When it comes to budgeting resources, these decisions send powerful messages to your people about what’s most important. After all, money doesn’t just talk — it shouts your priorities through a megaphone. Every leader needs to make budgeting decisions that drive business strategy and goals. But too often, the financial aspect of your strategy is prioritised over the most important facet of your company’s long-term asset, the people.
The best strategy in the world won’t survive if your people don’t have buy in. As a leader it’s your role to get their buy in and you can do this by supporting your employees and nurturing their passion, then they’ll take care of your business. In fact, investing in your people can reap rewards that flow across your entire company and beyond.
A recent survey done by Gallup shows that companies with above-average levels of employee engagement reap 147% higher earnings per share. Even though this is an American study it’s relevant across the globe.
So undoubtedly, you need to start investing in culture and here are a few fundamentals to get you started:
First impressions are lasting: A new employees impression of how you treat employees is set from the beginning, even in the interview stage. I once heard someone call this their employees resting engagement, and through hard times this is always what they revert back to. So, if they have a great experience right from the very beginning in hard times they will still be highly engaged. During the recruiting process, the way candidates are treated sends a clear message about your company culture. These messages of expectations and values are reinforced during the on boarding process. This kind of investment will pay dividends down the road.
Remuneration and benefits: Remuneration is a massive and complicated topic in business, one that can’t be miscalculated. The majority of money of a company’s budget goes into remuneration. People’s total remuneration (not just their base salary) will drive all sorts of behaviours, but your plan must be designed thoughtfully. If it’s not, you may find yourself in a no-win situation with employees behaving in ways that maximise their personal gain but don’t move your company forward.
Rewards and recognition: Like remuneration, rewards and recognition require capital, but they also send clear messages to your people about what behaviours are acceptable and encouraged and which are not. Finding creative ways to recognise people who are creating value in your business is worth its weight in gold. Developing an understanding of what incentives will be the most appreciated is key.
Tools and equipment: When you’re budgeting to drive your strategy, a final key consideration is whether your people have the proper tools and equipment to fulfil those expectations. You can’t ask your people to get to the moon with a roll of duct tape and a spatula; it will only hold your team back from accomplishing your overarching goals. Saving a couple of dollars by not having the right tools can cost you much more in productivity and engagement.
If you don’t tell them “why”, fail to show them the “what” and don’t guide them through the “how,” your perfect business strategy will be left at the starting line, unable get out of the blocks.
Cassie Sacks is managing director at HR firm we.people