How To Make the Business Case for an EX Platform [+Free Template]
HR Expert (& Huge Geek)
22 Jan 2024
You need to make a strong business case for an EX platform to convince top leadership of its value. Here, Cat DiStasio shares how.
Employee experience is at the heart of many crucial challenges facing today’s employers, from productivity and wellbeing to quit rates and employer branding. Investing in an employee engagement and experience platform – a centralized place to inform, collaborate, and engage with everyone in your organization – can help.
Getting budget approval and executive support are necessary steps to elevate your employee engagement programs. Cost is understandably the biggest concern, especially amid historically high labor costs, economic uncertainty, and widespread budget constraints.
To convince top leadership of the value of an employee engagement platform, you need to make a strong business case, supported by data, that addresses all their questions and concerns. A business case is a document, report, or proposal designed to justify a new project or expense – and, crucially, explain how it benefits the organization overall.
Here’s how to pull it together.
Highlight the goal
An effective business case should always begin by defining the endpoint. What do you hope to achieve? Identifying your purpose helps you not only get your C-suite on board, but can help you evaluate partners and find the right solution for your organization’s needs. Linking your employee engagement aims back to broader organizational goals can help even more.
Ask yourself and your team these questions to help clarify things:
- What are our biggest employee engagement challenges?
- What aspects of employee engagement are the easiest to influence in our organization?
- How will an employee engagement platform fit into our culture?
Collect supporting data
Working backwards from your goals, collect data from your HR systems that help you tell the story of what’s really happening with your employees. You may already have this data or you might need to conduct a new employee survey to get a current snapshot. Ideally, you’ve been tracking trends over time so you can show relationships between various factors – but if you haven’t, all is not lost. Illustrating your starting point and your desired outcomes can be enough for your business case.
Here are some examples of data to consider (and why):
- Job satisfaction stats (higher satisfaction correlates with increased productivity, better retention, and a positive impact on work culture)
- Turnover rates (lower turnover helps control talent acquisition costs)
- Inclusion and belonging (a supportive work environment fosters collaboration and innovation)
- Productivity levels (optimal productivity can be a competitive advantage in your market)
Break down the costs (and potential savings!)
The next piece of your business case puzzle is all about the money.
Assess and report on your current employee engagement spending, breaking it down as much as possible. If your organization doesn’t currently have an employee engagement budget or isn’t tracking that spending, you can estimate these figures (and be sure to note that in your proposal).
Next, illustrate the expenditure of a new employee engagement platform. You’ll do this by collecting pricing from potential vendors, along with features and capabilities they provide. Typically, a business case would include one pre-vetted vendor (your top choice) in a fair amount of detail as well as two to three competing options. The idea is to give your C-suite a snapshot of what’s available on the market and explain why your preferred vendor wins out.
The final piece of the financial section is to illustrate links to potential cost savings – through reduced admin work, increased employee satisfaction and wellbeing, improved retention and so on. If you have access to historical data on the costs of these issues, that may be helpful in proving your point.
Showcase the benefits
When organizational leaders are hesitant about adopting an employee engagement platform, it’s often because they don’t have a full understanding of its value. In addition to financial ROI, top leadership typically wants to hear about the other harder-to-quantify benefits a new program or project can offer.
Here are some of the key benefits of an employee engagement platform:
- More and better social connection (combats loneliness, positively impacts team dynamics)
- Increased collaboration (improves creativity and problem-solving)
- Consistent employee recognition (enhances employee satisfaction)
- Better employee retention (controls TA costs)
- Improved productivity (supports sense of purpose, improves ROI)
- Authentic leadership transparency (real-time updates, interactive town halls, leadership Q&A sessions)
- Improved morale (strengthens culture, improves the employee experience)
- Amplified and measured culture (reinforces and tracks organizational values)
Invest in employees with an engagement platform
Today’s employers face a lot of challenges when it comes to the employee experience and many of the changes in recent years have increased the complexity of the relationship between employer and employee. Leveraging an employee engagement platform provides a central, easy-to-access location where everyone can meet, interact, learn, and deepen their relationship with one another as well as your organizational culture.
Convincing your C-suite to approve a new expense might seem difficult but if you’re able to build a clear, logical business case backed by data, they’re more likely to support your proposal. Strategically investing in an employee engagement platform not only tackles today’s challenges but also supports sustained growth. By fostering collaboration, transparency, and a values-driven culture, this strategic move enhances the employee experience while making it easier to attract talent in the future.
Building a business case around an employee engagement platform highlights its role in achieving both near-term goals and long-term objectives, ensuring your investment aligns with the overarching success of your business.
Ready to create your own? Download Workvivo's free template here!