Making the Business Case
Building a business case involves presenting reliable and valid support for whatever recommendations you may be making. This could include the following factors:
- A financial analysis
- Case studies
- Trend reports
- Benchmarks or internal data—e.g. the current cost of turnover and what a specific percentage reduction in turnover could represent in terms of cost savings or boosted productivity.
“The best way for HR to improve communication to better resonate with the CEO is to show them bottom-line statistics,” recommends Lois A. Krause, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, and a practice leader for HR compliance with KardasLarson, a Connecticut-based HR consulting firm. Krause recommends showing CEOs “case studies where production and profits went up when employees were involved in change and organizational growth” and tying HR programs “to the organizational goals and the bottom line.”
Anticipating CEO and C-suite leaders’ questions in advance, and doing your homework to have the answers they’ll be looking for, can go a long way toward positioning yourself as an HR pro who “gets it.” But what kinds of questions could you anticipate?
- How much will that cost us (both in terms of staff time and monetary expenses)?
- What bottom-line impacts will we see? (How much will we be able to save in terms of staff time, or gain in terms of productivity?)
Finally, Krause says, “Keep it short and to the point—a bulleted list is good.” CEOs and their C-suite colleagues are busy, so don’t waste their precious time with too much detail, especially detail not related to their specific areas of concern and interest.
Determining What Your CEO Cares About (And Adjusting Your Messaging Appropriately)
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