Your job might be your passion. However, you can have a really bad day at the office if your tools become obsolete. Or if your strategies lose their steam. And it’s not your fault. Today, a single new product can mean that entire industries suddenly get disrupted. Companies have to be nimbler and more agile than ever.
This constant need for education has resulted in the growth of free or freemium self-taught courses. And compiling all this schooling from many different websites can be a daunting task! At the same time, companies are not adequately reaping the benefits from training. Since employees are conducting it independently, they have no way of knowing if their staff’s education is in line with the company’s needs.
This is why it’s a good idea to persuade your employer to fund your studies.
Here are five steps to convince your manager to invest in your education:
1. Do your research: show, don’t tell!
Sure, you will have to tell your personal story at some point. But managers pay attention to KPIs and ROIs, not soapy biographies.
Recent studies show the need for continuous employee training. This applies even in the tech sector, where workforces are presumed to be at the vanguard of the economy. The recent demand for experts in Product Management, for example, speaks of a constant reinvention of professional skills in the industry.
Probably, if managers read the business news, they will know that securing top talent is just the first step. Keeping it in the company, that’s really the tough job. All in all, it might be more expensive NOT to provide training in the first place. According to the insurance sector, employee education programmes generate a healthy return on investment.
Finally, employee training is going to be even more important once millennials become a majority. This generation knows they will be shifting positions and even careers every few years. Logically, they will feel more attracted to workplaces where managers encourage staff education.
2. Book a meeting with our email template
Keep in mind that your initial email must pique your boss’ interest. This is the beginning of a conversation about your education. However, you shouldn’t make it about yourself: think of the company benefits. How does your training make sense in the overall company strategy?
Here is a template for inspiration (simply replace the highlighted brackets with something relevant to you).
3. Answer the important questions
Booking a meeting with your boss is just the beginning. Now you have their ear. To make the most of this opportunity, ensure that you are ready to answer the important questions. Remember, you want them to invest in your education! Make sure to use all data we shared in the first step.
Some of the questions that will likely come up (with suggested answers) can include:
-Is this programme really necessary to address current challenges?
While we are doing as much as we can to arrive to the deployment phase without troubles, I think that we need someone acquainted with the challenges of releasing and maintaining a product. Right now, we are relying too much on external consulting and ad-hoc solutions. If we are going to stick with this application for several years, someone will have to take responsibility for non-technical aspects: customer experience, functionalities, marketing…
-How are we saving money in the short/long run?
Seeing that the course takes just 8 weeks, the initial investment would pay off really soon. Right now, we are spending a lot of money on external tools that can be brought in-house. I think that we would spend this money more wisely on training ourselves to tackle this new development phase.
-How do I know that you will apply the training here and will not move to another company instead?
I am willing to sign an agreement with you. I want to see this company grow and this is precisely why I identified this course as the best way forward. By funding my education, this company is showing how much it cares for its employees’ development.
4. Lay out the conditions
Next, a brief but important point. How is the company going to invest in your education? Is there a formal employee training program or fund already in place? Will they pay for the course upfront, or will they reimburse you later? Is there a minimum grade or result that they are expecting?
You need to make sure that all housekeeping is in order before you embark on this commitment. Keep in mind: you are trying to convince your company to spare some cash, so you can help them grow in the future. This agreement has to be as transparent as possible.
5. Don’t be a stranger!
Once you have decided to embark on further education, why don’t you share the programme with your boss? On our course syllabus you can find out which Product School training is best suited for your current needs. We insist, SHOW your bosses how the company can benefit from investing in your education: don’t just tell them!
After enrollment, make sure to keep your manager informed about your training. Don’t forget that, in the short-term, your boss is incurring a cost. In short, let your company see what benefits they are getting from funding your course early on.
We hope that this advice helps you. Our Product School communities on Facebook and Slack are also full of alumni who successfully transitioned to Product Management and increased their data, blockchain, coding and full-stack toolkit thanks to our courses. In a nutshell, start the conversation and get more ideas on how to convince your manager to invest in your education.