Every December, the end of the fiscal year sparks a “use it or lose it” spending frenzy as department managers race to use the remainder of their annual budgets. For the Federal Government, the fiscal year ends October 1 and aggressive spending occurs in September. See graph below.
Some senior managers are afraid if they spend less than their budget allows, the company CFO might give them less money in the following year. No one likes a budget cut.
Needless spending increases the cost of goods and services if the end of year money is not used wisely. The extra money could go back in the company budget and improve the company's ROI. Unfortunately, some departments often try to spend everything that remains instead of admitting they can operate on less.
If the money is spent on programs or efficiencies with the end goal of providing better services and results for your safety program, the expenditures can be justified. The following ideas are solutions you might consider in your organization.
1. Decide what conferences employees are attending in 2018 and pay registration fees in 2017.
2. Consider an end of year bonus for superstar staff members. They are worth their weight in gold and VERY hard to replace.
3. Invest in technology solutions that might be a one-time expenditure, but will make tasks more efficient and deliver results faster.
4. Conduct a cost savings reward program. Invite all company employees to submit creative ways they implemented to save safety costs. Reward the person(s) with the best savings idea utilized in 2017.
5. Build on a ‘Safety is 24/7' and have a safety coloring contest for employees' children with a 'winter safety' theme. Divide the submittals into age groups and have a local art teacher be the judge to avoid favoritism. Reward the top winner in each age category. Perhaps add a photo op with the Site Manager or President. That usually increases participation.
6. Invest in a streaming safety video program for 2018 and pay for it in 2017. It will make your safety training program much easier to implement in 2018
7. Ask your colleagues how they would like to see the remainder of the budget spent.
8. Update technology and rid yourself of poor or outdated equipment that can be affecting productivity. Keyboards? Computer speeds? Updated software programs with more features?
Never burn money for the sake of spending extra money in the budget. Use this time at the end of the year to review expenditures and ensure that you are utilizing your budget wisely.
Share this article with other managers who want to manage their budgets responsibly.