The world is rapidly changing and the strategy of expertise is lending itself to a consultant-friendly environment. Adding a consultant to your organization bring of wealth of industry-focused knowledge that can become a game-changer for the future of your company. With that being said, it’s important for key managers to understand the culture that comes along with hiring a Consultant. Being able to integrate your Consultant into your own corporate culture is vital to the success of your partnership. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind for a successful relationship with your Consultant:
Consultants are not employees: One of the primary reasons that Consultants work independently is because they are no longer influenced by the confines of working for someone else. When working with Consultants, keep in mind that you are in partnership with them and they don’t work for your organization. A Consultant works with your organization.
You hired them, let them do their job: Frequently, Consultants are hired to come in for a defined period of time to perform the functions outlined in their contract. Create an environment that allows those functions to be fulfilled. The proverbial “red tape” creates barriers that will delay the timelines to complete the work required to fulfill contractual obligations. Most likely, you didn’t hire a Consultant to do work that could be delayed or put off. The same urgency you have to have your project complete applies to your Consultant wanting to complete your project.
Introduce your Consultant to your staff: Although your Consultant is not your staff person, they also don’t want to be alienated as an “outsider” within your organization but one there to help move the organizational forward.
Be open to change: A Consultant is hired to complete the assigned project within the prescribed deadlines. The nature of a Consultant is that they implement Best Practices that provide cost/time-saving measures for the organization to continue after their tenure has ended. This may mean adjusting your Policies and/or Procedures. Enlist the support of your Consultant to make the necessary changes in your organization.
Honor your contract: A Consultant lives and dies by the contract they sign with you. If it’s in the contract it will get done. If you would like to add some additional duties, amend your contract. A Consultant is not being facetious by asking you to amend your contract for modified projects, costs, and timelines. It is their place of accountability and structure. It’s their job description and it’s legally-binding. It’s personal and it’s business.
Ultimately, the relationship with your Consultant heavily depends on you understanding their culture and them understanding theirs. It’s mutually beneficial if you allow it to be.