6 talking points to get management buy-in for your HR budget

When it’s time to present next year’s HR budget, get the C-Suite’s attention with these six talking points. They’ll show top management you mean business.

1. HR supports company goals
Don’t assume senior executives can make the connection between the organization’s success and what you do in HR. When you make your budget presentation, spell it out.

2. This budget will yield a solid return on investment

Be prepared to document how dollars invested on HR pay dividends in other areas. Not sure? Sit down with other functional heads during the budget development process and pick their brains. How does human capital support their work?

3. Every HR line item adds value
What does the employee assistance program bring to the bottom line? Sure, it’s a cost center, but it saves money in the long run. Work with your provider to demonstrate the value of that expenditure.

4. HR spending is key to profitability
Efficiency and good employee relations are great, but profitability is today’s key measure. Speak in those terms and you’ll catch the decision-makers’ ears.

5. Our budget is based on reality

When presenting your budget, articulate your understanding of where the organization is and where it’s going. That demonstrates you’ve done your homework—and frames your proposal in real-world terms. Meet with the money people early on in the budgeting process. Make sure they understand what your priorities are and how HR can help move the organization forward. Ask them to challenge your assumptions. They might wind up being your biggest champions when the budget ax comes out.

6. The details in the HR budget are bullet-proof
When building your budget, check and double-check every fact and figure. You must know your budget inside out. When the honchos start asking questions, you don’t want to have to shuffle through reams of paper to find the answers. And be sure to meet every deadline in the budget process. You don’t want to be last in line when they’re handing out dollars.