We are passionate about creating more humanistic working environments for all, so that we may experience work as a rich part of our lives, not something we need to seek to balance. As such we have decided to provide some tips on how to get funding for these projects approved.
As you may by now be aware, we recently attended the Work Human Conference in Orlando, hosted by Globoforce. The conference was centered on creating more humanistic workplaces, which we are obviously keenly interested in. One particular idea was brought up several times during the conference by some participants. That is the notion that ‘They will never pay for that!’ – meaning their employer would never sign off funding for certain initiatives. That may or may not be true, however, what is for certain is that if you go into a conversation asking for funding that you doubt the validity or value of, it will not be approved.
We have 4 tips to win over your employers on humanising initiatives:
1. Make the business case
We believe that creating more humanistic workplaces is the morally right thing to do. Beyond that we believe it also creates more productive, more profitable business units. If you are suggesting a new initiative, the onus is on you to make the business case for it – and illustrate why it is a good investment for the business. This may or may not be directly related to money – there are many ways an investment can provide value. However, you need to very clearly articulate what the value is and illustrate to the senior leaders why they should sign it off.
2. Harvest the low hanging fruit
If you are looking to implement a large body of work, don’t try to get the whole package signed off in one go – the bean counters heads will explode! Break it into pieces and identify the parts that will have the highest utility and yield. Once you establish value with these chunks, subsequent sections of the co-ordinated works are likely to be viewed more favourably.
3. Hang with the movers and shakers
Join forces with persuasive people of influence who are not afraid of change. Whilst not always actually the case, more voices, particularly from influencers in your organisation do add validity and standing to a suggestion. Try to partner with these people to both advocate for the funding, and assist you in implementation.
4. The light bulb has to want to change
In some organisations you may indeed stand a better chance of meeting Johnny Depp than having your proposal approved. If this is the case, and you are truly committed to the change you are advocating for, go find a business that is willing to back you. Life is too short to work with employers who are playing a different game. Find a business that holds similar values to you and move on to better things. As the old psychologists joke goes – the light bulb has to want to change.
We obviously advocate change, and believe that businesses must adapt to the needs of the modern workforce to survive. That involves structuring the workplace to respect the individual, and to allow for humanness in their processes. Businesses who fail to react to this landscape will likely perish. We believe the business case holds and would like to see more businesses accepting the challenge to truly humanise the workplace.