Making the Case for Training

“If you think training is expensive, try ignorance.” –Tom Peters

Some News Directors encounter resistance when they bring up the need for training in their department. It behooves the ND to find out why. If you give up on training, you give up on your staff, your craft, your station and your audience.

Resistance to training is often budget related. While some forms of training can be expensive, not all training is.

Be clear about your training needs. Conduct an audit if necessary. Knowing your needs is the first step to shopping around for affordable training. Often the cheapest training is that which you provide yourself.

Sometimes, managers can inject a bit too much ego into their arguments against training. They say things like, “we’re doing great in that area,” or “I don’t see any problems there.” Training isn’t necessarily about fixing things, but improving them.

However, sometimes training is about fixing problems — but that doesn’t make it embarrassing or an admission of failure. It makes training critically necessary.

Here are good arguments in favor of training.

  • because we want to make our journalism the best it can be
  • because we want to attract new audiences
  • because we want to grow our staff
  • because we want to keep talented employees
  • because our industry is changing
  • because we have identified a deficit
  • because we can always learn new things

Training is leadership in action. It takes commitment to excellence and investment in that commitment.