Whether you are a trainer or a supervisor who handles training, at some point you will need to pitch a training idea to upper management. Especially in instances where you need to pay for items related to training, it is easy to get your ideas rejected by treating the project as an option, instead of necessity. Here are five ways to get your ideas stamped with REJECTED without ever leaving your desk.
Don’t take the idea seriously.
This is the most common mistake made by those who aren’t involved in employee training as a chosen profession. Any training that requires effort and funding should be considered before being presented to anyone in a position to approve funding. After all, if the idea maker isn’t deliberate about presenting the idea, how can the decision maker take it seriously?
Make informal proposals.
Asking spontaneously about a notable training idea is the equivalent of asking for a paycheck without applying for the job. If our idea is relevant, will improve performance, will save money, or will generate revenue it deserves a real shot at funding. In order to get that opportunity, we’ll need to present it to decision makers as a serious inquiry and that requires planning. Take the time to think about the outcome of the training idea. Type up a proposal that includes how long it will take to create training, facilitate training, and the cost of training. Our proposal should also contain details about who will create training, who should attend, why they should attend, who will facilitate training, and any other detail that can be determined ahead of time.
Don’t worry about return on investment.
We may be fully aware of the positive influence that training will have on all aspects of business. But we can’t assume that the decision maker will see things the way that we do. It’s important to spell out the positive results of the investment. Any investment worth making, including employee training, will show a real monetary return. It’s key that the real return on the investment be pointed out to the decision maker.
Don’t follow up on your proposal.
In much the same way that we would follow up on an employment application, we should follow up on our training proposals. Many times, employee training is not in the forefront of business necessities. Even more so if it requires funding. We should follow up after submitting a training proposal by asking if anyone has yet read the proposal or if any comments have been made regarding the proposal. It’s ok to politely ask when we can expect an answer; however we should be aware that it’s easy to say “no” if too much pressure is applied.
A training proposal should be treated the same as any other business proposal. The boss wants to know what it will cost him, how much work is involved, and the objective of training. We want the boss to know the return on his investment, the work that will be saved, and the result of the training. Understanding that there are different perspectives of your training idea is crucial when developing a proposal about employee training efforts.