Even in the age of AI, people are still the driving force of any successful business. Processes don’t organise themselves, and technologies need someone directing them to a goal. And with the current pace technology moving as fast as it is, it’s crucial that those in the industry take the time to upgrade their skills in line with the latest tech.
But what do you do if your line manager isn’t convinced training is essential, or even a company expense?
Don’t worry, we have you covered –we’ve put together a list of tips to help you make a valid argument for training at work.
Do’s and Don’ts of upskilling at work
Don’t only list the personal benefits
When trying to convince your manager to invest in training, it’s best to stick to the positives. Pitch your manager the benefits the training will bring but stay clear of anything that might sound like you’re insulting the benefits you already have. Here are some points to avoid:
Don’t link training to a potential salary increase
While it might lead to a pay increase in due course, it’s better to avoid bringing this into the conversation. Training is already an investment in you and your skillset, so focus on the return on investment the company can provide.
Don’t infer that you might look elsewhere
Companies without training opportunities have trouble retaining talented staff. But when it comes to asking your line manager for training, it can look like you’re trying to be manipulative.
Don’t think the company should always pay for any training you want
There are many outside factors your manager must consider, such as financial priorities and project deadlines. So, if they don’t approve your training, don’t take it personally. Instead, ask why training isn’t a priority now and try again at a better time.
Do learn to ask for training at work
How to ask your boss for a training course while keeping a positive tone? The key to asking for training at work is showing your managers the return on investment your upskilling can bring the business.
You can break your training request into four sections:
Demonstrating the needs
Promising good results
Outlining your plan
Do’s: how to ask for training at work
New technology is changing the way you work – and before you can even begin to start understanding it, you’ve got to demonstrate how the latest changes are impacting your work. For example, we’ve published countless blogs about Microsoft’s new tools and releases this year.
Do promise the good results training will bring
Make it relevant to your business
Think about your company’s goals and show how the training will accelerate their chance of achieving efficiency and success. What challenges will the new skills help you overcome? What goals will the training help you achieve?
Here’s some handy statistics you can reference in the conversation
• 90% of staff report higher productivity with Microsoft certifications
• 93% of decision makers report that certified employees provide more value than the cost of training
• companies with comprehensive training programs have a 24% higher profit margin than those that spend less on training
Do overcome any objections with professionalism
It’s natural for managers and stakeholders to raise some doubts about the need for training at work. But make sure you don’t take it personally; they just want to be sure that training is good value for the company. You should be prepared for objections such as:
“Training isn’t affordable for us”
Here you’ll need to do some research into how the course will provide more value than costs. You can calculate how much more productive and efficient you’ll be after the course, and how much money that will save the company.
“We need you working here, not out at a training centre”
The classroom isn’t your only option – in fact, it’s not even the most popular one. In a post-COVID era, it’s unsurprising to see most trainees opting for virtual training options.
“What if you take the training then leave?”
It’s essential you reaffirm your loyalty to the organisation. Explain that you want to grow your career with them. You might also offer to sign an agreement that you’ll continue with the company for a set period after the training.
Do outline your plan for training
Last, but by no means least, you should set out a personal plan for what you want to bring to the table after the course.
This can be something like:
• Becoming a more productive and higher quality employee
• Empowering yourself to fix workplace challenges
• Becoming the expert in the room, providing new perspectives to ensure the team is set for success