A full 74% of all employees feel that they cannot develop their full potential in their current position, a long-term study by the Middlesex University’s Institute for Work Based Learning discovered. But why? They lack further education, training or training that opens the door to their unperceived potential. (Source: The Learning Wave)
Do you also feel that, with the help of a little external knowledge or guidance, you could do a lot more for the company you currently work for? Or have you even found a training programme that is ideally tailored to you, your position and your goals?
Strengthening your own abilities and being able to use your potential even more is without a doubt a big step. But that is not all. Because the more knowledge and experience you gain in your area of expertise, the more your employer will benefit from it as well. So if a company wants to be at the forefront, there is only one way: to strengthen, train and promote its own workforce!
Why further training on the job?
Looking at the advantages of further training, two different viewpoints quickly emerge: On the one hand, there is the employee who of course gains the greatest effect from taking part in further training, an online course or more eduction. Because this person receives a direct learning effect that nobody can take away from them – they have internalized the knowledge.
Subsequently, however, the learning of new skills in the context of further training is of course also essential for professional life. Ideally, this increase in qualifications for you as an employee goes hand in hand with better opportunities for promotions, as well as a potentially better salary situation.
In addition to the numerous advantages that employees naturally derive for themselves from certain advanced training, the effect on the company in which they work should not be underestimated. After all, the content learned is aimed at supporting a specific corporate area and making certain tasks easier or even enabling them in the first place.
If an employer has its own employees trained or further educated in an area, the plan is usually to develop a competence that can be used in the company. The company’s own employees are a company’s most valuable asset – especially if investments have been made in their qualifications.
Further Training offline
It is hard to believe, but just a few years ago it was the general rule that training courses did not take place on the laptop, but with all participants in one room. And although the Covid-19 pandemic is currently making it difficult to hold training courses in physical environments, they have some unique advantages to them.
In terms of efficiency and flexibility, online training courses are clearly ahead, but there is one thing that hardly an online course can do better than offline training: The connection to other participants!
Because job training is not only a measure to bring new knowledge into a company, but also enables a fruitful exchange between the individual participants. Many future business partners have been met at courses and, after all, one always learns best from one another!
Further Training Online
At the latest with the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic, further training on the Internet and online courses have gained a new type of importance. In times of a crisis, when events are postponed time and again, further education courses on the Internet offer the ideal opportunity to use this time productively and acquire new skills.
However, there is a lot more behind these rather obvious advantages: Online training courses can often not only be used by one person, but can also be completed by several employees and departments – this enables an extremely high cost efficiency. In addition, many online courses are available for a long period of time and can therefore also be used in the future.
But one of the greatest advantages is of course the flexibility of the World Wide Web: In contrast to offline training that takes place at a specific time, online courses can be completed flexibly and depending on personal circumstances. On the one hand, this also creates immense efficiency, while, on the other hand, it also has the benefit of individual employees being able to learn at their own pace and, thus, derive the greatest effect from the training!
5 Tips to convince your boss to pay for your further training
1 As for a personal meeting
In the first moment after you have come across a further training course that you would like to complete, you may feel the impulse to let your direct supervisor know about your plans. Perhaps you will even want to write an email in which you will inform your boss about all the details of the further training.
But in the stressful everyday working life, such letters quickly get the stamp “I can read that later” and disappear into the depths of the e-mail inbox. In addition, face-to-face conversations offer a much better basis for persuasion and negotiation: for most people it is much easier to answer “no” to a written request than to a real conversation.
In this case, writing is silver and talking is golden! Instead of writing a long e-mail to your supervisor with all the reasons and advantages related to the further training programme – or even just inserting a link – it is better to discuss this topic in a unhasty one-to-one conversation. This way, you can ensure that you present your arguments appropriately, enable direct queries and can also assess the emotional reactions of your counterpart.
The situation of the conversation can be a decisive factor. Depending on the work environment, corporate hierarchy and philosophy, the impulse for such a dialogue can take place anywhere: besides the coffee maker, as part of an individual meeting, etc. However, if you want to be on the safe side, it is advisable to send an e-mail or message to ask for a personal interview.
For this purpose, you can use this blueprint:
Dear [insert name of your supervisor],
Since our last conversation about the reinforcement of my [insert skill] and professional growth, I have researched some suitable further trainings. In the course of my research I have come across an interesting programme, which presents an ideal coverage of my goals and interests: [insert name of the programme],
In particular, I have been convinced by [insert reason], and I am sure that this programme will help us to [insert specific benefit].
Does [insert company name] offer resources for professional development opportunities?
If possible, I would ask you for a brief personal meeting to discuss detailed characteristics of the training programme and a possible coverage with you.
[insert appointment proposal]
Please let me know if this is a possibility for you. Thank you in advance!
[insert your name],
2 Be well prepared
Before you go into the personal interview and try to convince your supervisor to pay the costs for your further education, job training or an online course, you should prepare yourself well. Because, especially when it comes to monetary resources, detailed, precise data and hard facts are necessary in order to enable your counterpart to form a holistic opinion on your training plans.
So do your research in detail and collect as much information about the training as possible. Of course, keep potential queries from your supervisor in the back of your head so that you can answer them appropriately.
The following topics give you reference points for your research about the training program:
- Duration of the program: once, weekly, monthly?
- Timing of the teaching units: Do they take place during working hours or in your free time? It is important for your supervisor to know whether the teaching units are compatible with your day-to-day work or whether absences are to be expected.
- Costs of further training: Provide a cost estimate here that includes all costs associated with the further training, e.g. travel, course materials, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises later.
- Content of the program: You should be able to give your supervisor a good overview of the content that the training includes, as well as be able to name some specific topics that are important.
- Skills learned / qualifications obtained: What verifiable results will you achieve by participating in the training program? Do these fill existing knowledge gaps in the company?
However, the preparation does not end with the key points of the further training. In any case, you should also be prepared for unexpected questions and equipped with a few further arguments.
- Your supervisor could ask you the following questions:Are there any financial subsidies, tax reductions or discounts for this training?
- Why did you choose this course and not another option? If documents or training within the company exist, the question of why you chose an external training as opposed to the internal one could arise. Is it better than the one from your company? Above all, bear in mind that the superiors can be very proud of the internal documents, even if they may be out of date or inadequately prepared for you.
- Will you be able to complete your day-to-day work to the usual extent despite the training? This is particularly relevant for training courses or advanced training over a long period of time.
- How can the return on investment of this training for our company be measured?
- How can you apply the content you have learned in your everyday work?
- Is the learned content also helpful for other areas of the company? If so, how can you make them available to them or pass them on to them? Here, for example, there is the option of an internal knowledge database.
For the last 3 questions, it might pay off to keep a list of potential advantages or benefits of the training. Depending on the further training program, this could be, for example, completing certain activities faster, learning skills required in the company or keeping up-to-date with industry topics. As you can imagine, however, the individual advantages depend on the topic, subject area and the design of the training, as well as on the company you are employed in.
3 Grands and subsidies
Actually, this point goes hand in hand with tip number 2. But because the topic of funding is so important, we would like to highlight it here individually.
If you are in the process of gathering all the information about your desired training, invest a minute or two in researching funding opportunities or grants. Because if there are actually grants that the company you work for can claim, this means considerable savings for your manager. At the same time, however, the benefits that are drawn from your further training remain at the same level, which results in a better cost-benefit calculation.
In this way you create a win-win situation and get yourself a little closer to your goal – namely your further training cost being covered by your supervisor.
A lot is changing, especially in the digital sector. In order to support this, Austria also offers a range of different subsidies, some of which are also specialized in further education related to digitization. We have summarized these for you on our funding page: The right funding for your company!
4 Training in context
When it comes to persuasion, information that is put in the right context outperforms all other arguments. Think about it for a moment: An earthquake somewhere in the world does not really matter to you. However, as soon as it has taken place in your direct proximity and you have a real connection to this earthquake, its relevance increases rapidly.
In a similar way, you can imagine the effects of your further training on the company you work fro or your supervisor: Further training in almost any area can be rated positively because it ultimately increases your skills and qualifications. But only when these new qualifications have a real impact on your work performance will they become really exciting for your employer.
So if you want to present the training program to your supervisor, make sure to put it in the context of the company or your specific position. Do not just talk about the general content of the training, but specifically address those topics that will be of the greatest benefit to you, your work and the company.
This works particularly well if you not only talk about the content of the training program, but rather communicate the results.
The specific effects and returns on investment are highly dependent on the training and the company in which you work, and even more dependent on your own position. They could range from achieving your tasks faster to taking on more responsibility.
5 Your value to the company
Ultimately, however, further training is not only about the company you work for, but primarily about you. As a loyal employee, you are one of the most important factors in the success of the company and therefore the highest priority for your supervisor – and you should be aware of that too!
So before you do everything you can to convince your employer that this training is important for you and the company, be conscious of how great your value is for the company.
Especially if you have been working for a company for a while and no longer really question this, it can happen that you quickly lose sight of your own worth a little. Therefore, we list some questions below that can help you to objectively define your value for the company:
- How long have you been working in this company? The longer you are a permanent part of a team, the better you know the tasks, cooperate with team members and the more important you are for the company.
- How long will you continue to work for this company? If you are planning on getting a new job soon, do not get your manager to invest in your skills.
- What would happen if you left the company? Would your department be able to continue working as usual? The more irreplaceable you are, the more important it is to invest in increasing your qualifications!
- Is your position unique? Or are there still a lot of people in the company who do similar or even the same tasks?
- Which functions of your job do you do particularly well? Are these in line with your planned further training?
How high your value for the company actually is ultimately depends not only on you, but also on the company itself. Also take economic factors and the current situation of the company into account when thinking about your value.
Convinced your boss – now what?
Wonderful, you have managed to convince your boss of your further training and are already looking forward to all the new content and skills that you will learn. But especially when the company in which you work pays for your training, it wants the greatest value to be drawn from it.
Therefore, your job is not done after the further training. Of course, it is now up to you to use the qualifications you have learned and thus to go about your day-to-day work even more professionally. But what if not only you benefit from the training – but your whole team?
When it comes to disseminating knowledge within the company and making it accessible in other departments, it is a good idea to create an internal knowledge database. Not only instructions or standard processes can be saved here, but also detailed information, such as from your training. But that is a topic for a separate article!
Do you also have the feeling that your company could benefit from an internal knowledge database? Let us know in the comments so that we can also create a resource on this topic for you!
When networking wizard Bettina is not working on the next big idea, then she is focusing on how to constantly improve workflows, and systemizing the “stuff that is not so much fun but needs to be done”. She believes in giving and that being kind gets you a long way.
You might spot her as a keynote speaker, a guest lecturer at universities, or a mentor at StartupLive or Greenstart by Climate and Energy Fonds Austria.
Bettina describes herself as a foodie, travel addict, and her team sees her as a true leader, who always encourages everyone she is working with.