Getting Management Support

Management support is getting the support of your managers for CTR - this could mean your immediate supervisor all the way up to the CEO or director.  In order to make your program a success, it will be helpful to ask management for resources and support, including time, money and their enthusiasm.

Why is it important?

Management support is crucial to the success of any CTR program, so don't be afraid to ask management for help.

If management actively demonstrates their commitment to protecting the environment, conserving energy, and contributing to the well being of the community, employees will be much more likely to participate.

dragons Some managers fear different ways of working, such as telework.

Organizations that have executives and managers who carpool, ride the bus, walk or bicycle to work - even on an occasional basis - send a strong, positive message about corporate culture and environmental priorities.  Even if they won't participate, having management presence in your program means it is officially sanctioned by your organization.

As your program gets into full swing, Senior Management will require information about the effectiveness of program components before they make subsequent allocations of resources.

How to Sell Your Program to Management

Here are some benefits you can use to help sell your program to management:
  • Using commute alternatives means employees arrive at work on time, relaxed and ready to get started.
  • Employers with progressive CTR programs report that their program benefits help them recruit and retain good employees, and sometimes even reduce overhead costs!
  • By reducing the number of vehicles on our highways, as well as urban and suburban sprawl, the enormous costs to build more roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure can be contained.
  • Less traffic congestion means faster movement of goods along our streets and highways, and it will help hold the line on shipping costs.  This may directly impact your organization's bottom line.
  • A cleaner environment presents fewer health risks.  There is strong evidence that employee absenteeism and health coverage costs can be reduced through CTR programs.
  • We all help to preserve our environment and quality of life, for ourselves and for future generations.




Getting and Keeping Management Support

Here are some tips to help keep management involved, supportive, and visible to your employees as you implement and manage your CTR program:

  • Show your own commitment and enthusiasm.  Be ready to communicate your convictions to management.  If you don't believe in what you are doing, no one else will.
  • Ask the head of your workplace if you may draft important communications about your CTR program in the form of a memo from him or her.  A letter from the director or president lends importance to the program, and it gets read! 
  • Furnish company executives and managers with concise, well-organized information that covers key aspects of your program. Don't forget to document successes (e.g., 20 new carpoolers) or potential problems (e.g., the cost of installing shower will be 20 percent higher than originally budgeted).  Ask for help when you need it. 
  • Be well prepared to handle management questions and to answer them succinctly. Use documentation from other sources (e.g., case studies from other workplaces, related research, charts and graphs, etc.).  Your county or jurisdiction CTR representative will be happy to provide information or assistance to meet the needs of your management.  If you don't have an immediate answer to a question, say so.  But, also make, and keep, a commitment to respond with appropriate information. 
  • Test the waters.  Seek ideas from key executives about important issues such as who should be recruited for a steering committee or what should be included in a written policy statement.  They may offer a perspective you hadn't thought of- and this will not only save time but also make the information you present more comprehensive and on target. 
  • Show managers how the idea will pay off for them.  For example, quote studies that show carpooling reduces tardiness or teleworking increases productivity.  They'll be quicker to support a program if they can see its advantages. 
  • Ask managers to participate in the training and information process to increase the credibility and importance of the messages. Invite executives to offer introductory remarks at orientation sessions, or possibly even teach a portion of the program.  This demonstrates to employees that management supports the program. 
  • Ask managers to take part in promotions. For example, hosting a lunch for employees who win commuter contests or participating in a car wash for vehicles of employees who share the ride to work, or even drawing the winning names in a company-wide CTR promotion prize drawing. 
  • Keep working on management support. Don't assume you're always going to have it - managers change.  Keep working on management support, all the time.
Give Management a Choice

If management isn't ready to commit fully to a new element, propose a pilot project instead.  Here are some tips for selling a pilot program, such as teleworking or compressed work schedules:
  • Gather facts and statistics.
  • Sell benefits to management to gain support.
  • Implement a pilot program (time limited).
  • Tailor program to meet the organization's needs.
  • Monitor results.
  • Evaluate pilot program and give management a choice on whether or not to continue.