Many organizations are more than willing to help employees grow professionally, but it’s easy to feel awkward about asking for financial assistance from your current employer in this tight economy. These tips will help you secure funding from your boss for professional training and development opportunities.

employee training

Research

First of all, know your audience. What is important to your boss? To the organization? How does your training contribute to those things? This is especially important if you’d like to complete your training during “company time.”

The worst thing you can do when asking your boss to fund training is be unprepared, so make sure to present your employer with multiple well-researched options. Aside from aligning your training with company goals, consider:

  • Are there large upcoming project that will need  your support?
  • Are there elements of training your employer can cover if they cannot pay for everything?

Reason

Be prepared to immediately outline 2-3 reasons why you’re interested in the particular training. Don’t wait for your boss to ask.

“There is a xxx conference in June I’d like to attend. Some of the session topics are a, b and c. That could really help me support you better in regards to xxx, and/or xxx. Would you approve me attending on company time, and will the company pay for it?”

End your email with the deadline for signing up and offer to discuss it further in person. Bonus tip: Offering to take over these responsibilities with the right training could lead to big savings and earn you points.

Results

Training doesn’t end when the class or workshop is over. Be sure to focus on takeaways and circle back with your manager regarding results that have been influenced by your developing skill set.

Be persistent. If your manager says “no” to training, find out why. You may get information that will help turn that “no” into a “yes” down the road.

Bonus tip: Look into group training opportunities. They may take more people away from their offices and worksites on “company time,” but the lower cost per person and overall benefits of a well-trained staff will contribute to enhanced ROI. After all, investing in employees is a great way to reduce employee turnover.

Have you had success asking your employer to pay for training? What worked for you?

Image Credits: Chris Potter and Phil Sexton.