I have been out of university for three years now, and while I paid $27,000+ for my bachelors degree, I find a lot of the time that I still need further training/education. I was lucky in my first HR role where my manager wanted to develop me and I was able to attend the HR Foundations course run by the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand, because of the cost – it meant that no one else in my team was able to attend a conference/course or training that financial year. With the economic status not getting a lot better (quickly) it is limiting to what companies are willing to pay for further training. Professional development however doesn’t need to be a $2,000+ conference or a 4 day out of office course – it can be a simple 1 day internal training day!

So, with companies limiting spending on training and further development, how do you get your manager to sign off an approval on your development needs?

Here are some tips to get you closer to some further development:

Do your research!

When asking your manager to spend money on your development, make sure you give them enough information to make an informed decision and know they are spending money in the right place. What I have done in the past is look for internal training as well as external training to make sure that I am finding a range of options for my manager to consider, and it helps when you are looking internally as well. I don’t believe that training should only be an external course or conference, you can learn just as much and probably get a higher level of interaction with an internal course at half the cost!

Think about your team..

When you are thinking about attending a large costing course/conference in most companies these days can only afford for 1 employee to attend one that is quite expensive. I had this issue in my first HR role, but I went the extra mile and took extreme notes, got further resources and went back to my team and presented what I had learned. When your team aren’t able to attend with you, why not allow them to get a feel of what you learned! A small presentation doesn’t hurt and as a bonus, it gets you practicing your presentation skills 🙂

Think about the pros & cons

I have come to realise that having a million and one training courses identified on your CV doesn’t exactly mean a heck of a lot. The question is, will the training that you are proposing to do and have your company pay for actually give you a benefit in any future positions that you might take up? My HR Foundations course done through HRINZ provided me with some excellent resources (and I get sent updates) that will actually help me in every HR role that I have from now on. I have just been approved for training in MS Project and MS Visio and in most government organisations these applications are used in terms of project/change management – so there is my pro! Make sure that what you are asking to be trained in is actually going to benefit you for sometime during your career.

These are just some of my thoughts when requesting further professional development. I believe in furthering our development and ensuring that we continue to learn more in our current roles, but it needs to be beneficial and worthy of your company to spend that money on you – rather than someone else!

If you have any thoughts, I am happy to hear from you – hope this offers some guidance on asking for that money!

HR Workaholic

Oh how I love Dilbert…

April 02, 2010