5 Mistakes HR Professionals Make When Planning Their Budget


November 6, 2018

The end of the year is a crazy time for everyone—whether you’re working towards completing 2018 goals, setting your team up for success in 2019, or trying to reclaim time eaten by the holidays and vacations, we’re all feeling the stress.

One task most HR professionals have to complete before year-end is the dreaded budget. Yes, it’s the thing that keeps your department and organization above water, but it can also be one of the most daunting tasks because it sets the stage for a whole year of spending. Imperative works with hundreds of HR departments nationwide, and we wanted to share the five most common mistakes we hear HR professionals make when planning their budget.

First, they spend too much on one-and-done solutions. Yes, an inspiring keynote at your company town hall will pump up the team for a day, maybe a week, quite possibly a month, but it’s not a sustainable solution for a lack of fulfillment at work. Instead, invest in solutions that have the potential to make a long term impact.

Second, they don’t always invest in effective manager and leader development programs. These programs can be highly successful in increasing retention, employee fulfillment, and productivity if given the proper budget amount. From Imperative’s most recent research, we know that 65% of fulfilled employees report being in the top 20% of performers at their company and fulfilled employees are twice as likely to stay five years or more. Empowering leadership development and manager capability programs to work on fulfillment within the organization will have lasting changes on many metrics key to HR leaders.

Third, they underestimate the power of executive buy-in. In order for a solution to truly be effective, senior-level leaders need to be bought in. Without their support, the solution will likely fail. Employees that perceive their manager as not having a purpose mindset are 50% less likely to be fulfilled, have a -50 NPS on average, and are 44% more likely to leave in the next two years. Imperative partner VF Corp built intentional executive buy-in for Imperative’s program by hosting a purpose workshop for key leaders across the organization. The leaders then shared their takeaways at a company-wide meeting and inspired employees to get involved in the purpose program.

Fourth, they underestimate how much people are willing to own their career. If you really want to satisfy employees, ask for what they want and deliver it. You most likely have this data from previous employee surveys; you can use it to help employees feel like their voice is being heard. ADD STATS.

Lastly, they’re afraid to explore new options. You can never go wrong investing in your people, and you should always feel comfortable looking for new solutions to your problems if your current solution isn’t doing the trick.

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