It’s tough out there – get engaged to your consultant today!

At EASTWEST we make a big effort to be in alignment internally, but it is also very important for clients to ensure that our consultants are in alignment with their vision, priorities and bottlenecks. One of the best ways to maximise your return on investment in the fees of the agency is to make sure that your consultants understand your priorities, know your concerns and hear your feedback on their performance; be it positive reinforcement  or constructive criticism. According to  Owen Sullivan, CEO of Right Management. “It’s in times of hardship and uncertainty that leaders are investing more in engaging and aligning their employees to reap the utmost commitment, productivity and focus. Leaders know that it’s only the collective talent of their workforces that will pull them through.” In a recent article in workplace magazine senior managers in the USA were found to be spending their time in the following proportions:

  • 51 per cent – Engaging employees to ensure organizational alignment and commitment
  • 21 per cent – Clearly defining roles and expectations
  • 13 per cent – Making efficient and informed personnel decisions
  • 15 per cent – Developing current skill base and capabilities within organization

Our consultants provide a variable cost on demand resource for clients, and to add value in the way that internal employees  do so requires an investment of time to get engagement from your external team members as well. Email is asynchronous exchange which doesn’t create engagement, rather creates work for the recipient. I encourage our consultants to use the phone and to try to meet our clients and journalists. As a company I am experimenting with feedback tools including Surveymonkey and Rypple. According to research by Albert Mehrabian in the 1960’s it is believed that some  80% of all communication is non verbal – and that is when people are present with one another. Imagine then what a reliance on  email can mean in terms of alignment especially in this era of blackberry length replies and sms notes. To get engagement we need to communicate orally as well as in written form, and where possible in person. Ultimately  building loyalty and enthusisam in your consultants is the same as it is in your internal staff. They need to feel your passion and commitment to the cause, and with their expertise, experience and contact they will bring you the results that you want.  Of course you may not want to get engaged to your consultant, but you will want them to play a valuable part in achieving your goals. Let them know how.

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