You’ve found an amazing benefit scheme that will help with employee retention, facilitate recruitment and increase morale. You’ve arranged the best deal with the provider and from your employee survey, you know that everyone will love it. Now... how do you convince the c-suite that this is worth investing in?
We’ve helped hundreds of professionals introduce a new benefit proposal and have gathered top tips and guidelines to make this as easy as possible for you. A quality proposal pitch takes time, focus and effort, so read on and start planning today.
Ideally, this would have been defined prior to searching for benefit alternatives. However, at the time of making your proposal, it is crucial that the objective is crystal clear. In most cases, the objective will be the resolution of a particular problem (or problems) the organization is facing. For instance, reducing costs of employee turnover, boosting morale or reducing absenteeism.
Whichever issue you are aiming to solve, you must show how and why it is relevant to your organization in both the short term (eg. reducing sick days) and the long term (eg. showcasing your company’s values and mission). For instance, at Google and Facebook, benefits such as allowing female employees to freeze their eggs are not only beneficial for the workforce, but also serve to build their reputation and culture of freedom and empowerment.
Use statistics, numbers, surveys, focus groups, case studies or any form of evidence to showcase your points. Remember that this is the main driver of the entire proposal, so it must be as powerful as possible.
Introducing a new benefit scheme involves numerous stakeholders, however, you must identify who is ultimately responsible for making the decision. This may be the CEO, the CFO, the HR director or even the office manager depending on the size of your organization.
When you pitch your proposal, your arguments must be aligned to the interests and priorities of the decision-maker. For instance, if you’re pitching to the CFO, perhaps focus on profitability. Alternatively, if speaking to the HR director, concentrate on how you’ll achieve employee engagement. It may also be helpful to mention the consequences of NOT implementing the benefit, particularly if the consequences will impact the decision-maker.
GoSweat Insider Tip: Consider that every person has a story. If you can relate your pitch to their personal stress, anxiety or struggles, it is more likely that they will understand the benefits of your proposal.
Showcase that you’ve critically analyzed all factors involved in the introduction of the new benefit and emphasize how you’ve minimized the risk in every scenario. Here are some questions to get you started:
GoSweat Insider Tip: Although it may sound counterintuitive, don’t forget to mention the reasons NOT to support your idea, as this is one of the best techniques to gain credibility and trust. Everything has a risk attached to it so you are better off showing you have identified potential issues and proactively made an action plan to solve them.
Ultimately, you’ll need to show evidence of how the new benefits are contributing to solve the initial problem. Your pitch should describe the metrics that will be used to measure this.
For instance, if you aim to increase engagement, perhaps a good metric will be the number of people using the benefit or attending company socials. Alternatively, if your objective is to decrease absenteeism, you’ll need to have access to these figures. Other metrics can include employee turnover and satisfaction or even candidate applications received. Remember that qualitative feedback is also valuable so consider exit interviews, monthly reviews or general discussions.
Let’s be honest, if your company is in the middle of a financial downturn, suggesting a new benefits scheme is probably not the best choice. Having said that, it is unlikely there will ever be a perfect time for this, as there are always projects competing for investment. Use your own judgement to determine when it is best to approach your boss. Remember you don’t have to rush straight to an official meeting, perhaps drop the idea one day and come back to it a few days later. This is a great way to get a sense for the decision-maker’s perspective and will allow you to prepare the necessary arguments.
Take time to compile your strongest arguments and use the guidelines provided to ensure you don’t miss any important points. Ultimately, it is about communicating that people are your company’s #1 asset; investing on employee wellbeing will inevitably result in benefits to the bottom line and everything in between.