How to Convince Your Manager of the Benefits of Training
People. Process. Technology.
Of course, “people” don’t always come first. Organizations have a tendency to approach this backwards because who needs training when you have this cool shiny technology?
You can’t maximize your return on technology without process and you can’t have technology or process without people. People are appreciating assets, but when not nurtured, their skills depreciate and the organization suffers because people leave. So if you’re an individual who knows the power of investing in people and needs help, this guide on how to convince your manager of the benefits of IT training will become a key resource.
After reading this article, whether you’re requesting training for yourself or your team, you will be better prepared to build and state your case for the business-delivering value of training.
Four things NOT to do when requesting IT training from your manager
- Bring up anything salary related—this is not about you. He or she doesn’t want to hear it. While you may earn a salary increase in time, this is not the time to bring it up. Show your worth, don’t state your worth.
- Shine a light on the fact that over 69% of unsatisfied employees are very likely to be pursuing new opportunities and looking to leave their job.1 This is a subtle threat and you don’t want your boss thinking you’re looking to leave. You’ll be leaving sooner than you’d like and not on your terms.
- Act and feel entitled that the company should pay for your training.
- Become negative if the training is not approved.
- You don’t know what else is going on within the organization.
- Don’t hold it against your boss. Most managers don’t wake up saying, “I can’t wait to say no to training requests today! I don’t want my team to be better.” It simply might be out of their hands.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to business.
How to convince your manager there’s a training need
Individual contributors, team managers and everyone above all have different tasks to accomplish, but they have the same North Star—deliver results.
That’s why your chances of success increase when you’re able to position and show training as having a tangible business return.
Make it about the business. Not about you.
Build your business case
Again, it’s not about you. Know your audience. It’s about what you deliver for the business.
Put training on your manager’s radar
He or she might be under the impression everything is good. It’s important to highlight that the landscape is changing and you need to improve your skills.
Make the need for training time sensitive
Let him/her know about the constant technology changes you're experiencing daily in regards to your job. For example, since AWS launched its cloud computing services, it has annually introduced an average of 200 new features and services.2
Establish how this training will drive results the business cares about
- Highlight what you will do after training—your impact.
- You need to do your homework about what matters to the business if it’s something you’re not currently aware of.
- IBM found that skills linked to a business value yield a 10% increase in productivity.3
- By evolving your skillsets, an IT pro like yourself can do more in less time. Global Knowledge students reported saving an average of 3.04 hours per week, or 143 hours per year (based on 47 work weeks).5 The result is an overall increase in productivity.
Anticipate objections and the underlying reasons
Be prepared for objections like:
- “How do you know if this training provider is any good?” Learn the six must-haves of an excellent IT training provider.
- “It costs too much.” Research the course so you can highlight everything that comes with it AND highlight how the course will pay for itself. E.g., you’ll be able to do "X" faster which will save "$X,XXX" over a period of time.
- “We don’t have the budget.” Your job is to show how much not doing anything will cost them and the business more.
- “We need you here, working.” First, see the response to “We don’t have the budget.” Second, a classroom isn't your only option. There are numerous ways aka"delivery formats" to choose from: Instructor-led in-person classroom, instructor-led virtual / online, on-demand, and private group training (where the trainer comes to you). So you don't even have to leave the office.
- “If you need training or don’t have the skills, maybe this job isn’t for you.” This is a tough one to reply to and maybe this organization doesn’t deserve you. If you continue to pursue your training request, here are some questions an Inc. article suggests you can ask to help paint a picture:4
- Would you rather have an employee who:
- Does their job without understanding the big picture, or one who sees how their individual efforts contribute to as a whole?
- Never ventures outside their department, or one who spends time shadowing other areas to gain insight they can use?
- Has always done something a certain way, or one who's interested in improving processes?
- Would you rather have an employee who:
Reinforce loyalty to the team and business
State and/or reconfirm your commitment to the organization. Reduce fears that you’re not just taking training and leaving. You want to continue to grow your career with them. If you don’t feel this way, don’t lie. It’ll come back to bite you eventually. Karma takes no prisoners.
Highlight the caliber and credentials of the training organization
Quality training companies are authorized by technology providers to deliver training specific to their technologies and teach from the latest course content.
At Global Knowledge, you’re learning from the best. Our subject matter experts have an average of:
- 27 years of IT experience
- 19 years of teaching experience
- 16 years of consulting experience
On top of that, 70% of our instructors are active consultants who supplement course content with the latest best practices and real-world scenarios.5
What’s your post-training plan?
- Become a higher producing and productive employee (aka better at your job).
- Become a resource and trainer for co-workers.
- Lead a “Lunch n’ Learn” training session once you’ve had some time using your new skills.
- Contribute new ideas and perspectives learned from the course when the team is discussing future plans or tackling issues.
- The top three IT training benefits students report:
- 94% improved quality of work
- 84% more engagement
- 80% faster job performance.5
- Guess what—93% of GK students apply learned skills to job-related tasks in four weeks or less.5
Ready to convince your manager to let you train? Check out our template to help request training.