10 Tips to Help You Get the Budget You Need for Trainings

Training can be a tough sell in today’s environment. Between government shutdowns and tight fiscal budgets, it can almost seem impossible to find the time and money to go to trainings. Even our own GovLoop community members have expressed that their biggest deterrents to attending trainings are a lack of leadership buy-in and a small budget.

However, there’s still hope! Yesterday our GovLoop Ambassadors met for a virtual chat about best government trainings/practices and discussed ways in which government employees might be able to go about asking for training support.

Hopefully, these 10 tips can help you negotiate your way to better training opportunities and inform others of your progress.

  1. Do Your Research

Don’t wait until the last minute to ask for training dollars. Get ahead of the game by understanding the necessary budget and timeline leading up to the training. Visit Human Resources to see if your agency’s budget has room for training and follow up with them about any paperwork required to request training.

  1. Emphasize the Return on Investment for Your Agency

The absolute best way to get your agency to agree to a training is by emphasizing they can capitalize on your success. Make sure your delivery of the training proposal to your manager or HR really sells the end result of the training by expressing the amount of value it could bring to the organization. It’s important for your agency to know that the training you want to attend is valuable and can provide an overall increase in knowledge to not just you, but to the rest of your team as well.

  1. Be Open and Responsive to Possible Refusal

Don’t immediately shut down if the answer you receive is negative. Have a positive mindset and keep your momentum. If the training can’t happen this cycle, ask if you might be able to go at another time or see if it’s possible to set aside a larger budget for training next year.

  1. Take Notes

If you’re fortunate enough to attend a training, make sure to take lots of notes! Not only do you want to have a good understanding of the topic, but you’ll also want to be able to share what you learned with your manager as well.

  1. Engage with the Facilitator

Don’t be afraid to speak with the presenters about their sessions! Speaking with a presenter might give you a better understanding of the material and thus a greater amount of knowledge to share with your manager. He/she will be impressed that you went the extra mile!

  1. Be Social

Don’t forget to network! Trainings are a great opportunity to get to know other people in your community and make connections. Bring business cards with you and pass them out to everyone you have a meaningful conversation with.

  1. Go in with a Purpose

Make a list of things you’d like to accomplish while at the training. If your manager is looking for certain feedback about a particular session or speaker, make sure to jot that down. It’s also good practice to set guidelines for yourself about the number of people you’d like to speak to or certain sessions you’d like to attend.

  1. Follow Up

Don’t forget to follow up with the people you connect with at the training. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the day after, but a quick email can go a long way.

  1. Share Your Knowledge

Having a brown bag lunch meeting is an excellent way to share your knowledge. Remember, the point of the training isn’t just to increase your values, but also the value of your team as well.

  1. Keep Your Manager in the Loop

Make sure your manager is actively involved in the entire process. If the training you attend goes well and the feedback you share makes an impact, your manager might recommend that you and your staff attend more training in the future!

If you’re interested in looking for more information regarding training best practices make sure to check out our “Top Training Resources to Meet Government’s In-Demand Skills” guide!