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How to Get Buy-In from Your Manager for Professional Development

Posted on May 25, 2016 by Phyllis Gillman

Professional development opportunities

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for ways to improve.

In fact, we’ve discussed this very topic of career development in just a few short weeks ago in my customer service newsletter, Candid Customer Service. It’s something I feel strongly about. While it’s one thing to want to grow professionally, it’s another thing entirely to make it happen. Many of the tools and events that can help us grow come with a hefty price tag, both in terms of money and time.

Whether you’re looking for training to improve your skills or you’d like to attend an important event, how you present the opportunity to your manager can make all the difference. As you consider the importance of progressing professionally and how to approach your supervisor, download my sample letter that may help you organize your thoughts and highlight the benefits of your growth more effectively.

Template letter

As you look to become the best customer service employee you can be, how do you approach your supervisor with your request in a thoughtful, concise way?

Be Direct and Informative

This is no time to beat around the bush or make passive suggestions about your desire to attend a specific event or obtain a certification. Instead, approach your manager directly with thoughtful reasons outlining why a certification, training session, event or type of software would benefit you, your manager, and your company. Speak clearly and directly and describe the main topics covered by the training session or at the event.

Know Your Audience

As you think about the various reasons your attendance at an event or training session would benefit your company, consider some of the topics that are often important to your manager. There are often aspects of your office that you may notice your supervisor focuses on. How will your training or certification or new agency software impact your team’s needs as well as your company’s needs? Be specific. 

Highlight What You’ve Learned

When you are provided the chance to attend a training session or seek certification, make sure you come back to your team and manager with the valuable information you’ve collected. It’s not always possible for your entire company or team to attend an event or access specific software, but when your presence at an event or your certification makes you AND your entire team better, your manager will be less hesitant to agree to future opportunities.

Bring back notes, pictures, lessons learned and success stories that highlight the growth you experienced.

Delve into the ROI for Your Company

How will the professional development you’re looking to to accomplish improve your efficiency and improve your service? Will training improve your productivity? Will it increase revenue by teaching you how to nurture and retain clients? Will better training or education sessions at an industry event take some of the weight off of your manager’s shoulders and help them delegate tasks to you?

We all want to be better employees and experts at our jobs. As an employee, your manager will mostly appreciate your desire to be the best you can be for your company and team. Your desire to be great makes everyone around you better.

Best of luck learning!

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As a 27-year customer service veteran in the insurance industry, Phyllis Gillman has spent more than her fair share of time helping clients and customers. In her long stint in the industry, she’s answered over 702,000 phone calls.


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