Getting Budget for Better Performance Management in 2018

As we take on the new year, we have some New Year’s resolutions that we want to accomplish and one of those is getting a budget for a better performance management system. The new year is a great time to implement new ideas and systems in your organization. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t think a better performance management system would be great for your business. But how can you get budget approval to build a performance culture?

64% of employees said that their biggest obstacle in getting a new project approved was, unsurprisingly, cost. 42% said that getting executive buy-in was their biggest trouble. So you’re up against it, but that’s no reason to give up. Just follow these 3 simple steps, and you’ll be able to convince your execs that a better performance management system is just the thing 2018 needs.

Step 1: Research

You have to be able to convince your executives that there’s a problem. Harvard Business Review says, “If they don’t already perceive an idea’s relevance to organizational performance, they don’t deem it important enough to merit their attention.”

Essentially, if they don’t see how a new performance management system is going to help, they won’t care. So find out exactly how your current performance management system is lacking, and how the new system with solve those problems. Give specific examples, and explain how it supports a strategic goal. Your first instinct may be to rave about all the great benefits of performance management, but you also need to focus on the issues.

For instance, here at iRevü, we can rattle off stats that will help you understand the value of performance feedback all day long. Stats like:

  • Only 13% of employees worldwide are psychologically committed to their jobs.
  • 1 out of 5 employees surveyed think their bosses don’t even think about the performance review until they’re in the room.
  • Only 14% of organizations are happy with their performance management system.
  • Companies that implement regular feedback have a 14.9% lower turnover rate.
  • 60% of Best-in-Class organizations said employee recognition is very valuable in driving individual performance.

Even GE is getting in on the performance feedback train:

“Experts say conducting more-frequent evaluations also appeals to an increasingly younger workforce that appreciates fast feedback from colleagues because they were raised on instant communication such as text and video messaging.” — SHRM

Step 2: Pitch

This is actually a two-part step, but the extra work will be worth it. You’ve got to make sure your pitch is en pointe: 70% of employed Americans who give presentations agree that presentation skills are critical to their success at work.

Pitching a new idea for your boss can go seamlessly by implementing these strategies:

  • Stay on topic: Don’t stray off to minor details that don’t address the specific case you are trying to make or it may distract from your main points.
  • Inform, not overwhelm: As much as you want to give all the details and are excited to tell give every minor numbers and ideas…focus on exactly what you need them to know and get to the point. Once they approve it, then you can go over the little details and extra ideas that go along with it.
  • Prepare the pitch & YOURSELF: You could have all the essentials, numbers and charts for your idea but make sure YOU are prepared to answer any questions about your findings.

Part 3: Prep

When it comes to creating your presentation, the most important thing remember is this: Keep it simple! You don’t want your execs to be bored to death, and 46% admit that they’ve been distracted during a co-worker’s presentation. Make sure that presentation is easy to follow. It’ll help to come up with a basic thesis: something small you can say in 15 words or less that will make your pitch stick in their minds.

Next you’ll want to design the presentation itself. Despite the bad press PowerPoint gets, it’s an effective tool to get your information across: 80% said that PowerPoint helped them identify the most important information in a presentation. It’s recommended to follow the 10–20–30 rule when it comes to PowerPoint. You should have no more than 10 slides, the presentation should last no more than 20 minutes, and your font should be no less than 30 point. Finally, it’s a good idea to put all the data you’ve collected into visuals. Graphs and charts linger in your exec’s minds, while raw numbers go in one ear and out the other.

Part 4: Present

First of all, take a deep breath and relax. You’re trying to help your business perform better and save money, and everyone is rooting for you to succeed. After that, you’ll want to focus on being direct and concise. You can’t hope that your bosses are going magically know what you’re getting at; you have to come right out and say, “This will help. I need money for this.” That and using the word “imagine” during your presentation will help engage your viewers. “Imagine” pulls people out of the board room and into your beautiful future where a better performance management system has lead to high productivity and employee happiness.

Tips for Success

You have a great idea but you need the budget to make it come to life. Draw out a clear understanding of the challenges, solutions and execution. Follow these expert tips to rock your next pitch to get the budget you need:

  • Reduce the risk: Show your management how the success of your proposal will increase productivity and engagement. Show the goals that you’re wanting to reach with the new software on a timeline.
  • Come in with a clear plan: Show that you can take charge and use time management to take on a new software and use it to improve performance reviews. Prove that you have the leadership and management skills to handle implementing new reviews.
  • Defend it: Not everyone will be willing to jump on board. You will have people asking questions and doubting your proposal. Have that knowledge to defend it, back it up with facts and show that you’re passionate about better performance reviews and how it can benefit your employees.
  • WIIFM: “What’s in it for me?” Will be a question your boss will ask or how will this benefit the company? Focus on the potential of your idea and how you will get it done.

Step 5: Follow Up

This is the easy one. All you have to do here is follow up on your presentation! You’ll want to wait a few days (2 or 3 is recommended), and then send an email. In the email, remind them of some specific details from your pitch; a few main ideas or data points should suffice. Recap any questions they might have had and what your responses were. Finally, ask if there’s anything more you need to do to get the ball rolling. This final point shows you’re passionate about implementing a new performance management system, and willing to do whatever it takes to get it working.

Bio: Michael Heller

Michael Heller has 20+ years of experience in strategic human resources, talent management and technology consulting. As an HR executive at Washington Consulting, Digital Management and Deltek, Michael led teams to develop innovative human capital management programs and initiatives. Previously, Michael held a variety of positions at American Management Systems and Booz Allen Hamilton where he executed on talent acquisition, total rewards, performance management, strategic HR partnership and philanthropy strategies.

Michael serves the community as a board member of Teardrops to Rainbows, an organization dedicated to supporting families of children with cancer. Michael has a Masters degree in Human Resources from Georgetown University and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Connecticut. Michael resides in Gaithersburg, Maryland with his wife and daughter and enjoys cooking and college basketball.




CEO & Founder at iRevü with a passion for strategic HR, talent management and tech consulting.

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Michael Heller

Michael Heller

CEO & Founder at iRevü with a passion for strategic HR, talent management and tech consulting.

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