In the training business, I often hear from professionals who want to expand their skills but have little or no access to training budget. They submit requests and hear there is no budget, or they get pushed off to some unspecified time in the future.
So how can you maximize the chance of getting training budget?
I often find that timing is key. Ad hoc training requests may be met with resistance because they can’t be squeezed into a current budget. If your organization runs on a calendar year fiscal year (starting in January), now is the time to get your budget request in.
Here are three tips to keep in mind when submitting your training budget request:
- Add context. When submitting your training request, put it in context. Rather than simply say, “I want to take a class on writing qualitative research reports,” show why. For example, “I want to learn new ways to analyze qualitative research so that I can really get the most value from our research investments.”
- Show your manager what’s in it for them. If your direct manager is over-worked, let them know how your training will help them. Try something like, “I am confident that if I take this SPSS class, you will be able to delegate more work to me.”
- Tie it to your annual performance review. If you organization has a formal performance review process, this is an excellent opportunity to make your case for training budget. Do you have an end-of-year review coming up? If so, tie a specific goal to training. For example, if your goal is to help your team develop new, innovative methods for discovering customer needs, tie it to a relevant class.
When I talk to Research Rockstar students who have had training budget challenges, I often find that timing is an important factor. After all, most managers know that training reduces employee turnover and boosts performance. Need a proof point? Research from The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) shows that companies investing in training actually have higher revenue per employee than those that do not. So it isn’t that your manager is necessarily opposed to training; they just may need your help to get it into the budget at the right time and with the right context.
[Still not convinced your company will pay for market research training? Then enter Research Rockstar’s Training Giveaway, open now for entries until September 29th, 2014.]