Although a highly trained workforce is considered a key to success in most industries, training budgets are often among the first items cut when a company needs to reduce its spending. If you think a particular training program is worth fighting for, write a letter justifying the program and its expense. A letter for training justification needs to address the program's costs, benefits, business value and accountability.
Define the Need
One way to justify training is to show how it will improve the skills you need to do your job effectively. Training is a primary means of closing a skills gap, and the right training can help you develop skills and knowledge that make you a more valuable employee. For example, if you work in human resources and need training to learn about new laws that affect several company policies, justify the training by explaining how it will improve your ability to identify and address potential compliance issues.
Show Business Value
Connecting training results with a concrete business value is another way to justify training. In the justification letter, describe how a new or improved skill will benefit the business unit. For example, if the desired training will teach you how to use an updated billing software program, describe how this knowledge will result in fewer billing errors and quicker customer invoice processing. The resulting business value can be described in terms of improved cash flow and better customer relations.
Cover the Costs
Cost vs. benefit is almost always weighed when it comes to business expenditures, including training. In a letter justifying training, lay out all the costs, including travel, lodging, meals and training fees. Also, calculate a numerical value for the expected business value and provide a comparison of cost vs. value in the letter to make it easier for the decision maker to see the cost-to-benefit relationship. Be sure to have data on hand to back up the numbers, such as how projected increased sales from a sales training seminar will exceed the costs of the seminar in less than six months.
Close with Conviction
A commitment to use what you have learned in a training program should also be addressed in a training justification letter. Let the decision maker know you will be accountable and will capitalize on the training once you return to work. Describe at least one metric you intend to use to track transfer of training to the job. For example, if the desired training will teach you actionable time management skills, describe how you will use the techniques learned to help you complete your work in a timely manner. Set a reasonable deadline for the decision maker to see actual results.