How (and Why) to Get Employee Buy-In

Teamwork is crucial to business success in most organizations. But setting a team's direction is often the easy part. After setting team goals, you need to ensure that staff are motivated to work together by establishing employee buy-in. 

Getting an employee to buy in to the concept of working collaboratively can be difficult. Some people simply like to work independently. Others may not be convinced of the true benefits of working as a group. Therefore, when you present the idea of working on a team, you'll want to emphasize the positive aspects of the experience in order to achieve team buy-in.

Barriers to Team Buy-In

Explain that each individual was specifically chosen for the contributions he or she can make in helping the team achieve its goals. This instills pride and a sense of purpose among those tapped to join the group and will encourage employee buy-in. You should also talk to employees about how they should prioritize the team's work in the context of their current responsibilities. And stress the importance of being open-minded and flexible, especially when forming a cross-functional team.

Some people like to work by themselves, and the thought of working with other people on a regular basis makes them uncomfortable. It may be difficult to get team buy-in from everyone. Others may enjoy the socialization that teamwork offers, but they aren't persuaded that the group can accomplish more than individual employees could by working on their own. Some people may have experienced difficulties in past team-based situations.

Incentives to Employee Buy-In

When you present the idea of working on a team, you need to make sure you spell out all the good points about the value of teamwork in the workplace, so that you can sway staff members toward optimism, excitement and employee buy-in. Here are some points to emphasize:

  • Each team has something unique to offer. Explain the goal of the team and how members can contribute to that goal. Tell them as much as you can about the type of assignment and their teammates and how they can make the most of this experience.
  • This task is important. Let employees know the importance of the new project and how they should prioritize it within their current project schedule. Also let them know what to do if they need additional help to handle all their responsibilities.
  • Remind them not to make snap judgments. Especially on cross-functional teams, team members' beliefs, attitudes and communication styles may collide. Let everyone know that you expect respect for all differing points of view, and advise participants to keep an open mind.

Looking for more ways to encourage employee buy-in? Check out these fun team-building activities your staff can do in an hour.