It was November 1986 and our company had just gone through a major reorganization, , , I mean MAJOR !
With this new focus, I was to begin managing a small support unit called IFAS. In this organization, we supported the IFAS software which our company had licensed to large hospitals throughout the US. My group, , , the Southeast IFAS team!
On this team we had 23 people supporting 25 hospitals in the southeastern part of the United States. Because it was November, we needed to develop an operating budget for the next year.
As I worked through my budget, I remember clearly thinking that I needed to budget something for an “event” to motivate my new team and to show them my appreciation during the next year. So what I did was put in $1,000 in a Miscellaneous category for some kind of employee event. I had no idea what the event would be, , , but the important thing was I planned to do something.
As we got into summer of the next year, I sat down with a couple of my people to determine what we could do to “appreciate the team”. We discovered we could rent a houseboat on Lake Lanier for an afternoon for $700, and because the boat was docked during the morning we were told we could hold a meeting on the boat prior to taking it out, , , , that’s exactly what we did.
Monthly staff meeting on the top deck of the boat in the morning and swimming, water skiing, and enjoying the day on the lake in the afternoon.
This little “event” went over great and my staff was so impressed, , , it was a huge morale booster. The word got around to the other four IFAS offices pretty quick and many wondered, “Why does Mike get to do these things?”
The answer is pretty simple, , , I budgeted for it, , , even though I didn’t know at the time of my budget preparation exactly what we would do. What I did know is that I needed to spend some money on my team the next year and show them I appreciate their hard work, , , so I put some money in the budget to make it happen.
Are you putting money into next year’s budget right now?
If you are starting to develop next year’s budget, be sure to include key things in addition to your basic expense items, such as:
- Employee recognition
- Employee outing or “event”
- Employee training
- Training for yourself
Budget for something and you might just get it. Don’t plan for it and I can almost guarantee it won’t happen.
Need additional insight about budgeting for an IT organization? Check out my book, IT Budgeting: operational and capital budgeting made easy. Included with the e-book are the tools I use to develop operating and capital budgets.