10 tips to convince your employer to increase your educational training budget

More than 40% of an employee’s educational training budget will not be used up, according to research from NIDAP (a Dutch research agency) Sometimes employees are expected to pay for their own personal development even after they were promise a yearly personal training allowance (i.e. when hiring a new employee).

What if you want to continue your learning, but your supervisor / manager / HR department can’t approve the training courses because there is no budget?

The following tips can assist you in pursuing your development:

  1. Formulate a clear learning objective

    … and use it as a reason! Understand the goal of your organisation and clearly demonstrate that this course or training module will help you in your stance on reaching the company’s objective.

  2. Quote Richard Branson

    Richard_quote_train_people_s-300x222“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so that they don’t want to.” As Richard Branson says, if managers look after their staff, they’ll look after them and the company’s customers. Not rocket science.

  3. Play the motivation card

    Express that developing you will increase your motivation and help the organisation as a whole. High motivational levels mean that you and your colleagues will all become more productive… which manager doesn’t want that?

  4. Grab your job description and connect the dots

    Perhaps a strange source of inspiration, but look again to check out which skills can be exercised to help you keep your current job (or perhaps a future position). You may be saving your superior the effort to approve the push for your allocated budget.

  5. Choose online learning

    For starters, eLearning is often cheaper. With eLearning courses, there is no teacher or trainer breathing down your neck. Also, you can do the course from work, speeding up your learning process.
    At Springest, many employees also follow online courses; they reserve 2 hours per week at fixed times in their agendas to complete the course. After the agenda item is set, colleagues will be able to see the availability of their studying team-mates in order to schedule meetings and other work items.

  6. Go for flexibility

    Express that your development is useful for possible change within the organisation: it increases your flexibility. If you are specialised in more areas, it costs less to give you another role or position in the company if there is reorganisation. In such an instance, your employer would be saving money by giving you an educational budget. Look at it as an investment!

  7. Know the rules and regulations

    Find out which options your organisation already offers: there are often general rules to follow courses. Make sure that you know what criteria your course of interest must meet according to company standards; in most cases there is even a collective agreement. If you are still unsure, you can always ask the worker’s union what your possibilities are. Otherwise, there may be an HR professional in your organisation that can point you in the right direction. There is nothing better than being fully prepared before going to an impromptu appointment about allocated company budgets. With that being said, make sure you have a strong position and know the rules and regulations!

  8. Invest in your own time

    Determine in advance how much of your own time you are willing to invest in education so that you can come up with your own private investments if necessary. This will let your employer see how motivated you are to develop yourself and that you are willing to focus on self-investment. After demonstrating your motivation, you will have a leg to stand on when you speak with your employer about the company’s investment.

  9. Quote the CEO and CFOinvest-in-employees

    “Invest in employees” is seen as a classic quote in the HR world: CFO asks CEO, “what happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?” CEO responds, “what happens if we do not, and they stay?” Repeat this once again to your manager: “Do you want all people in your team who have not developed?” Maybe your employer is afraid of losing people that develop themselves… then refer to tip 2 😉 (Cartoon strip via HRSmart)

  10. Ask colleagues

    And the last tip, which is certainly not the least important, is to ask your colleagues. You are not alone! Speak with your colleagues about their previous training course or educational experiences that they have done with the company and ask for advice. Make the topic discussable in a meeting and explain that you do not like standing still. Express your ideas about how your personal development will help the organisation as a whole and help reach an end goal. Other colleagues will also have the chance to step forward to share their thoughts or wishes at this time. If all else fails, shared sorrow is half as bad 😉