How to ask your boss to pay for your training
It can be hard to ask your boss for extra training, especially if you aren’t very confident. But it doesn’t have to be.
Employees don’t want to become stagnant in their role, and any reasonable employer should know this. Therefore, employers should expect their staff to want extra training from time to time so they can progress, take on more responsibilities, and move forward with their career goals. Plus, a more knowledgeable employee is a sure win for any employer.
If you’re nervous about approaching your boss for more training, read on for our advice.
Your boss wants a return on their investment
Before asking your boss to pay for your training, you should keep in mind that they’ll want to see a return on any investment they make—they won’t want to pay just to make you smarter.
As such, you should focus on how your training can benefit the company, and not just benefit you. Thoroughly research the type of training you want, and make sure you can answer the following questions:
How will your training immediately benefit the company?
You need to be able to show your boss that they’ll see an immediate return on investment by paying for your training course. Think about how your newfound skills will immediately benefit your current role or projects. For example, it might help you to complete your daily tasks to a higher standard or faster.
Identify the immediate benefit to your employer, and they’re more likely to recognise a worthwhile investment.
What long-term benefits will your training bring to your company?
Make sure you can explain to your employer the long-term benefits of your training. Are you looking to improve a specific skill set, which might help with a particular type of project? Or, are you looking for well-rounded training to help you do a better job in general and aid career development at the company? By deciding this, you can ensure you and your employer are on the same page regarding your reasons for wanting to take a course.
Why is this training course the best and most cost-effective?
Be prepared for your employer to ask what research you’ve done on the training courses available. This is because they want to ensure the training they’ll be paying for is the most useful and cost-effective option for improving your skills.
Just as you would if you were buying a product, look into the multiple options on the market. You should weigh up the costs and benefits of each and understand why the one you want is the best. If it’s more expensive than other forms of training, can you justify the additional cost?
Will you be able to share what you’ve learned?
Your employer wants a return on their investment, and one way for them to maximise the benefit of your training is to have you pass it on to your colleagues. That way, they won’t have to put more than one person on the course and pay more than once. The chances of you retaining what you learn are also greater if you teach it to your colleagues. Will you be able, or willing, to do this?
What to do if your boss says no
If you present your case well, ensuring you focus on the benefits to your employer, your boss will hopefully approve the extra training.
But you should always be prepared for your boss to decline your proposal. Before you approach them about the training, try to think about why they might say no.
It’s a good idea to present solutions to your boss rather than a problem, and asking for training is no exception. Once you’ve anticipated possible reasons why your training might not be approved, think about potential ways to resolve the problem.
If your boss can’t spare the manpower, perhaps you could complete your projects ahead of time so they’re ready to go while you’re working on your course. Or, maybe you could train another colleague to fill in for you while you’re unavailable.
By doing this, you’ll show your boss that you’re not only a proactive employee looking to gain new skills and benefit the company, but also somebody who’s sensitive to the company’s needs. This will make it more likely for your boss to approve your additional training.
You’ll have become trustworthy
If you succeed in getting your boss to pay for your training, they’ll hopefully recognise that you only ask for extra training when it’ll genuinely bring an immediate and long-term benefit to the company. Therefore, they’ll trust your judgement if you ask for more training in the future.
Remember, you might be the first person in your position to ask for training; as you would with a job interview, make sure you leave a positive first impression.
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