To be completely satisfied at work, employees need to be given an opportunity to grow and self-develop. Nobody wants to be stuck at a dead-end job with no prospects for professional advancement. Enter corporate training and education.
Perhaps you have felt the need to widen your skillset in order to perform better in your job and prepare for career advancement, only to discover that your boss is completely unaware of it. Even if your need for developing new skills seems obvious, your boss might not realize the importance of education in the workplace. Here are some ways to convince your superior otherwise.
Why education matters
Let’s start with a few words about the importance of corporate education for both employees and employers.
Employees who feel optimistic about their chance for career growth also feel more loyal to their employer and report higher levels of satisfaction and engagement. In other words, investment in your education benefits your company just as much as it helps you. In exchange for becoming prepared for future advancement within the firm, your employer gets a well-trained employee whit an expanding skillset, an ability to produce more, and a desire to stay longer with the company. As a result, the entire company becomes more competitive with lower employee turnover rates.
Sounds convincing enough? Sure thing. Now you need to tell that to your boss.
How to ask for it
Suppose your company regularly interacts with new clients, but you have trouble communicating with them because you don’t know their language or jargon. You will quickly grow frustrated unless your boss invests in your continuing training. Similarly, suppose you work in the IT department but don’t have the skills needed to support your intensifying workload.
Finally, imagine that you’ve spent too much time in your current position and feel like you must look for another job if you can’t develop critical skills to qualify for a promotion. In any case, you have identified a weakness that directly affects both you and the company, so you must bring it to the attention of your boss.
1. Explain the gap
You have arranged a meeting and now what? Well, start convincing your boss to support your training and development by clearly articulating this skill gap that you now experience. For example, explain the difficulty of interacting with new customers or managing technology that you don’t fully understand.
Similarly, explain why you feel like your job offers no future and emphasize that you could advance within the company if you had the proper knowledge and training. Your boss will become more receptive to contributing to your education when you make a convincing argument.
2. Describe long-term benefits for the company
Present a long-run view of how the company will suffer by having employees who are ill-equipped to meet daily challenges. Highlight how training and development will pay off regarding customer satisfaction and operational efficiency, but don’t forget to emphasize the effects education will have on your job performance.
Moreover, your boss must understand that you can share the knowledge you gain from every educational opportunity with your coworkers. As a result, many workers will have enhanced skills that will make the company more efficient. Always convey to your boss that you have the best interest of the firm as your primary motivation.
3. Present options
Your boss might not have any idea about how to set up a corporate education program, so have some proposals ready that illustrate appropriate methods for you to get the training you need. Present both online and off-line options and prepare to extol the virtues of available technology. For example, educational websites and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide fast and inexpensive ways to learn, which is great for corporate training.
Make sure you can also knowledgeably discuss the capabilities of Learning Management Systems (LMA) and School-as-a-Service (SaaS) opportunities if those fit your needs. If the education you need requires hands-on training, offer solutions that will achieve the necessary result.
4. Backup with data
Avoid relying on generalities to make your argument for education. Research every suggestion you make, so you can readily inform your boss. For example, if you feel that your situation requires an online college course, explain how your participation in that class would contribute to your daily routine without sacrificing productivity.
Find some data that will help establish your argument. Supply your boss with statistics that show the correlation between employee training and development and satisfaction. For example, a survey shows that about 4/5 of employees who are satisfied with their employer-provided education are also satisfied with their employers. Another study demonstrates that 40% of all workers consider job-related training as essential to their satisfaction. When you highlight the connection between education and such an important business metrics, the numbers will make the case for you.
5. Be calm and friendly
Finally, don’t let your zeal for corporate education make you become overbearing and demanding. Instead, recognize that your proposal is new to your boss and that he needs some time to process all the information. To increase your chances, make sure you always have an amiable demeanor while you make your case. Confidence without cockiness as well as an unrelenting positive attitude will give your arguments a best chance for success.
The fact that you require training and development should not discourage you, even if your employer does not have an educational program in place. Talk to your boss bravely and let your research, knowledge, and open-mindedness guide you through that conversation.
Don’t forget to support all our recommendations with data and have the right attitude while making your successful pitch for investment in your education. As a result, both you and your employer will achieve increasing levels of business success.
About the author: Jill Phillips is a freelance writer from Buffalo, NY. She is an aspiring entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, who loves to share her insight on various topics. When she is not writing, Jill enjoys taking photos and hiking with her dog. Connect with Jill via Twitter @jillphlps