Congratulations! You’re heading up the HR department at your new company and it’s time to get to work on creating your first human resources management plan. Or perhaps you’ve been in your role for some time and need to jump-start some new initiatives that keep pace with how the world of people management is changing.

No matter where you are in your career, whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, your role is crucial. But sometimes, it can be tough to get buy-in from senior leadership or the management teams that report to you. Without that buy-in, your carefully planned initiatives and launches will struggle to get off the ground. All your effort will lead to minimal impact and little to no long-term change. That’s not why you became the professional you are. We want to see you winning!

This article outlines three proven tactics for getting buy-in and ensuring that everyone is on the same page about where you are leading them. You don’t want a human resources management plan that just sits gathering dust. The less friction and push back you have to deal with, the sooner you can implement and start seeing meaningful change take place. The third tactic may surprise you so be sure to read all the way through.

Show the numbers 

Demonstrating the value of your program with soundly researched data is an incredibly effective way to get buy-in. The numbers don’t lie. Anyone who is doubtful or uncertain about the leadership development programs you’re creating will not be able to deny empirical evidence.

You may want to consider data from research studies about the current trends in leadership development strategies. The so-called Great Attrition is a current phenomenon that started during the global pandemic and shows no signs of slowing down. It’s a major concern for companies and the data around it is compelling. Remind any recalcitrant execs that the smart money is on getting ahead of this problem – as opposed to reacting to it. 

Another approach is to share a cost/benefit analysis. Discuss what the investment in the program looks like compared with the cost of recruiting new employees, onboarding, training and getting them up to speed. If you’re already seeing high turnover, show how having a leadership development program can stem the problem – especially if the program has a low cost-per-employee.

When your human resources management plan includes a leadership development strategy, you’ll want to be sure you’re thinking long term. The top research shows that continuous learning is key to seeing the most impactful benefits from these programs. Be thoughtful and selective about the leadership development options you choose. That expensive weekend seminar for top execs may look attractive, but will it add value in the long run?  A program that’s designed to be applied consistently and to fit seamlessly into the everyday workflow of your entire team is likely to yield more long lasting, positive benefits.

Make it meaningful

Another key element of getting buy-in for your HR initiatives is communicating the why. Understanding the reasoning behind your new leadership development program will go a long way in helping team members to, well, get with the program. Puns aside, this is actually very important for adult learners. It can make a huge difference to the interest and uptake you are able to generate. People are much more likely to be on board when they understand the strategy behind the program. Without a meaningful why to connect with, you can start to lose people – even before they start the program. They may tune out, or ignore the program altogether – especially if it feels like just another “task” to add to their workload. 

As a bonus, employees are much more inclined to stick around when they know that their company provides more than just a paycheck and is actually interested in helping them to grow. But you already knew that 😉

So, why are you implementing this new plan? Some common reasons might be:

  • To ensure that managers and aspiring managers have the tools they need to thrive
  • So that your employees feel valued and cared for by the company
  • To set your company apart from others in your industry – to be an employer of choice
  • To retain your best and brightest employees and encourage leadership potential
  • To improve the work environment, boost morale and inspire stronger team engagement

Whatever your core reasons are, be transparent about them with your teams. You’ll greatly improve your chances of buy-in by sharing your authentic intention.

RELATED: 6 Reasons Why Good Employees Leave Beyond Compensation

Make it optional 

This tactic may seem counterintuitive at first. However, not mandating your human resource plans can prove to be a more effective way to get buy-in and reduce resistance. This nugget of wisdom comes from the trenches – HR directors and leaders who have successfully rolled out our leadership development platform.

Being a quiet champion for your initiative, as well as engaging other key top-down supporters, helps with uptake and engagement. The key here is to make employees aware, without making them feel forced into the program. If there is strict enforcement, your teams may push back, feeling frustrated with another “to do” handed down from on high by HR. Also, encouraging employee-level sharing about the program, within and across teams, can be very effective.

“Sometimes when another team member is talking about [it], it seems less aggressive and [there] is less pushback from your teammates because it’s peer to peer.” says John Rollack, Senior Human Resources Director at Proximity Learning (Read the Case Study).

The goal is to create a sense of choice and flexibility. To do this, it helps if your program allows for that flexibility. When learners can choose when, where and how they participate, they are much more likely to buy-in to the program.

Get Started

Creating a human resources management plan is where you shine. Implementing that plan can be a challenge when senior leadership or your management teams don’t fully buy in. Using these three tactics can help get your initiatives launched in less time, with less push back. Getting buy-in gets you started. As you may know, the real results come from consistent application once the program gets rolled out. 

If you’d like to see how quickly you can implement our done-for-you leadership development content at your company or organization, book a demo and let’s get you on track to the winning results you’re capable of creating.

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