Do you drop an upskilling course which you really want to do because of the price? Do you feel sad when you miss out on a conference due to its price?
Do you wish your organization could pay you for these expensive upskilling experiences?
If the answer to all of these questions is a yes, congratulations! For 2 things a)You are no different than the majority of learners in the world b)You have come to the right place.
This blog will talk about a framework that can help you get your organization to reimburse your up-skilling experience.
Choose your course or upskilling experience wisely
As a learner you might want to learn a lot of things, some related to work and some for overall career enhancements. Companies are meant to do business. They would want to reimburse a course or conference that helps you, your team, and your work and eventually helps the company.
In further steps, you will know why this is an important step and why you should wisely choose the course or conference.
Do your homework well – Part 1
Before you fret about asking your manager or supervisor for possible reimbursement, do check the company policies. The policy would be located in an ideal case in the HR Policies head and Learning & Development subhead.
In most companies, this policy would exist. These days even in early-stage startups we do see such policies, the budget might be limited, but the intent is there. The policy will talk about the amount you can reimburse, what kind of upskilling you can get reimbursed. It will have points on applying the knowledge you acquire etc.
Now, the important point. If there is a policy, great, you have a pathway to follow.
If there isn’t a policy, better. If it is not there, it does not mean it cannot be done. It can still be done (no-one might have asked earlier, maybe). It’s time to Ask.
Know the parties involved
I hope you have not taken Parties quite literally here. Because, if you have, you will be disappointed by what I have written next.
Parties here means decision-maker(s). If you have a policy, it will talk about whom to approach first for the reimbursement. If there is no policy, therein lies the catch.
My recommendation would be to check with your reporting manager (In many organisations, the line manager is the first HR) about the possibility etc. He will either give you an answer or guide you through the process.
You can also approach the HR Business Partner and enquire about the policy (maybe it was somewhere else and you couldn’t find it). In all probability, HR can guide you through the answer (They might take some time, but that should be fine)
Do your homework well – Part 2
This step is by far the most important step of this whole framework. To make it easy, put yourself in the shoes of the decision-maker. As a decision-maker of a company whose main purpose is to run a business, you will need to know its Return on Investment (RoI). In simple terms, what incremental benefit does the company get, by you doing a course or attending a conference?
While you can always speak intangibles, like this will help us to do better testing, statements like these will not add much value to your pitch.
It is important to communicate a tangible incremental benefit from the course you intend to do to the decision-maker.
- By doing a certain Bootcamp on selenium, you are confident that you can automate 25% of your current test cases and replace 25% of the manual effort. You can calculate the value of that 25% manual effort and communicate.
- By doing a certain workshop on Load testing, you are preparing your product for the future. Your product is expected to have 10000 concurrent users in the next 6 months and you want to be prepared right now to avoid any loss of business later.
Communicating this value will help in any case. If you get approval to do the course, great. If not, you will be (in all possibilities) appreciated for your approach towards communicating the value.
It’s time to talk
After doing all the homework, knowing the decision-makers, it is time to talk to them about all the homework you have done. Though this is a subjective item, some thumb rules will increase your chances of getting it done.
- Be respectful. You really want to make it work Vs threatening. Avoid statements like, “I will leave the organisation if not reimbursed”. Instead, communicate like, “I really want to do this course and I am confident that it will generate the value I committed, give me a chance”.
- Understand the other side’s point of view. You eventually want the company to reimburse you for your course and not create an experience that leaves bad blood at the end.
If you could convince your manager for reimbursement, great, we hope this blog helped.
If you could not, it’s okay. You learnt a lot of things in the process, go back and think a little about why it didn’t work. Think from a perspective of improving the next time not from a perspective that things can never change in this organisation.
I hope this blog helped you solve your initial inhibitions of asking for reimbursement and gave you a good framework to go about it.
Bonus Tip: Not all learning experiences are paid. There are a lot of high-quality free events happening as well. Some of them are being done by TTT, go check them out here.
Did you like the blog or did you not like it? Either way, do share your feedback in the comments section.