How do I get my organisation to support my development?


(And get financial support to attend training and development activities)

Gaining access to organisational funds for development purposes can be tricky, yet many employees see it is the organisation’s responsibility to help them develop their skills for the role they do today and for the future. However not all organisations agree on this, and fewer organisations have budget to support such initiatives, so here are five ways you can ask for your employer’s support (emotional and financial) to gain development.

  1. Think about the organisation’s strategy and then look at what you plan to undertake, how will this development enable them to meet their strategy? Show them how you align to their future.
  2. What can you do to give back to the organisation? That’s right, whether it is knowledge sharing, or reporting back to your manager on how you plan to utilise or implement what you are learning or how it has impacted your thinking, provide your manager with a solid way to know what you are doing and how the organisation is benefiting.
  3. Link the development for your future roles and your plan for staying at the organisation. Use your performance and development review to link to your future and what you need to do today as well.
  4. Be prepared to put in your own time and cash. The biggest question to be answered here is: would you pay for the training/development yourself and would use your annual leave to go? If the answer is no, you can’t expect the organisation to support you. Be passionate about your development and take responsibility and accountability for it. Be prepared to match the organisational commitment in terms of resources if needs be.
  5. Align your actions and words to the development you wish to undertake. Whether it is gaining a degree, or attending a short course, if you always talk of leaving or how you have no time, the organisation will not ask you to find more time or invest in your development. Show the organisation how you plan to undertake this development while still doing your current role.

Consider, why the organisation should or would pay for you to attend a course. If it is just based on the entitlement attitude you are unlikely to succeed, but with a  little bit of planning and some strategic thinking and application, you will be well on your way to having organisational support.