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Budgeting Nothing From Nothing: What to do when they tell you there is no budget


Out of all the articles I have ever written, this has been the hardest one. I have had to reflect back on fifteen years of training and consulting to begin penning the insights I want to provide you. Please know that this is my most heart-felt story to provide you, the reader as to how to obtain training when your organization tells you that it is not financially possible for you or your team to obtain training.

If you will notice, in the past paragraph I use the phrase ‘obtain training’. My reason for using this statement is that there are various types of training out there. There are books you can read, online resources to provide information or (like what we provide) classroom instruction with a live instructor. Any of these forms of training are what you should be striving to ‘obtain’. The challenge is getting your upper level to approve these methods. This article’s goal is to provide you steps to achieve this goal.

The following are rebuttals to present when you are informed with their response:
1. There are no funds – Ask when they will be available or why they are not available
2. There are no funds – Can you send the primary users instead of all the users ( this is covered in the next paragraph)
3. The time is not right – When is the best time or what is making the current timing not the best time
4. We are short staffed – Portion out your staff training rather than sending all the staff

The following are tips when presenting when you know that you are going to be told the answer “no”.
• Start larger with your request. If you have a team of 10, present the original 10. When they tell you that they cannot afford this, tell them then at least 3 primary users need to go, cutting the cost by 70%. Make sure you tell them the percentile reduction as well. Make them realize the cost value that you are saving. This will allow you an easier bargaining chip.
• Know why you need the training versus why you want the training. The ‘need’ will normally win over ‘want’.
• Explain what your needs are and where you currently are.

The following is an outline of the request process I normally take. You might have a better approach since each workforce varies.
• Identify where the strengths are within your team
• Identify where the weaknesses are within your team
• Identify where the strains are within your team – Not as brutal as a weakness yet there are still hindrances.
• Identify the key attendees of a class against the total amount of the team – If this number is 100% then there is a critical issue

Remember, if your organization is going to upgrade the technology, you need to upgrade the knowledge. Be involved with your IT department so you are aware of coming changes within your organization.

This article is not that long since this one is limited on each organization. What it all boils down to is what they can do and what you are willing to do in return. Remember, training is not a privilege, it is a necessity. Also, remember that it is impossible to state all the possible responses so if you have any additional responses with rebuttals, please let me know!

This is the 2nd of 5 in a series in Training Your Organization to Be Better by Silas M. Carson.
1st – Defenses, Justifications, Explanations – They Aare All Excuses
Why companies will not do training and the rebuttals
2nd – Budgeting Nothing From Nothing
What to do when they tell you there is no budget
3rd – Apple turnovers are yummy. Employee Turnovers…Not So Much
How to keep your superstar employees
4th – My Favorite Color Is Clear
What technology is here now & in the future
5th – Size Matters
How to effectively evaluate your company’s purchases.

Silas M. Carson is one of our instructors who also speaks on bettering business performance and soft skills. Our instructors provide insightful knowledge, both inside and outside the classrooms.

To schedule a class, or to have Silas speak at an event, please contact me directly.

Tim West – CIO
Illume Training, LLC – Illuminating Your Knowledge
PO Box 802041 | Dallas, TX 75380-2041
214.991.5999 | |

One Response

  1. Learning VS Training

    I am working in human resources with the learning team and everyday I met people that faces training challenges. That’s why, in our organization, we are more and more talking about learning instead of training which refers mostly to formal, classroom format style of activities and of course, that has a cost. Learning is a more broader words that is much more inclusive than training. It includes all the informal methods of learning mentioned in the article and much more such as job shadowing, self directed studies and site visit. And of course, those methods, which are proven to be more effective with adult, cost a lot less than traditional training. When organizing learning events for adult, you need to consider the adult learning style which is experiential…they learn by doing! So having them to sit in a classroom is not the best leanring environment. Second, you also need to take in consideration what they need to learn. If it’s knowledge, regular training could be good enough, but if you want them to develop competencies and skills, they will need much more than that. Developing a learning culture in an organization requires creativity, collaboration, adaptability and innovation. Be open to new ways of learning and don’t be shy to try new things….because learning should be fun!

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