Training Budget

I have had all kinds of experiences with companies having a training budget for employees. A couple years ago I worked for a very generous company. They were small. One of the benefits was that you had a guaranteed annual training budget. You could spend $2500 on any class you wanted. The problem was that you only got 3 days off from work for any given class. Most classes I liked were at least 4, and sometimes 5 days long. I still managed to take a couple training classes while working at that company. They were slow to pay the training invoices. So I got hounded by the training company billing department. But it was a price I was willing to pay.

Then there were other cheaper companies that I worked for. They did not prohibit training. You just did not receive any by default. It was as if you needed to fight for your training. Managers acted as if they got a bonus if they did not approve your training. And there was no paid time off for training. If you did not want to take vacation, you somehow needed to convince a client to pick up the tab for the hours spent at training. This seemed a bit unrealistic. Lucky for me, I had a lot of friends in the client organization. I always got my hours approved and paid for during training.

My current company is a mix of good and bad. I do get a yearly budget for training. And I also get some paid time to be able to attend the classes. The trouble is that I need to get a million approvals to be able to attend training. It starts with my team lead. Then I go to my functional manager. Next I hit up my administrative manager to start the approval process. And my admin manager’s boss has to give the final approval. From the lack of training taken by my coworkers, I get the feeling that this rigid approval process is working to deter employees from taking training.

There is another twist in my employer’s training setup. The rules for getting the training paid seem confusing and complicated. They are written so that I have to pay for the training first. Then I need to apply for a reimbursement. In effect I have to float the company a loan to get the training. I think there is a way around this. But there is some trick to it. Time to get busy and keep fighting until I get my training approved and paid for. Nothing worthwhile is easy in this life. Paid training is no exception.