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How to Get Buy-In from Your Team in 15 Simple Steps

November 07, 2023

16 minread

byCasey Clark

Casey Clark
Casey Clark

CEO, Co-Founder

Chicago, IL

As a business partner, he helps his clients get a holistic view of their financial health by slowing down to talk about numbers. Then, he breaks down even complex problems into one or two elements to help them break through their barriers of growth.

According to PWC’s Annual Global CEO survey, 40% of CEOs think their organization will no longer be economically viable in ten years if it continues as is. Technology and calls for sustainability are changing organizations from the outside in.

Yet, change is never easy, and when you’re trying to steer an entire organization in a new direction, it can feel like you’re paddling a ship with a spoon. Remember, our business performance improvement consulting team is available to help navigate uncertain seas.

In the meantime, here’s how to create buy-in from staff so that whatever changes you make are met with a productive willingness and positive approach from company employees.

What Is Team Buy-In?

Employee buy-in is the recognition and acceptance by your staff that a decision or change is crucial to the success of your business. It involves actively engaging and supporting the company’s efforts to achieve its goals.

Buy-In Equation

Quality of the Idea x Buy-in Level = Execution

When presenting a great idea, you must answer two questions:

  • What is the quality of the idea?
  • What is the buy-in level of the employee?

How well new ideas are executed depends on their quality and how excited team members are about them. The more excited, the better the execution will be. But employees won’t always be excited about executing, so getting their buy-in is essential.

In this video, Cultivate CEO and Co-founder Casey Clark outlines how to measure and how to get buy-in from employees.

Why You Need to Get Buy-In from Employees

Team buy-in and engagement are critical to team member satisfaction and productive organizations. It shows employees understand their value, which is vital when growing businesses face challenges.

Get the Team More Engaged

Persuasion involves influencing others instead of simply telling them what to do. This requires actively listening and considering their viewpoints, which takes time and effort. However, it is essential for gaining support and working effectively.

Today’s work culture values collaboration, communication, and cooperation. Team members are naturally more motivated when they understand the bigger picture and how their individual efforts contribute to the big picture.

Balance Strengths and Weaknesses

All employees have their strengths and weaknesses. While one may be great at organizing and planning but find it challenging to think creatively. On the other hand, another might be a pro at brainstorming but struggle with execution.

Using team buy-in, managers can strategically assign tasks to employees based on their talents and weaknesses. Such an approach removes all the responsibility from one person and allows the team to become more comfortable with risk-taking and achieve more collectively.

Promote Creativity

Despite their creativity; employees may reach a point of idea exhaustion and reluctance to take risks due to fear of failure. However, when teams are free to make decisions, one individual’s input can inspire and influence others, resulting in heightened creativity and higher-quality ideas.

Additionally, leveraging team members’ diverse strengths and respectfully challenging ideas drives progress. Teams with mutual trust find it easier to take calculated risks. And thus, empowered collaborative efforts promote motivation, recognition, and innovation.

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8. Repeat the Idea

One-off declarations from leaders are not enough to inspire immediate adoption from their team. It takes consistent repetition for people to truly absorb and take proposed changes seriously.

Building trust in the expected changes requires a persistent effort on the part of leaders to reinforce the company’s agenda. Realize that change takes time and dedication, so continue to emphasize and reinforce the changes for maximum impact.

9. Involve the Team and Personalize Tasks

Involve the Team and Personalize Tasks

Along with explaining the purpose behind a project, it is also essential to consider each team member’s strengths when assigning tasks. Utilize one-on-one meetings to gain their support and commitment towards the project.

Establish specific and measurable objectives while emphasizing the significance of team accountability. If appropriate, involve team members in outlining their tasks and duties.

10. Stay Connected and Schedule Follow-Up

When you want change to last, you can’t set it and forget it. Stay connected with your team and ensure everyone is on the same page. Make yourself available for your organization. Encourage employees to update you when challenges arise so you can help problem-solve.

That’s not to say you should listen to every gripe and complaint, but you can let everyone know you are empathetic to their concerns and are willing to work with them to find solutions. Further, encourage employees to bring a solution when making you aware of a problem.

11. Remain Open-Minded

An excellent approach to delivering news of changes to your team is to remain open-minded and empathetic. Recognize that change can be challenging, and clarify to your team that you value their feedback and questions.

As a leader, it’s essential to be willing to compromise and adjust the plan if necessary. Actively listen to your team’s advice and suggestions and implement them whenever possible to show their voices are heard and valued.

12. Address Resistance

All change will be met with some level of resistance. Be upfront in addressing instances of resistance. An occasional alignment meeting 1-on-1 to drive commitment may be necessary. This is important for two reasons. First, minor problems have a nasty habit of growing. Second, you don’t want unhappy employees poisoning the minds of others.

13. Be Prepared to Pivot

Just as employees resist change, we sometimes fail to realize that our new ideas aren’t working as we want them to. Assuming you have the right workers on the right task, solicit their feedback. You must be prepared to take their advice and adjust your game plan.

Sometimes, that means mid-course corrections. Other times, it means scrapping the plan and starting from scratch. That’s not defeat — it’s the ultimate sign that you value your employees’ buy-in for your ideas.

14. Focus on Teamwork

Focus on Teamwork

Although many employees may initially be hesitant to transition from working independently to collaborating on a team, it’s essential to address their concerns and highlight the benefits of teamwork for project success.

Remind them that organizations that value collaboration are often more efficient, effective, and motivated. Encourage them by emphasizing how teamwork can help distribute tasks evenly, allowing them to focus on their strengths and minimize tasks they don’t enjoy.

15. Recognize Employee’s Contributions

A lack of recognition can lead to burnout, resentment, and lower-quality work, significantly harming the team dynamic. That’s why making employee recognition a central part of the project’s vision is crucial.

It shouldn’t be a sporadic or random occurrence but rather woven into the project timeline with regular check-ins, meetings, and feedback sessions where team leaders can express appreciation for individual growth, strengths, and contributions.

Bringing Everyone on Board: How to Get Buy-In from Your Team

At Cultivate Advisors, we know receiving initial support may be difficult, but embarking on a new path with the company is invigorating and typically leads to valuable learning and development opportunities for everyone involved.

The more buy-in you get from more of your employees, the more productive they will be in executing your shared goals and initiatives. If you need more help with your leadership and don’t know how to get buy-in from employees, you don’t have to go at it alone.

Schedule a free two-hour performance session with our process improvement consultants to dig into your business and develop a plan.

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