Getting Your Company On Board with Your Growth
Patrice Ford Lyn C.P.C
Working With Your Employer To Pay For Your Coaching & Leadership Development
So, you want to get a coach but need help offsetting the investment. Many businesses have a pool of discretionary funds, or professional development budgets, and being able to get coaching funded by your employer may hinge simply on being able to make a compelling argument.
How possible is it? In this blog I share:
real examples of what my clients have done,
information that makes a compelling case, and
tips for crafting the request.
It is easier when you are the CEO. A number of my clients just need me to send an invoice and their human resource (HR) team then sends the payment. But, what if you’re not the CEO? Truth is, sometimes we think it’s harder than it is. Many organizations aren’t interested in poring over the intricacies of your request. They have a policy, you fill out a form, and they either send a check or provide you reimbursement directly. (This is how I got my own coaching certification training covered.)
However, it can be more challenging so let’s look at how other clients approached their employers. One client talked to her HR representative and found their policy covered half the cost of personal development learning experiences. She used this information to offset the costs of working with me. After working together for three months she met her coaching goals and was excited to create and meet new ones. This time when she approached her human resource team she could give them specific proof points about how valuable the coaching had been and they covered the whole cost.
Another client received push back on her request for coaching. She was told that there were ‘constraints’ on the company’s professional development budget. They suggested that she take a different training that was more “business” related. She persisted, making a compelling argument for how her growth translates to their business. When you are valued and can make the link between your success and their success, it is more likely that you will get what you want. So know that even when there isn’t an explicit policy and even if you get push back, it is entirely possible.
So how do you make a compelling argument? You likely already have the skill set to organize information and present recommendations. After all, you are already successful at what you do. The difference is, instead of advocating for an initiative, now you’re advocating for yourself.
Relate the investment in yourself to a return on investment (ROI) for your employer by tying professional development to specific strategic, departmental, or position goals. Employees who apply new skills and knowledge to their work help their company become more competitive.
If you think it would be helpful, share how efficient it is to have virtual coaching - as compared to the time and travel expenses involved in going to an in-person training - which would likely take you out of the office.
Find the Natural Openings.
Find out your HR guidelines on funding for training, personal development, and professional development. Talk to the HR department. Review the employee handbook. What are the options for discretionary funding? You may have the opportunity to reference more than one pathway for funding to make your case. Knowing the stated options helps you to better understand how to craft your approach.
Who has done or is doing something similar? Talk to your colleagues. What are the precedents for organizational investment in professional development within your organization? Is there a history of others having access to professional development? What rationale did they use? What pocket of money did it come from?
What are the success stories that you can share? Who can you cite as someone who became more valuable to the organization after getting training? Share the examples and show how the same applies to you.
Arm Yourself with Compelling Statistics and Facts.
People don’t leave because they get training, they leave because they don't. One of the biggest reasons people quit is because their manager doesn’t invest in their professional development.
In a survey of the Society for Human Resource Management 36% of respondents rated professional development as “very important” to their satisfaction
In a national survey of over 400 employees spanning three generations 70% of the respondents indicated that job-related training and development opportunities influenced their decision to stay at their job
The International Coaching Federation provides additional insights:
70% of people who have used a coach report improved work performance
80% report increased confidence
72% report increased communication skills
96% report that they found the process very valuable and would do it again
A 10% increase in workforce education level led to an 8.6% gain in total productivity
Middlesex University for Work Based Learning commissioned a long-term research project that found, from a 4,300 workers sample, 74% felt that they weren't achieving their full potential at work due to lack of development opportunities.
Share Testimonials and Build Credibility.
Provide a testimonial from one of my clients if that would resonate. You can find a few at www.catapultlifecoaching.com under the Client Reflections section. If you need testimonials that touch on other points let me know, I have a bunch.
Your employer will likely find coaching more credible if they believe your coach actually has business chops so highlight my credentials. I was a management consultant for 10 years. I have worked with corporate, government and nonprofit leaders to build their organizations while supporting them through their own personal growth. I have two Ivy League degrees - an undergraduate from Yale University and a graduate degree in nonprofit management from Harvard. And, I have been in business as a coach for eight years.
Steal This Email to help get things started:
I am writing to request executive coaching. Right now, I feel an opportunity for growth in _____________ will help me to ________________.
A few specific points that really highlighted the benefit for me: The International Coaching Federation has found 70% of people who have used a coach report improved work performance, 80% report increased confidence, and 72% report increased communication skills. This sounds like a good fit for me!
I have already found an amazing coach who I have spoken with and trust.
Patrice Ford Lyn is a certified professional coach She is a seasoned professional with 20 years of experience in strategic planning and organizational development - 10 of those as a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton. She also guided the start up of three national-level organizations. She has a proven track record of supporting her clients to get the results they want and need.
It costs $XXX (depending on what we are doing together) to work with her for three months. Having a coach will help me _________, _________, and _________. I would like to get started right away. She is taking another cohort of clients now and I don’t want to miss my window to work with her.
You’re a go getter. Go after what you want.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your initial consultation (complimentary) and to get the coaching details you need to be on your way.