Researching and identifying the problems within a business takes a great deal of time and effort. As a result, even independent business consultants find themselves working as part of a team from time to time.
In some cases, a group of individuals is assembled by the client, featuring a range of employees that represent various levels of the business. While working with a team can be helpful in some regards, it can also make your job a bit more difficult.
Why Clients Establish Teams
The main reason that a client chooses to assemble a team of workers is to cover all the bases. While a business owner may know a lot about his or her venture, they may be unaware of events taking place at lower levels or between employees that are negatively affecting production. By assigning one representative from each department, for example, you will gain a better insight into the workings of the business, allowing you to more easily spot any problems. A client may also implement a team to help cut expenditures, especially if an employee will be at your service to perform administrative tasks.
Broaden Your Horizons
Each staff member will bring something different to the table. Joe from accounting may suspect that outdated software is presenting issues in his department, while Mary in marketing may feel that ineffective advertising is holding the business back. It’s likely that Joe would have no knowledge of the marketing problems, and vice-versa. This is where you come in. It is your job to see the big picture, by taking every comment into account and then bringing them all together to find the major sources of setbacks.
As you delve into the nitty-gritty of the business, you may discover that a particular employee is causing a great deal of difficulties for his or her coworkers. In fact, your search may lead you to discover that the individual is struggling within the position due to a lack of qualifications or experience.
In this case, it is a good idea to ask the client to bring a member of the human resources department on board. This will help to iron out any legal wrinkles and assist you on your quest to resolve the issue, since employment-related troubles must be approached delicately. Discovering an unskilled worker does not have to lead to termination; alternatively, you may recommend additional training for the employee.
Even if you are handed a great team and the process goes off without a hitch, problems can still arise at the end of the project. When it comes time to present your findings and make recommendations, some employees may be resistant to change, particularly if their department is noted as the source of any dispute. It is crucial that you distribute the information as fairly as possibly, in order to avoid any conflict. If you are given the green light skip the group input and proceed directly to the owner or manager, all the better. Rest assured, not all suggestions are immediately embraced by employees, and it’s an obstacle that all independent business consultants must overcome eventually.