Training, formal or informal, is an important ingredient for growth and development. Not all training is of a high quality, but training serves to stimulate your heart and mind – it gets you to think more broadly, exposes you to other possibilities and helps you evaluate your own progress. Most companies provide adequate training opportunities, particularly focused on the technical skills necessary for operational goals to be achieved. Not all companies, however, consistently develop employees, often leaving employees wondering about the next steps to their growth.
When you sense that personal development is necessary, there are a number of things you can do before asking for further training from your boss:
- Enrol yourself in an online course – many of these are free or very cheap and are often reasonably helpful
- Read extensively – there is no shortage of information in physical or digital libraries. Take notes and start developing your own folder on the subject
- Ask someone you trust to coach you – my greatest moments of growth have been when I have submitted myself to a coach’s wisdom, instruction and guidance
- Research your own job in other parts of the world on the internet – use discussion forums to gain insight into trends within your profession
Once you have exhausted these possibilities and feel that you could well do with further training, approach your boss about the matter. Training is an essential ingredient in the growth and development recipe. Not all training needs to be formal, however, as you as an employee should be developing yourself continually. When planning your development steps, which may or may not involve your boss, consider the following actions:
- Develop a vision statement of where you would like to be in the next five years. Focus on areas which include: personal growth (who you want to be as a human being), professional growth (becoming better at what you do in your job), career growth (where you would like your career to develop), etc.
- Define what development you will need in order to achieve your vision. Be very specific here – for example, I will need to sharpen my Excel skills to better manage my department’s budget; I need assertiveness training to enhance my communication skills; I need supervisory skills training so that I can lead better, etc.
- Establish from the above needs list what you can do on your own without requiring help from the company (for example, you may enrol for assertiveness training online and practise with a self-appointed coach).
- Establish from the above needs list with what you would like the company to assist you – perhaps you are aware of some courses that the company offers that you know could assist you with your growth.
- Approach your boss with your vision and training requirements list and outline what you will be taking responsibility of for yourself.
- Before asking your boss for training help from the company, clarify your training needs with your boss (You can say: “Here is my list which I have compiled – are you able to pinpoint any gaps or any needs that I may be overlooking?”)
- Ask your boss to assist you in prioritising your training needs – it is important to align your development with company needs.
- Finally, ask your boss when your first training can be scheduled (obviously in line with company/departmental budget allocations).
Set out a training plan, get your boss to sign off on it and register the same with the human resources department.
Free To Grow offers numerous personal and professional training and development opportunities – see www.freetogrow.com