Top tips for asking for a training budget
Asking for funding can be daunting. Having clear objectives and benefits in mind will make the conversation much easier. You know that employee training will boost productivity, but how do you convince your senior leadership team that investing in training is a great use of company money? Here are some tips to help you.
1. Set the scene
Before you ask for a training budget you need to have a clear understanding of the company’s targets for the coming year or for the next few years, and these may define exactly what needs to be achieved. For example, one target may be to increase the number of international clients by 30%. Another example may be to implement English as the working language between international offices within the next 18 months.
Less specific goals may also help. For example, if your company wants to expand in a certain market, or raise its brand profile.
Once you know your company’s goals and targets, you next need to define the role of the team in achieving that target. Where do they fit into the company and how do their actions contribute to the company’s overall goals?
2. Define the organisation’s pressure points
Research by Pearson has found that although 97% of global employees said that English is important in their profession, only 7% felt they could communicate effectively at work through email, telephone, in meetings or when making presentations. A good starting point is to ask employees to take a free skills assessment, such as the online English test offered by The London School of English. This will give you a benchmark of the current levels of English language competency in the company.
If you can demonstrate that the English skills in the company is stopping the organisation from gaining new clients or is affecting internal communications, you can make a stronger case for an increase in the training budget.
Also focus on cost savings, for example, if you currently outsource work that the new training will allow you to bring ‘in-house’, the company could make savings that balance out the expenditure.
3. Create a proposal to address these points
When writing out your proposal for a training budget, remember to make everything relatable, aligned with the business needs, and outcome focused. Once you have identified how providing English language training to a team will make it easier for them to help the company achieve its targets, say so clearly.
Think about how you would demonstrate a quantifiable Return On Investment (ROI). For example, work out if more sales in the following year would offset the training costs. If this is the case, then you could then demonstrate that the investment is worthwhile. You should also include other benefits; for example, improving staff motivation and retaining employees are both a very powerful arguments for investing in training.
4. Use the SMART approach
When making your pitch, it is a good idea to use the SMART approach to outline a business case. Think about how you can make your training budget request Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. The aim is to make your proposal align with the goals of those who will approve the budget.
Your proposal should include: how much it will cost the company, how long it will take, where will the training be held, and your reasons for these decisions. If you can, use previous case studies or refer back to positive outcomes from past training projects if relevant.
5. Schedule a meeting to discuss them
While it might be tempting to send over your proposal in an email, you will have more chance of success if you present your case in person. Choose a time that isn’t too busy for the people you are presenting to. A face to face presentation will give you an opportunity to answer questions and get feedback. This last point is crucial if you are unsuccessful as it will give you an idea of what you need to adjust the next time you need to make a request.
We are specialists in workforce training solutions.
How can we help you?
- Review your existing training processes and carry out a needs analysis
- Test your employees’ skills levels
- Recommend training options
- Provide training
What will you gain?
- Cost-effective virtual training solutions
- Increased employee engagement and confidence
- Improved international communications leading to better business performance
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- 7 international communication tips for giving feedback
- 6 future work skills you should be developing now
- How to assess the language levels of your employees: a step-by-step guide
- How to adapt your cultural style and language for virtual networking
- Using training budgets for virtual training
- Tips for keeping your workforce motivated