Even the best of teams struggle to have complete “buy-in” from everyone in the budget process. Especially when you are dealing with tough budget decisions, such as cuts or reallocations, it is critical that you explain the importance to your team members and make sure people understand the “why” behind the budget.
Think of it like selling a product or service, just the way your company would to a client. But instead of selling to a customer, you are selling the budget to your team.
Your staff need to understand how the budget works, what the strategic vision for the company is, and why it should be this way. By involving them in the budget process early, they may already know a lot of this, but it can still be helpful to reiterate.
- Holding budget consultation sessions with different departments.
- Explaining competing priorities and asking for input from staff on which to prioritize.
- Share your strategic goals and vision for the future of the company and explain how achieving those outcomes will positively affect the people involved.
- Using a budget tool that encourages comments and collaboration from multiple people on the team.
By encouraging feedback and candor from employees and offering the same in return, you are setting up a relationship that will extend far beyond the budget. This type of culture can lead to more productivity, less time wasted, and less staff turnover.
Have you found new ways to encourage your staff to meaningfully contribute to the budget? What have your challenges been?