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Four Questions To Ask Before Paying For An Employee's Training

  An employee asks you to pay for additional training that he says he needs to do his job better. How do you know that the training will benefit the company? Is he really asking you to fund skill building that will help him land a new job somewhere else?  

by Dick Jones Communications
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Answering four key questions can help in deciding whether or not to pay for an employee's training.Photo courtesy of Dick Jones CommunicationsHR managers and others faced with such decisions can follow the lead of Peter DeVries, chief operating officer of Destiny Solutions. DeVries asks employees to write him a small proposal answering the following questions:

  • “How will this training affect your current projects or role?”
  • “Is this training part of a larger learning goal (i.e. a certification or degree)?”
  • “Can you describe how you researched this course or education provider to demonstrate that the content is useful and cost effective?”
  • “Are you willing to present to your peers a summary of the key learning outcomes from this training?”

“This is simply a pragmatic approach ensuring that the employee is not just looking to take any training, but training that provides value to them, and hopefully, the company,” says DeVries, whose firm provides business software solutions for non-traditional divisions of leading higher education institutions.

DeVries says that in his experience, “there are always two practical outcomes from training that immediately benefit the company regardless of the specific request.”

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The first is that training allows work experience to be paired with best practices or formal methodology. It permits the employee to match what they are doing with what they should be doing based on a body of knowledge.

The second is that the employee can come back to the firm and present one of three outcomes:

  1. “Watch what I learned how to do”
  2. “I’ve validated how we are doing things”
  3. “We need to change what we are doing”

“Any of these responses can be incredibly valuable to an organization,” he says.