Negotiating for Team & Budget Expansion
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
If you feel it’s time to expand your team and budget, the next step will be to get the green light from senior management. Don’t expect a simple yes without building a strong business case to convince them of the need. Here are some steps to help ensure your success:
- Complete an audit of current staff work. Start out with an audit that helps you tell the story regarding how much work your team is currently handling. Use a spreadsheet to map out work tasks and timeframes to demonstrate how each team member is working to full capacity or sometimes beyond. You will also need to convey that everyone is also working at peak performance levels.
- Share compelling benefits and be clear about your needs. Provide solid proof that hiring additional staff will bring tangible benefits. Perhaps the ability to generate additional income, provide expertise for emerging areas of the business, or to reach markets currently not being served by your team. In addition, clearly communicate the type of staff you want to hire and the roles they will fill. Provide a well-defined proposal of the work they will be doing, the expected costs involved and the ROI associated with the new hires.
- Show the downside of not growing your team. You may be able to use customer surveys to share specific comments regarding lower satisfaction rates based on your current team’s inability to properly serve key markets and all customer requests.
- Consider the timing of your ask. If your company has experienced some recent cost cutting measures, it may not be the proper time for your request. Think about the full scope of what your retailer is going through as you formulate your plan and approach.
- Gain support from others. What leaders, both formal and informal, support the growth of your department and would be willing to back up your request? Perhaps it is a key store director or the head of a growing department that would like to utilize your team’s expertise.
- Offer an alternation solution. If leadership is hesitant to take on new staff and costs, there may be an opportunity to ask about implementing a pilot program or a limited-time alternative instead of a permanent change. This way you can prove the worth of the new hire and resolve any fears of moving forward with your full plan.