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Dear Workforce How Do We Write A Business Case Justifying A Staff Increase

Remember your company’s objectives: to use resources efficiently, develop productive employees, and create a successful business. Test your arguments with managers to ensure buy-in.
January 30, 2002
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QDear Workforce:

What are the points to be covered in writing a business case to increasestaff?

- Needs to know, safety consultant, health care, Vernon, British Columbia,Canada.

A Dear Needs to Know:

As you plan your case, keep in mind the universal objectives of everycompany: using resources as efficiently as possible, having productiveemployees, and ultimately creating a successful business, sooner rather thanlater.

When considering any change that would have a significant impact on thecompany, test the waters and garner support first. "Trial balloon"your ideas with key colleagues and/or superiors to ensure that the written caserepresents the interests of all parties involved. They will then be much morelikely to lend their support.

The actual arguments that you use will vary depending on why you want to addstaff: do you want to increase productivity? Build the customer servicedepartment to have fewer dropped calls and therefore more satisfied customers?Create better back-up capacity among your staff? Hire someone with a specialtalent that will allow your company to venture into previously unchartedterritories? Whatever your goal, here are some steps to follow in writing yourcase:

  1. State the reason for adding staff and all the anticipated benefits to thecompany, both short and long term. Ask and answer the question: "Can thecompany afford not to create this position/hire this person?"

  2. Give details on reporting structure, and how the new position will affectand interact with existing positions. Note: if you have recently had layoffs,adding new positions may seem confusing to your staff. Careful explanation andan over-emphasis on communication are necessary to help maintain morale, andshould be part of your case. Keep in mind too that the opportunity for employeesto help create, recruit, supervise, or perhaps be promoted to a new position canbe attractive, and provide career growth -- a great retention tool.

  3. Anticipate and address objections and problems.

  4. List the total cost, including benefits, training time, other staff time,furniture, business cards, etc. Consider how much money the company may belosing by not having a fully staffed team. For example, how many salesopportunities are you missing by not having an experienced sales and marketingrepresentative?

  5. Focus on how the benefits will outweigh the costs; for example, how soonthe new position(s) will pay for itself. Note: How you choose to discuss thecosts can vary depending on your company's financial situation. If you're in acash crunch, the executives will most likely want to see immediate return oninvestment. If you're in a more stable period, they may be able to appreciatethe advantages of a longer-term investment.

If you effectively address each of these points, briefly and concisely, whilekeeping in mind the overall goals of your company, you will have made your case.Good luck!

SOURCE: Lisa Kaminski, Liz Peterson and Bill Cooper, HR managers, PersonnelManagement Systems, Inc., Kirkland, Washington, Sept. 5, 2001.

LEARN MORE: See "Tactics to Tackle ToughTimes"

The information contained in thisarticle is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, butshould not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember thatstate laws may differ from the federal law.

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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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