Asking your boss for a bigger L&D budget is probably about as enjoyable as a root canal, especially if they don’t really see the value in improving learning and education. But if you’re passionate about L&D and know that your organization could do way better, asking for a bump in the budget might be necessary. If you strategize correctly, you can create a bid for better learning that is practically impossible to deny.

Focus on these three areas and your boss will be ready to allocate the funds and finally revamp your learning program.

Pilot the Program

If you want your boss to say yes to a higher allocation for L&D, it’s best to show instead of tell. Creating a well-done, positive pilot module can demonstrate exactly where current training initiatives are failing, and just how you expect to pump them up and create more engaged learners. Instead of getting your boss to commit to more cash sight unseen, you come to the table with a sample that helps her better envision a new learning strategy.

A good instructional design firm can help you knock that first program out of the park. After all, they have a stake in getting more budget allocated, too.

We have top instructional designers that can help. If you have a project, tell us about it here.

Survey Learners

To understand where your current L&D is going wrong, go straight to the source and ask the learners. An informal survey of those who are the most affected by L&D can help you build a more convincing case for your boss.

Ask your learners questions such as:

  • What do you like about our current system?
  • What do you dislike about our current system?
  • Where could we improve to make you more likely to participate?
  • How would you like to receive your training?
  • Do you feel like our current system helps you become a better employee?

Get specifics when you can and compile the data in a way that compels your boss to take a second look at current programs and what learners really think about them.

Align with Business Initiatives

Your boss is concerned with the bottom line, and with L&D, the bottom line is ROI. Return on investment for training is notoriously difficult to measure, but you can make it an easier sell by aligning training initiatives to overall business initiatives.

By explaining exactly how your organization can benefit from a bigger L&D budget, you remind your boss that better-trained employees are safer, more effective, and more productive. Whether it’s an increase in sales, better customer service, a global workplace, or some other business strategy, solid training makes for an improved workforce. Pick out some of your organization’s main business initiatives, and then match your training plans and budget to meet those needs.

It might not be the easiest argument to win, but if you’re passionate about revolutionizing L&D at your workplace, talking to your boss is a must. Armed with a bigger budget, you’ll know that finally, your organization is taking training as seriously as you are.