5 Tips For Managing Consultants

Whether you run a team entirely composed of consultants, or you’re contracting a consultant to help out, it can be a daunting undertaking. To make sure your team runs as smoothly as possible, everyone needs to be on the same page.

1.Properly Onboardshutterstock_221213605Properly onboarding is essential to the success of your consultant as well as your overall team. Your current staff may feel threatened or be unwelcoming. Therefore it’s a good idea to bring in the new consultant for a few introductory meetings to get a feel for the team and show them what their role will be. In addition, you need to reassure your existing consultants that their job is not in jeopardy. The onboarding process is where you define the tone of the team, as well as each individual’s job.

2.Be Clear On Responsibilities and Expectationsshutterstock_526117648 (1)All responsibilities and expectations on how and when work should be executed need to be explicitly laid out and agreed upon by all employees. Each consultant needs to know what their obligations and quotas are, as well as who they directly report avoiding discrepancies, redundancies, and conflict.

3.Implement Regular Performance Evaluationsshutterstock_482561641 (1)Monitor and evaluate performance through assessment of individual tasks, periodic improvement benchmarks, outcomes, as well as through mentoring. Regular evaluations will keep your consultants on their toes and always mindful of the work they are doing. It also provides tangible items to work on an index of their performance over their time at the company.

4.Give Credit Where Credit Is Dueshutterstock_533579146Recognition is your most powerful tool when monitoring your consultants. If they have done exceptional work, or have substantially improved, be sure to let them and your staff know if the setting is appropriate to do so. This will not only reinforce their sense of purpose and value in the company, but it will encourage others to strive to perform at the same level. Recognition can be anything from a verbal encounter, a written note, or tangible rewards such as cash back or company trips.

5.Properly Track Expendituresshutterstock_394608475If your consultants are operating on an hourly basis, or are taking clients out for lunch and other complementary incentives, make sure you have proper documentation of timesheets and expenses. Using  company-wide makes it easy for everyone to stay on top of expenditures. Your consultants simply take a photo of their receipts, upload it through the ExpenseOnDemand App and it is automatically validated for specific amounts before being passed along to the designated accountant.

Laying out all expectations, responsibilities, due dates, and holding everyone accountable will make your consultant team much more successful. It’s important to make sure each consultant feels validated and part of the team, so hosting team building exercises will help your consultants work together rather than in competition with each other. By taking these steps, it will provide a more productive work environment.