Asking For Help at Work: How to Bring Up Training With the Boss

Asking for help at work: How to bring up training with the boss


If you missed out on Learning at Work Week activities last week, which aims to inspire employees and employers to come together to identify the importance of learning and development in the workplace, we have joined forces with Pitman Training to give you 5 top tips on how you can develop your skills whilst in employment:

1. Showcase your skills to management

To ensure you are a recognised and valued member of the team it’s crucial to network internally and have visibility so that management can see the role you play within the business. Find opportunities to showcase your skills and why not also show an interest in areas of the business traditionally out of your remit if you’d like to develop your role into other areas? For example PA’s often look to take on marketing/social media/pr activities and a starting point is to make suggestions in these areas to create your own opportunities.

2. Collaborate with colleagues

There’s no need to tackle training alone. Make a business case for why your team would benefit from top up training and present how it would increase efficiency and productivity for the business as a whole – collaboration shows you are thinking about the bigger picture, not just yourself, and this is certainly a positive way to present training needs to an employer.

3. Connect with your boss and ACT!

Make sure you really use the time you get with your boss. We know time’s short but use your 121s to flag up any training requests and position why this would be beneficial. Don’t wait for your annual review to discuss training needs as technology moves so fast these days and you could be wasting months of inefficiency waiting to put your request in.

4. Consider different routes to development

Perhaps there’s someone within the business or wider industry you’d really like to learn from, maybe there’s a group of people who could connect to knowledge share. Mentor schemes and peer to peer networks are becoming increasingly popular and this is something employers rarely consider, but if you bring the idea to the table, they may well embrace it as the business benefits can be significant. ‘We can, and should, all keep learning and developing. Inviting a speaker to come to your office for a ‘lunch and learn’ session is a great quick fix for freshening up your skill set and getting some new ideas’ say PAs to the stars Merryl Futerman and Josephine Green of PA Access All Areas

5. Research some courses

Going to your boss with a clear plan significantly increases your chances of success. Identify some online courses you’d like to do that you can fit into your lunch hour, or carry out at home and present these as a programme of training you’d like to take on – online learning is flexible to fit around work and family commitments and much easier to gain buy in for than days out of the office attending workshops.

Claire Lister, M.D of Pitman Training Group told us: “Learning at work increases employer engagement and loyalty so a commitment to it from local businesses is crucial in retaining and attracting the best staff to the area and supporting the local economy. We’re keen to spread more positive perceptions around learning and development for both businesses and individuals as sometimes it can be seen as negative to ask for help – but in fact the opposite is true -the strongest employees are those who continually grow, and they find increased motivation and productivity”.

All this week the Pitman team will also be on hand @pitmantraining so employees or employers can tweet questions to the team using #learningatworkweek. Tips for workplace productivity and course snippets will also be shared across Pitman Training’s social channels.

For more information on Pitman Training see

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. She studied English Literature at Fairfield University in Connecticut whilst taking evening classes in journalism at MediaBistro in NYC. She then pursued a BA degree in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in the UK. With a background working in the PR industry in Los Angeles, Barcelona and London, Charlotte then moved on to launching Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden and has been running the online magazine for the past 10 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a bit too much effort into perfecting her morning brew.