If you’re keen to learn more about automation then you may be wondering how to justify a training budget to your boss. Taking a course is the best way to fast-track your learning but usually comes at a price. Here we tackle the ways you can successfully approach this potentially awkward conversation to guarantee a successful result!
Check your training policy
The first step in justifying an automation training budget may be the easiest, as there could be a provision already be in your contract that you can undertake a certain period of learning and development each year. Or your department may have a training policy and budget already, so it’s just a case of making sure you get to access some of it.
If you have a training department or member of staff who is in charge of learning and development then ask them what the process is to request a specific training course or programme.
If you have access to a training budget then read on for tips for approaching your boss to use it to learn about automation.
How will an automation training budget benefit the organisation?
To justify an automation training budget the second step is to demonstrate how learning about it will benefit the organisation. These need to be specific, concrete benefits that will make it a no-brainer for your boss to approve the budget.
For example, you can calculate how many hours of manual tasks you’ll save if they can be automated, and then turn that into a cash saving for the business. Automation will affect the bottom line and improve cash flow so you can calculate the ROI (return on investment) and use that in your request for training.
As well as time and money savings, there are other benefits of automation.
Triggering tasks automatically results in fewer human errors, so your data is cleaner, your customers are happier and your staff know they can trust the information they process.
Talking about improved customer relations is very powerful, and is a common benefit of automation because you are dealing with their business more efficiently, quickly and make fewer mistakes. It doesn’t mean losing the human touch, and learning about automation will show you how to personalise the communications with customers even if they’re automated, so that your customers still feel valued.
How will an automation training budget help your role?
The third step in how to justify an automation training budget is to show how it will help your role.
During the training programme you will likely mix with people from other companies and you will get an insight how things are done there, and pick up some tips along the way. They may already be automating processes that are similar to yours, so you’ll get a wide range of examples to use back in your own job.
Ideally, you will have some future projects planned which you can use to demonstrate your new-found skills. You can list the tasks which would benefit from being automated to save time, money, and make the process more streamlined.
You can reassure your boss that your new-found knowledge will be used in your current role and will make it less likely you’ll leave, to go elsewhere and learn about automation.
Learning about automation will improve other skills such as decision-making, which means it will affect your overall performance, and you’ll be able to pass on some of these skills to your co-workers too.
Research the options
When researching the right automation training for you, there are a number of factors to consider.
There will likely be a range of automation training courses available, some online and some in-person. These days, online courses are the most practical, and some include live video lessons so it’s just like being in the classroom. The benefit of these is that you don’t have the hassle of travelling there or the cost of overnight accommodation!
You’ll need to research the cost of training, and how much time you’ll need to commit to each week. You will need to find out from your boss whether you can do some of the training in your work time, or whether it needs to be done in the evenings.
Find out what certification will be provided at the end of the course, as this can vary for different training providers.
Review the results
Finally, when justifying an automation training budget you must commit to using your new skills on the job. Ideally, you would include a commitment to use what you’ve learned in a specific time and decide on some measurable results which you can demonstrate to your boss.
Ultimately, all training and development is designed to close a skills gap and make you a more valuable employee, so it is in your boss’s interest – as well as your own – for you to learn about automation.
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