Why Your Employer Should Pay for Your Professional Development


Why should your employer pay for your professional development? It benefits them.

A company’s performance is directly tied to the capabilities of its employees, or in other words, highly skilled employees help companies thrive. Research from IBM Software indicates that increasing a team’s skill level by just one-third makes a team 10 times more likely to achieve their goals. As companies continue to raise their standards to match the needs of the market, it’s essential that organizations create an environment where you and your team members can grow your skill set.

More importantly, that same IBM Software study found that when a company is commited to its workers’ professional development, they see higher employee satisfaction which leads to increased retention. And while satisfaction and retention might just sound like the “warm and fuzzy” stuff, keeping employees around saves organizations a lot of money. Global Industry Analyst Josh Bersin estimated that the cost of replacing an employee can be more than twice the annual salary of the open position.

In short, when companies pay for your professional development, everyone wins.

READ MORE: Investing in Learning: The True ROI of Ongoing Training and Continuous Learning

Why employees don’t ask for additional training and professional development

There are two primary reasons employees don’t ask their managers for professional development training: perceived lack of time and fear they’ll seem incompetent.

Oftentimes, employees don’t think they have the time in their workday to incorporate training. And sometimes, they’re right! Because classroom training and conferences can eat up an entire day to a full week of work, more and more professionals are turning to digital learning, especially online video lessons and courses. Online professional development resources allow you to more seamlessly integrate developing your skills into the workday. You can learn anytime, anywhere, and for the length of time of your choosing.

READ MORE: Why You Should Make Time for Digital Learning in the Workplace (And How to Do It)

As for those of you who think that asking your boss to fund your training and professional development will make you appear incompetent, you’re wrong! It shows a commitment to your job, your company, and your career. When you take the initiative to present a plan for how you can increase your skill set, you’ll likely get buy-in from your boss.

How to convince your boss to pay for your training and professional development

Investing in professional development is critical in today’s competitive job market. Whether you want to develop leadership skills, fine-tune technical techniques, or learn something completely new, you should communicate this to your manager in order to get your boss on board.

Follow these four steps to convince your boss to pay for your training and professional development.

  1. Determine the opportunity you want your boss to fund.
    Do your homework. Research the type of training and professional development opportunity you want your boss to fund (e.g., a membership to an online learning platform) before you approach them.

  2. Describe the skills you’ll gain.
    Listing the skills you’ll develop from investing in your professional development will show your boss that this is a well-thought-out proposal.

  3. Outline the team and business benefits.
    Take it a step further and determine how your entire team will benefit from investing in your professional development. Bonus points if you can connect it back to time or cost savings!

  4. Include the costs associated with the development.
    For an online membership, communicate the different pricing options. For a conference or classroom training, calculate all the costs associated with the trip — from travel to accommodations to entrance fees.

Download our customizable email samples to make asking your boss for training easier. The email samples outline how to start the conversation and provide key details you need to include to convince your boss to pay for your training and professional development. All you need to do is copy and paste, fill in the blanks, and press send!

Madie Norris Forcier
About the Author

SolidProfessor content writer and self-appointed World’s Greatest Dog Mom