Overcoming objections to workplace training is probably not listed on the job description of the average Training Administrator, yet the responsibility to sell training rests very heavily on their shoulders. The Alusani® Course Leader talks about how to target your message and win over your co-workers.
In order for training to take place you need buy-in from three groups:
Executive and senior level managers
Middle managers and supervisors
The actual training participants/employees
“Start at the top” says the Alusani® Course Leader. Winning the confidence of top managers will give your pitch credibility. The rest of the organisation will be more willing to accept or comply with an idea that has senior level backing.
Remember that every group has a different focus or concern. Identify the priorities of each and develop a message that specifically addresses those concerns.
Top managers are primarily concerned with the cost of training and the benefit to the bottom line.
Win the confidence of senior executives by providing statistical evidence. Start with an audit of the current skills gaps. Present relevant information on the performance of the team or individuals, addressing issues such as the “level of disciplinary action or product decline.”
Demonstrate the need for training through qualitative and quantitative analysis. It is also a good idea to present a “benefits vs. cost ratio analysis” says the Alusani® Course Leader.
Middle managers are operations-focused. Their concerns will centre on the logistical aspects of training. In other words, how long will it be, when will it take place and how will it affect the daily work environment.
In addition, middle managers will want to know the benefits or the practical application of training. “Describe how it will improve the way employees perform their daily tasks.” Advises the Alusani® Course Leader.
Getting the actual training participants interested and excited about training can be especially challenging. If the training requires employees to be out of the office, address concerns about missed work. Employees may be weary of attending training if they anticipate a heavy workload when they return to the office.
Explain the personal benefits of training. Point out that an improvement in skills and performance, can potentially lead to increases in salaries and similar rewards. Discuss how the training programme or qualification can be added to their CV to improve their scope of work.
If you want to win people over you need to convey what’s in it for them. Talking about the features of training or discussing a training programme is good but people are more interested in how much they need to sacrifice and what they will gain by participating.
“Don’t sell the programme, sell the benefits” says the Alusani® Course Leader.
For more insights on workplace training and skills development join the Effective Training Management and Administration course by Alusani Skills and Training Network . For more information call 011 447 7470, email
By Cindy Payle