How to Craft a Winning Case for Paid Family and Medical Leave

How can you convince others that your business should offer PFML (if you have decided so yourself)? See below for:

  • Five elements to include in a winning case for PFML
  • Guidance on how to customize your case
  • A sample memo that brings it all together

Elements of a Winning Case

Company experience has found that successful pitches for PFML tend to have the following five elements:

1: SET THE CONTEXT

Articulate why you've decided to raise the topic of PFML: employee interest, changing industry norms, a competitor announcement? Provide a summary of your company's current family/medical leave policies to ensure your audience knows the offering.

2: SPOTLIGHT EMPLOYEE NEEDS

Provide evidence of employee interest, such as employee survey results and individual anecdotes. This can be the strongest evidence in favor of implementation.

3: LINK TO YOUR COMPANY VALUES

State how PFML reinforces your company values or support your audience's specific agenda and business goals. Many companies have ultimately implemented PFML policies because they naturally fit with and reinforced their corporate values.

4: MAKE THE BUSINESS CASE

Share what your company stands to gain from offering PFML – often focused around the five business benefits discussed in Section II.
 

5: ADDRESS THE EXPECTED COST

Estimate the cost of offering PFML to show the program costs are manageable. Cost is often the number one concern company leaders have about implementing this benefit.

Guidance for Customizing Your Case

Every company has specific goals as it relates to employees, competitive positioning, culture, and bottom line results. When developing your case, focus on the potential business benefits that would be of greatest interest to decision makers and most valuable for your company based on its current situation, challenges, and aspirations.

A) HIGHLIGHT THE MOST RELEVANT BENEFITS FOR YOUR COMPANY

  • If your company is experiencing challenges with female retention / pay gap / representation, emphasize how PFML can boost retention rates
  • If your company strongly competes for hiring top talent, focus on how PFML would enhance your employee value proposition and boost talent attraction
     

B) APPEAL TO YOUR AUDIENCE'S INTERESTS

  • Find out what goals and issues are most important to your target decision makers
  • Bolster your case by sharing how PFML can help advance those goals. For example, focus on:
    • Talent attraction for a leader concerned with recruiting
    • Reduced turnover costs for a leader concerned with cutting costs
    • Improved employee morale for a leader concerned with work-life balance issues
       

C) APPEAL TO YOUR AUDIENCE'S STYLE

  • Learn what "type" of reasoning your audience typically finds most persuasive
  • Bolster your case by appealing to their preferred style of reasoning. For instance:
    • Emphasize numerical statistics and anticipated costs and cost savings for audiences most persuaded by data / cost-benefit analyses
    • Share employees' personal wishes and anecdotes as well as stories from other companies for audiences most convinced by powerful stories

"Our CEO is incredibly progressive so was on board from the beginning. To convince the CFO, we had to put together a convincing business case with numbers." - Hospitality business

Download a Sample Case

Click below to download a sample memo to senior decision makers for your use.

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