Case For Training
Whilst it would be excellent if all bosses were forward thinking from the point of view of both business development and individual development, sometimes that’s just not the case. Some employers have tunnel vision and cannot see the importance of working on the business as well as in the business to ensure that they are always cutting edge and ahead of the game. When you have a full order book it’s sometimes seen as too risky to ‘jeapordise’ that by developing the workforce.
Sometimes employers, particularly small employers, also feel that if they invest too much in people the individuals will take these skills to a bigger and better firm and leave them with just the bill!
Therefore in order to make a case to your employers for development, it’s important to be able to perceive things as they might to the other person or your boss. The key to being influential is information and the ability to see things from the other person’s perspective so that you can make a an influential argument that either takes the other person to your point of view as you are able to answer any objections or able to get a positive compromise whereby both of you feel that you have the best deal.
Where you can justify and quantify a return on investment for an employer, this is always the most powerful argument. For example
- How will this training help the organisation make more money and by how much and when?
- How will this training make things easier / quicker, how and when?
- How will this training enable the organisation to reduce costs and by how much?
All of these are music to the small business owner and are very difficult arguments to reject. Where you can give a cost saving in the training, this also makes training very attractive, there are various ways and grants available. For example Glasgow City Council, Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Enterprise all have had schemes that enable small business to grow through employee development; it is worth taking the time to look at whatever is available in your area. The main criteria generally is development of the business.
Training individuals that then leave is another fear of the small employer, this means that not only have the paid for the training of the person that has left, they may have to also pay for training other employees – who may just leave as well! Therefore if there is some written guarantee that individuals will stay for a reasonable amount of time or they have to pay the training costs back to the employer is one way of making an employer less reluctant to develop individuals. This is particularly common with professional qualifications which are important to individuals and the increase the company credibility.
Therefore in order to ensure that as an individual you feel you are growing and being developed, sometimes you have to help your boss understand that this actually benefits both of you and the more you can quantify and reassure the more likely you are to have a positive response.