7 Hacks for Building Your Business Case for Recognition & Rewards

ROI

August 30, 2023

Garrett Genest

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X min

5 min

Crafting a persuasive business case for recognition and rewards requires a strategic approach.

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So, you know a recognition & rewards (R&R) platform is right for your organization, but you need executive buy-in and backing to access budget and move the project forward? We're here to help.  

Building a robust business case for R&R requires a strategic approach, intertwining innovation with financial foresight. These seven hacks serve as the foundation, enabling you to navigate challenges, quantify impact, and create a compelling narrative that resonates with the stakeholders who matter most.

1. Tell a Compelling Story

When you’re putting together your internal pitch for an R&R solution, think about how the world has changed and how this impacts your organization. Is it harder for you to find talent these days due to competition? Are you seeing higher turnover and more Gen Z employees in your workforce?

There are always massive changes happening in the world, and your job is to help your company succeed by taking advantage of these changes. Position your proposal as a way to do this.

2. Work with Finance to Demonstrate the ROI

When you propose your R&R program, you will likely have at least one person ask about the return on investment (ROI) of implementing such a program. In many cases, this person might even be a leader from the Finance team, such as your CFO or a Controller. In our experience, questions from Finance about ROI can cause delays in moving a project forward.

You can get ahead of this by involving Finance early as you build your business case. By involving Finance, you achieve two things:

  1. You will ensure that the information you put together answers all of their questions
  1. By the time you present/pitch your proposal, you will already have a de facto seal of approval from your Finance department

Pro Tip: You need to quantify your ROI. Check out our resources on calculating the ROI of R&R for easy ways to do this.

3. Recruit High-Influence Leaders into Your Pitch

This tactic will increase your success rate significantly. Once you have established a robust draft of your proposal, select one or more people who will be at the table when you are presenting your proposal and ask them to review and provide feedback on your proposal. Ideally, the person(s) that you loop in will be either a decision maker or a very high-level influencer within your organization.  

Doing this will provide you with valuable information that will help you avoid any pitfalls in your proposal, and it will have the added effect of giving you additional supportive voices in the room when you make your formal proposal.

4. Budget According to Your Fiscal Year

We tend to think about budgets for contracts in annual terms, but if you’re looking to bring on an R&R solution in the middle of your fiscal year, keep in mind the actual budget you’re asking for in the current year is half of the annual fee. Presenting it this way can make the expense more palatable to the Finance team – by breaking down the cost based on how many months are left in your fiscal year. This reduces the perceived risk of the expense in the first year of your agreement by spreading the cost across two fiscal years instead of one.

5. Target Unspent Budget in H2

If your organization has unspent budget in the second half of the fiscal year, make sure to mention it in your pitch. Knowing this can help alleviate concerns that your Finance team might have about spending on a new R&R program that was outside the original budget for the year. Tie this in with a strong ROI model and budgeting according to your fiscal year (see above) and you have a very strong case for Finance to approve this initiative! Hint: If you hit a roadblock here, make sure to include the required budget in your next fiscal year to ensure a “Yes!”

6. Focus on the Cost of Doing Nothing

This hack is heavily tied to telling a compelling story. By now, you know that you need to tell a compelling story about how the world has changed, and you know how to tell the story about how your R&R program will help your business navigate these changes – but what will happen if your organization doesn’t act now? Will it become less competitive over time? Will costs increase? Will your competitors overtake you in some way? Call out these risks early in your pitch to prime the audience for the rest of your proposal.

7. Identify Things You Can Stop Doing/Using

If your organization is using any tools that can be replaced by your proposed R&R solution, or if you have any manual processes that will be streamlined/automated using Kudos, be sure to quantify these cost savings at the end of your proposal. This is the cherry on top and a great way to wrap up your proposal as an additional value add.

Examples of software that you might be able to replace are pulse surveys, company internal image hosting, and employee gifting tools. Processes that you can automate or eliminate are manual awards for birthdays and/or work anniversaries, rewards management, etc.

Our world has changed. Now is the time to craft a persuasive business case for Recognition and Rewards. It's the best strategic move for your people, your company, and your career.  

You can present an irrefutable proposal by harnessing the power of a captivating story, collaborating closely with Finance, enlisting influential champions, and weaving together fiscal prudence and long-term vision. As organizations strive to remain agile, relevant, and competitive, your skillful mastery of these seven hacks promises not just approval, but admiration for your ability to transform intention into impactful action.

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About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

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