With so many online learning tools out there, it’s no surprise that people are spending on average 14 hours a month learning outside of work. It’s easier than ever to access new knowledge and skills. But juggling learning, work and a life can be difficult – it’d be much better if you could do some of your learning at work, especially if it benefits your role.
There are all sorts of benefits you can get from learning at work – from being more engaged in your job to improving your personal development. It can even make you happier.
So, with that in mind, here’s my how-to guide to help you convince your boss that you should take a FutureLearn course during work hours.
- Find out if you’re already allowed
Before you start seeking out the perfect course to do at work, first find out if your company has a training policy or budget allowance for employees. If you can’t find anything in your contract, speak to someone in HR to find out if a policy exists. If you are allowed, great – get started on finding a course.
If not, it means you need to spend a bit more time on the next step.
- Do your research
Now you know where you stand, get started on your search for the perfect course. A few questions to consider:
- What are your learning goals?
- How long will it take?
- How much time can you commit each week?
…It’s worth noting that all FutureLearn course content is step by step, so won’t eat into your work time.
- How does the course benefit your role, well-being and professional development?
- Is it accredited?
Having good answers to these questions will be crucial in the next step: the pitch to your boss.
- Present a good case to your boss
Now you’re ready with all the info on the course, it’s time to state your case. We’ve found that it’s usually more effective to email first (here’s a handy e-mail template), presenting the course you’d like to do along with a quick summary of why. Then follow it up with a face-to-face meeting.
This way you have two chances to convince your boss and it gives them an opportunity to process the request in their own time.
- Anticipate a struggle
It’s very possible that your boss will say no to your request or want further justification. Anticipate these questions and get your answers ready, you’ll be far more likely to get a yes. The key thing is being prepared.
Likely questions might include:
- How much will it cost?
- how does this benefit the organisation?
- How will taking this course affect the projects you need to deliver?
- Offer to share your knowledge with other colleagues
If your boss is still wavering, it’s worth mentioning how your learnings can impact the wider business – offer to share your new skills with colleagues. Presenting back a summary of your learnings or offering to mentor other team members on that specific topic.
Alex’s pro tip: These sessions go down well with snacks
- Celebrate your new skills
By now, your boss has no doubt said yes. So let’s jump forward to when you’ve finished your course:
You’ve picked up new skills, grown in confidence and had some rewarding working hours learning. Now what?
It’s time to celebrate your hard work. Many of our courses offer upgrades, buying one of these (or having one bought for you) can help you prove your learning and demonstrate your commitment to a given subject and your professional development.
If all else fails and your boss needs further convincing, get in touch with us and we can help you present a convincing case.