefits of Learning and Development into two perspectives:

  1. Organizational- Offering effective learning results in higher retention, better productivity, and better customer service. The longer an employee stays, the deeper his relationship with the organization becomes.
  1. Development- When the employees upskill or improve themselves, the entire organization benefits from it. L&D provides value and growth to the individual. 

However, linking learning to the engagement and productivity track is extremely important. 

The learner needs to know the engagement created from their learning. 

Is tech a major factor in the success of L&D programs:

“Learning is the process, and the tech is the tool to aid the process.”

According to Clint, tech will not help if the process is not correct. People who have to prioritize other tasks over learning have to understand where the issue lies. The answer is simple- there is no clarity and alignment in the process.

The edge is to try and create a strong strategy to manage it-

Clarity- The learner should know why the learning is necessary and how it relates to his aspirations.

Alignment- They should ensure that their manager is on board with his learning process. Most managers encourage this and facilitate the employee to upskill him.

It is the entire process of learning above which the tech providers stand. The organizations have to work with the managers to create a mature framework. Without this framework, tech tools cannot help. Moreover, it is necessary to understand that learning is a social endeavor. The process is more important than the tools used. Tech organizations need to understand this strategy and provide solutions to different companies accordingly. They need to collaborate with them effectively. Clint feels that the company should pay for maturing their learning process, not the content or platform.

How do you inspire people to learn new things?

According to Clint, one cannot skip lessons. He walks back towards the two types of learners. The type of people who are not self-learners need a little push. It is important to understand how to engage with them. However, learning is aligned to the first type, that is, constantly seeking to learn. There should be central energy in the workplace that allows learning. A person willing to learn something has passion. Additionally, being inspired by leaders develops that passion.

A systematic process has to be followed. However, it does not prevail in every organization.

There are a few general ways to build this process:

  1. Role models: Having a role model always helps develop the passion and interest an individual is working on. He should always keep one leader they would want to be and one that they will not. 
  2. Creating stories and communication: Connecting performance is one thing. There are potential indicators that need to be met (for example, development, impact, retention of talent, etc). These should be connected to learning. Clint feels that learning should not be a part of one’s KRA. Instead one should learn without that.

Taking care of employee well-being:

Clint feels that making mental health a significant issue in our country would definitely take time. However, he adds that the human race is making progress. There is a good impact on this topic.

According to Clint, the first step an organization or the manager should take is to have compassion. He talks about the people manager program that his company conducted. A part of it revolved around these issues. 

They had several sensitization sessions which focused on doctors educating the employees about the virus and ways to deal with it. Several vaccination drives were organized. Moreover, the employees also stepped forward to offer resources. Apart from that, yoga and meditation sessions were organized as well. All of these ideas are getting designed into the strategy of work.

Lack of human interaction can lead to anxiety or depression. Society needs to be more aware. Clint’s company has tied up with an app RoundGlass for offering support to their employees. They also have a counseling helpline. To sum up, they have invested a lot in the mental wellness of their people.

Dhristi Shah

Hi, this is Dhristi, Content Writer and Editor at Springworks India. I am a keen learner and am passionate about everything related to writing.

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