We have previously commented on recent research suggesting that the priorities of decision makers has shifted over the past year, with 42% of CEO’s saying they have no plans to invest in new employee training.
There are 3 core steps to trying to get your boss to invest in some training and development.
1. Identify The Company's Policy
2. Build Your Case
- Make sure you bring together all the information you can about the training
- Compare training costs with other alternatives - it is best to give your boss potential options
- List potential ROI for the company: what are the actual benefits, either tangible or intangible to your manager?
3. Make your pitch
Nonetheless, outside of this strategy there are some other approaches worth looking into. Here's a collection of tips and negotiation scripts:
- Sometimes you can look ahead to a future project or event and use that as justification. For example, "I will be speaking at (event name) on (work-related topic). As a speaker, the company can benefit from the brand recognition from having someone on stage and the raising of our profile". Now you have the reason to go on the public speaking or PowerPoint course, or, even training in the topic itself.
- An upfront value demonstration can be very persuasive as well. You spend some of your own time in learning a new skill or improving an existing one and then show the benefits. Then you can make the case that to improve further, proper investment is needed.
- You can also sell the value of the type of training. By all means start with self-driven development, such as online learning or distance learning but it won't suit everyone. Some students learn best in groups and in an interactive environment. Also, learning in a group can have team-building benefits.
- Learning in groups can be more cost-effective as well. Sending one person can, and usually does, cost £100's, but sponsoring a training provider to deliver in-house means the same training can be delivered to many employees at once. For example, if the training costs £400 per day per student to attend off-site, but the trainer charges £1000 per day to deliver on your premises and you can get 8 employees who might benefit then it works out at £125 per student.
- Many training providers understand the need to rationalise the expenditure to your manager and have a dedicated page complete with strategies for convincing your boss and a "request to attend" email. Google "Convince your manager" + "(workshop or training topic)" or "Justification letter" and "(topic)" with quotation marks to find more downloadable templates related to your desired course.
- Offering to give something back is usually received well. Below is a customisable pitch based on this strategy: "There is a 3-day workshop on (topic) happening in (location) that I think will benefit the team. Some of the topics are (work related challenge) led by (notable name 1) and (tutorial on a new tool) by (notable name 2). Getting a scoop on upcoming trends and talking to competitors and vendors in (industry) are a big plus. I'll host a lunchtime session when I get back so my co-workers can share the most valuable information I'll learn from the event".