The Easy Way to Make a Business Case for Training

Whether you’re a senior executive wanting to upskill your team or an HR or L&D professional looking to implement a new training initiative, building a business case for training that compels your key stakeholders to jump in with two feet is your first and most important step.

So how do you convince your stakeholders to say yes without a flinch?

When building your case for training, you need to start by answering this crucial question: What’s in it for ‘them’?

You might like the idea of a particular training course, it may be on-trend, it may even be highly recommended by someone you trust and respect but that won’t mean anything if you can’t convince your stakeholders that the training will benefit the organisation in some real and tangible way.

A word of caution: Training is perceived by many decision-makers as a ‘nice to do’ rather than an organisational imperative. That means training won’t be given the priority it deserves if you can’t clearly articulate what the training will deliver, what difference it will make and who it will benefit.

Your business case must address what problem the training is solving for your organisation and the opportunities it provides for real growth and development.

Ask yourself: In what ways will the training help to improve performance indicators such as:

  • Retention
  • Engagement
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Relationships
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Delivery
  • Quality
  • Productivity
  • Performance
  • Sales
  • Profit
  • Growth
  • Customer relationships

It’s important to remember that it’s not always easy for people to see the link between a training course and hard commercial results such as some of these (particularly when you’re trying to develop soft skills) so it’s your job to use your business case to quantify the benefits in clear and certain terms and take away any room for doubt.

Get really clear by putting measurable targets against the most relevant performance indicators and be specific about the monetary value expected as this will help you to do a cost-benefit analysis and predict an ROI that will be hard for your stakeholders to ignore.

Don’t opt out of this crucial step as this could be the one thing that swings the business case in your favour. If you feel uncomfortable putting a value against the training, then why would anyone feel comfortable investing in it?

The training you want to implement is far more likely to be approved if you can show exactly how the training will deliver real results and help to achieve elements of organisational strategy, goals and objectives.

Doing this hard work upfront will reap benefits in the long run however if you’re very savvy, you can choose training partners who embed this level of scrutiny into every programme.

At Notion, we’re committed to helping our clients deliver a fantastic ROI and we embed measures and processes throughout our training programmes to ensure they can achieve this. Our clients typically see a 5-100 times ROI from our programmes which due to our sustainability efforts can continue to grow long after the programme is finished.

We’re so confident that our programmes can deliver positive shifts in behaviour which significantly improve commercial results that we even allowed our award-winning online management development programme STAR® Manager to be put at the centre of the largest government study of its kind anywhere in the world. The study was independently evaluated by the London School of Economics and investigated how adopting Operational Coaching® as a management style could drive productivity. The results documented up to £19 million worth of potential benefits, 74 times average learner ROI and statistically proven changes in management performance and capability within a 6-month time frame.

When you can add evidence like this to your business case for training you’ll quickly secure the confidence of your stakeholders and be in a much stronger position to take your training and your organisation to the next level.

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