How to ask your employer to pay for your training

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“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to,” Richard Branson has said.  

Companies like Deloitte, Hyatt and Google are famous for their professional development programs because they recognise an investment in their staff is actually one of the best things they can do for their bottom line. Investing in their employees improves productivity, increases morale and helps to retain high quality staff. Here are some of the ways to make a compelling case to your boss to ask for your own professional development.

1. Your company will be more competitive

An AAT qualification won’t just benefit you: your employer stands to profit from your new skills too. Expert in leadership and change John P. Kotter reports that organizations that invest in a culture of personal and professional development, among other factors, can outperform the competition by 500% or more. Economists at Warwick University found in a recent study that happier employees led to a 12% increase in productivity and that companies that invest in the development of their staff tend to have a happier workforce. Your qualification also provides credibility which instils confidence in your customers and internal stakeholders.

2. You will do your job better

A qualification is much more than a certificate or a line on your CV. It’s a practical course that will give you real-world skills that you can apply in the workplace from the start. In a recent survey by AAT, it was found that small and medium businesses are losing a total of nearly £2.9 billion as a result of not having qualified finance staff. Your qualification will allow you to manage essential finance tasks for your business, improving efficiency and preventing errors.

3. You will be more motivated

Research by Glassdoor indicates 35% of employees are unsatisfied with their job roles. By funding your professional development, your boss demonstrates they are investing in your future and see your contribution to the business as meaningful. Practical skills also boost your confidence and capability, helping you perform better.

4. Your company will save money

A strong culture of development will attract quality candidates and retain high-performing staff. In a study from Boston Consulting Group, it was found that employees ranked appreciation for their work, good relationships with colleagues and good work/life balance above an attractive fixed salary for happiness at work. With the cost of replacing a staff member up to 30K, professional development is one of the ways business can show employees their work is meaningful and their contributions are valued.

So what are some of the key things you can say to your boss to persuade them to fund your training?

Do your research

Make the request as easy as possible for your boss to approve. Let them know:

  • what the qualification covers
  • what skills you’ll learn
  • how long it will take
  • what the costs are

Ensure that you factor in any obstacles that may impact your work, whether that’s time to attend classes, travel commitments or managing study and work at the same time. Create an action plan upfront demonstrating how you will manage these challenges.

Timing is everything

Find out when your business sets its budgets for the year. This is the best time to request funding, as once set, budgets may be inflexible. If a budget has been set, you might also be able to negotiate receiving training as part of your salary review in the short term, with a long term eye on an increase once you are qualified.

Show a direct business benefit

Make a list of all the new functions you’ll be able to perform as a result of your training. Will you be able to provide extra support to the current finance team, or if you work in a smaller business, provide finance support instead of your employer having to outsource it?

Demonstrate your passion

Enthusiasm and commitment will go a long way to persuading your employer to support you. Show them why you’re deserving of the investment. Demonstrate your current dedication and performance and show your clear commitment to succeeding.

Louise Taor is Marketing Manager at AVADO, the new name for Home Learning College.

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