6 Tips to Leadership Buy In: The Key to Creating a Culture of Caring

By Victoria Coley, Desert Mountain States Market VP, Humana

It’s easy to get leadership buy-in when you are a leader, you just change your mind! It’s harder if you are a mid-level manager trying to change the mind of those above you on the organization chart.

 As hard and intimidating as this first step might seem, understand its importance and know that getting that buy-in will pay off in spades for years to come.

 1.       Follow the path of least resistance.

When working to get your leadership team to start taking an interest in community support, always take it slow. Fortunately, your leaders are people too – flesh and blood, not AI robots! Suggest that your team takes part in an activity everyone can get behind, like a holiday toy drive or back to school drive.

 2.       Tell an emotional story to sell it

Ask your nonprofit partner for help with this. For example, Southwest Human Development’s foster care program relies on holiday drives to provide presents. Last year, they asked an 8-year-old girl what she wanted for Christmas, and the child said not to bother as she had never gotten anything she asked for – Santa never came. Who could say no to helping this girl?

 3.       Make a BIG deal about it

Share pictures of your team’s smiling faces with all staff – and on internal social media channels. Share the impact; for example, how many families will benefit from all the food boxes the team packed. Ask employees for quotes about how it made them feel.

 4.       Ask your leaders what they are passionate about

Do they hike? Conservation. Have dogs? Animal rescue. Kids play sports? Project 34. Golf? First Tee of Arizona. Appeal to their interests first to get the ball rolling. This is a great way to make it fun for them and also make it their idea. If they are a great leader, they will ask you: “What is the team passionate about?”

 5.       Bring up your passions and interests in your one-on-ones

Anytime they ask, “How are you?” mention your involvement and what it means to you. Get passionate! When they see this and your killer execution at work, they will start thinking: “Why aren’t all our employees like this?” Bring it up so often that it sparks their interest.

 6.       Transition the work to committee

Again, it’s always good to make it their idea. Tell them they don’t have time and you know exactly how to transition the good work they started to the appropriate committee. If you don’t have a community engagement committee, see the tips in our previous article!