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Don't get left behind

Change is the only constant. If you don’t learn new things or get better at what you do, you will be left behind. To paraphrase Darwin: ”Adapt or die”.

Tip: Many people study MBA’s to advance their careers. And in MBA’s you learn about things like marketing, finance, operations and commercial law etc which are really important in business. But what you don’t learn is practical people management techniques like what to do and what to say to your employees. To progress in your career the skill that will do more for you than anything else is the ability to select, motivate and retain employees. That’s why www.boss.camp was invented - to show you what they didn’t teach you in school about managing employees.

But training can be expensive unless you use these top 9 ways to get the company to pay for your training.

And to make sure that the training furthers your career, we have a tip for you at the end.

Companies do want you to improve skills. But only on their terms

Firstly the key is to understand that companies actually do want their staff to get better at their jobs. What companies don’t want is:

  • To be paying a lot of money to develop skills that they don’t see as core to your job
  • For you to spend company time and money to make you more marketable on the job market. (there is a lot of skepticism around this). And
  • Short-term thinking means people need convincing that the returns are worth the investment of time and money.

So the main principal is to prove how the training is useful to the company.

Maybe you can already authoriZe your own training expenditure?

Before we get into the 9 different ways, do you need to ask permission at all? If there is a budget available and the amount is within your authority limits you could go ahead and buy it. In practice this could be buying with a corporate credit card, making a purchase order or claiming it from your expenses. If you're not sure, ask someone first.

If you do need approval for training courses, then the following will help:

  1. Demonstrate that the training is directly related to company objectives. List real problems that you want to improve. Paint a visual picture and make emotive arguments;
  2. Don’t try to convince your boss to give you something that you want. Instead frame it in a way that is about giving your boss what she wants. This means looking at your job description, objectives and performance review development areas. Then link the training request to improving these items;
  3. Most decision making is emotional. But some companies and bosses just love (or need) numbers for justification. Do a mini business case. This looks like: ‘This training will cost around $1000 in fees, time and travel but it will allow me to save around 1 hour a week so it will pay for itself in about 3 months”;
  4. Understand the concerns that your boss has and offer to meet half way. If it’s the price then get three different price options. If it’s the time away from your day job then offer to back-fill the time or to do it in your own time;
  5. Find the money. If there training budget is limited then see if you can plunder other budgets. For example sales and marketing budgets can pay for sales courses. Updating technical knowledge can go into a maintenance budget. Sometimes these budgets can sit in other departments. For example what about the corporate training budget;
  6. Ask at the right time. At the beginning of the financial year before the budget is gone or towards the end if there is any budget left over;
  7. Use tax incentives and grant money. A lot of governments promote learning and development with funding schemes;
  8. Follow up. The biggest reason why training doesn’t produce returns is because it never get’s put into practice. So suggest some sort of follow up. This could be a specific project using your training or offering to share what you learnt with the team;
  9. Do the legwork and seal the deal. Don’t make your boss have to investigate training options, budgets or do any paperwork. Fill in any company forms that your boss needs to submit. As soon as you’ve made your case specifically ask your boss for approval and get her signature;

If all else fails you may be able to make a claim against your taxable income.

Get recognition to further your career

It’s good that you recognize the importance of improving yourself. But learning new skills is only one part of developing your career. Your boss needs to be aware of what you are learning and how you are putting it into practice at work. After doing your training give her an update in your next one-on-one.

PS if you need some fact and figures for your business case there is an article which explains the business case for manager training on the website. This is the link to the article: http://managerfoundation.com/blog/what-is-the-business-case-on-manager-training


If you want to improve your skills then you will also be interested in this article:  http://managerfoundation.com/blog/your-power-hour-how-to-invest-in-yourself/12/6/2013


Boss Camp

Many people study MBA’s to advance their careers. And in MBA’s you learn about things like marketing, finance, operations and commercial law etc which are really important in business. But what you don’t learn is practical people management techniques like what to do and what to say to your employees. To progress in your career the skill that will do more for you than anything else is the ability to select, motivate and retain employees. That’s why WWW.BOSS.CAMP was invented - to show you what they didn’t teach you in school about managing employees. The program includes topics such as:

  • How to motivate employees,
  • What are bad employee motivators,
  • What you must do as a manager but isn't on your job description,
  • How leaders get power.