Zoe Training Blog

Three Keys to Bigger Training Budgets



As the clock ticks down on another year, we reach those months when many of us are putting the final touches on next year’s training budgets. 
How did your last budget review meeting go? 
NEGATIVE – Management poked at your programs, questioned expenditures, and dismissed explanations. The meeting was oriented around how to cut costs, even though you’ve already cut to the bone. You barely escaped with your life and your job. 
NEUTRAL – Management reviewed your programs and performance without enthusiasm. Your results didn’t spark much discussion and the meeting was pro forma. You weren’t asked to participate in any new initiatives, so you’ll probably get the same budget and headcount as last year. 
POSITIVE – Management high-fived your review of improvements. Your solid answers to their questions sparked enthusiastic brainstorming over which business initiatives you can help attack next year. They saw you as an essential contributor to the organization and allocated more training resources to match. 
If your review didn’t land in the POSITIVE category, take heart, and then look at what Lean Knowledge Transfer can do for you. Resolve to do these three things, and next year you’ll be sitting tall at the budget table. 
#1: Think and Talk Like a CEO 
Too often, executives see training as a necessary evil rather than the improvement powerhouse it can be. The only way you’ll ever change that is to stop being a training person trying to fit into the business world and become a businessperson working in the training space. 
The best thing you can do for your company (and your career) is to view yourself as a problem solver who delivers measurable business value by improving knowledge transfer. 
#2: Use Lean KT to Eliminate “Business Defects” 
In Lean parlance, Business Defects are, quite simply, things that go wrong: product failures, rude customer service, incorrect diagnoses, wrong deliveries, missed deadlines and inaccurate estimates, just to name a few. 
Business Defects cost your organization money, time, and reputation. They keep managers and executives up at night. When training helps eliminate business defects with measurable results, you’ll be visible, valuable and will be allocated resources accordingly. 
#3: Frame Your Training Results in Terms of Business Impact 
Once you’ve helped eliminate Business Defects and you’ve achieved measurable results, make sure to report them in strong business language. 
Which of the following is more likely to get you that positive budget review? 
                  A.    “We trained 500 employees in our Unforgettable Customer Service class.” 
                  B.    “Customer satisfaction decreased last year by 27%. We identified 6 key skills that 18 of our service reps were deficient in and gave them special training.                            As a result, we made up the 27% and raised satisfaction by another ten percent.” 
See the difference? 
If you want more budget, use Lean KT methods to prove that the money being spent on training is improving business performance. It’s that simple.