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How to Build a Business Case for Employee Engagement

Nicole MacLean
Nicole MacLean

Getting the resources you need for employee engagement and other people initiatives can be challenging, especially when businesses are trying to cut expenses. Sentiments like, “Hey, this is the right thing to do” and “I wish turnover weren’t so high” generally don’t work on their own.

How can you make a business case for employee engagement that speaks to your organization’s business drivers?

Start with strategy

Every business has a strategy, whether it’s articulated or not. The first step is to understand the strategy of the company. The key to getting buy-in for employee engagement is connecting your engagement goals to that strategy.

Create a plan.

Once you’ve created or understood the company’s strategy, project a five-year plan that establishes what you’re going to accomplish in employee engagement. What are the engagement metrics you’re going to improve over the next five years? Then, ask for the processes and systems that will enable you to deliver on these metrics.

Use your resources

Within your company, some colleagues will be instrumental in helping you get buy-in for your initiatives. Someone in finance almost always needs to be there, but you’ll likely need to enlist people from operations and HR as well. Figure out how to get them on your side and engage them early.

Have resilience.

Research shows it takes seven attempts to convince people to do something different. You’re not going to get what you need on the first or even second ask, so have patience and keep asking. 

Go after it with passion

If you are not passionate about what you’re asking for, meaning you don’t fully believe in what you’re advocating for, then you’ll fail to get others on board with any new initiative. 

If you’d like more in-depth information on this topic, check out our podcast episode with Bonnie Curtis, formerly of Procter & Gamble and currently Chief Human Resources Officer at Castellini Group.

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