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How do I build a business case for coaching or training investment for my team?

The first step is to identify the behavioural change needed for the individuals in the team. After that we can build a series of themes around which a training plan can be built.

This could look like either one or two training sessions or perhaps many more depending on the requirements and challenges of the team.

A solid businesses case will link clearly to stated departmental and business objectives. In the business case it is necessary to illustrate these departmental objectives clearly and to emphasize how the training aligns with broader strategic goals of the organization. In this way the request will show this initiative contributes to long-term success and growth.

Build a business case

How do I build a business case for coaching or training investment for my team? continued

For example the activities could create outcomes which support employee development to increase team efficiency and performance as well as succession planning within the team. This type of long term strategic thinking is more likely to yield a positive response from both HR and business leadership.

Next you will want to describe the “Learning Outcomes” you are planning to realise though the training. Your training provider should be of help here as most professional training practises have content to meet this requirement.

For example having participated in a team work training a learning outcome relating to team work could be “Participants will be able to share their ideas and critique ideas of other’s respectfully.” Or a learning outcome relating to Communications skills could be “ They can use questioning techniques to explore the desired outcomes of different parties.”

There is a science to well written learning outcomes and carefully planning is required with your training provider to ensure they fit your needs. Following your brief however it is the role of the training provider to ensure that outcomes are relevant, and realistic. In the learning outcome document there should be appropriate action verbs are used to state the change which will be realised from the training intervention. As in the example above where the action verbs are in bold.

A professional business case will also include a planned tracking and measurement process. Including this increases the credibility and professionalism of the initiative. The types of ROI that can be measured may include qualitative measures such as a post session participant survey where attendees in the cohort can be asked what changes have occurred. Even better is a way to ensure the business has been materially impacted. This might include cost savings, targets being met, sales quotas, and internal or external customer satisfaction scores.

While each of these measures have a series of different influences a meaningful correlation will be measurable and attainable. Employee engagement measures are also going to be closely aligned with learning and development investment these might form part of an existing engagement survey or a specific planned assessment created as part of the programme.

Provide a clear expression of the anticipated investment levels together with a cost breakdown. Allow a contingency to cover additional sessions, travel, venue and accommodation or F and B as may be needed. This is best presented in table format with as much detail as possible. It is in your training provides interest to provide this information to ensure no uncomfortable affordability issues arise.

Ask your provider to incorporate their credentials and relevant experience in their proposal so that you can share this information. Having an explanation of the benefits of using a particular provider and any cost savings they have offered you will demonstrate the selection and commercials have been carefully considered.

It is always worthwhile to include a section on risks and potential solutions or planned adaptations. For example what happens if someone is not working well with their Trainer, or not getting what they need? How will you find out about this and what can you do to plan ahead to embed solutions?

Engage all relevant internal sign offs early and effectively. If you need HR and or finance sign off then give advanced warning and take them on the whole journey with you so they are aware and involved throughout.

Tailor your communication to the decision-makers, highlighting the aspects that are most relevant to them. For example finance might be most interested in value for money while HR might want this programme to be seen as a key part of a wider strategic initiative or have a closer view of the credentials of the provider.

Remember to always customize your business case to your organization’s culture and priorities.

Often budgetary sign off processes also come down to the strength of your internal relationships. If you turn up unannounced and expect a quick response it is less likely to be forthcoming than if the individuals involved have a greater stake in the outcome because you have built a strong professional working relationship.

If you need our help with this Transform would be happy to support you.

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