Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Have you ever had a proposal for a company improvement? You know it’s a great proposal. The only barrier is that you will need to get buy-in from management. Given tough economic times, getting approval is difficult. You just need a way to get your ideas across in a manner that speaks in a language management can understand.
How do you go about getting management support on your proposal? Show management that it is a “win” situation for the organization.
1. Talk money. Everyone from the CEO to the accounting clerk can understand when a proposal is presented in dollars and cents. You need to show how much money the company will profit or save as a result of implementing your plan. You need to use real data with real figures. A general term such as “a lot of money” means nothing to the CEO. Saving $200,000 will give them a point of reference. Make sure you can back up your claims. Pulling numbers out of the bucket will tarnish your reputation and question your integrity.
2. The company will look good. If your plan can boost the visibility of management or the company, you are almost there. Improving public image is very important. Making the CEO look like the executive of the year is even better.
3. Better, faster, cheaper. Show how your plan can improve productivity levels. If the plan can turn the work around faster with fewer errors and come in under budget – it’s definitely a company win. What company would not want to do more with less?
4. Strengthen employee morale. Sure the company is interested in money, but they do care about employee morale as long as it fits in with the bottom line. While this may sound harsh, keep in mind that companies are in business for business (in other words, make money). They would go broke if they got involved in the personal life of every employee. If the plan can find a way to improve employee morale while keeping an eye on the bottom line, this could still be a win for the organization.
5. Make improvements to a process or product. If you take into account 1-4 and improve the product so it – costs less to make, improves procedures or functions, makes the company look good and maybe improve morale, you have got yourself a winner.