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Scaling From Solo Consultant To A Team By Creating A Total Rewards Program

Hiring The Right People

In a people-centric business such as consulting, there is no chance of success without the right people.

But getting the best and keeping them there is tougher than it sounds, especially if you haven’t put enough thought into how you are going to do that.

One of the most critical things, to begin with, is to make your people feel valued and respected. When people feel valued, they are motivated to deliver better results and look for careers instead of jobs.

Ensuring that your team is compensated fairly will make sure that they thrive and contribute to your firm’s great results.

In a people-centric business such as consulting, there is no chance of success without the right people.

How To Hire Affordably

Cash flows for a small and upcoming consulting firm could be tight, so you definitely don’t want to overspend on compensation.

Here’s how you bring new people into your firm in an affordable way:

  • Assess the ‘value’ of each position by looking at market norms and location-specific data.
  • Ensure that your offering is competitive and in alignment.
  • Create a stepped system to have higher pay for more experienced or more competent people
  • Analyze your own affordability and check how you fare in relation to the market

Creating A Total Rewards Strategy

Just because you can’t afford to pay market rates does not mean you must shelve your hiring plans.

This is where building a ‘total rewards strategy’ can help.

Create a total rewards program in your consulting business that incorporates:

  • base pay,
  • bonuses and variable pay,
  • recognition,
  • career development,
  • and relevant employee benefits.

While your base pay can be relatively lower, consider offering career growth and learning opportunities that people value.

Build a winning proposition where people learn new skills and deploy them on the job to deliver higher value — to the business and to themselves.

In addition, employee recognition programs are among the easiest ways to show respect and value to people’s contributions. Recognize your people for their contributions and for displaying the right behaviors and values.

Employee Bonuses & Benefits

Bonuses are a great way to set up ‘gain-sharing’ programs where your team members earn the bonus only after achieving a desirable outcome.

Such programs can help people take ownership and think of themselves as having ‘skin in the game’ (like value pricing — but instead of for your clients, it’s for your team).

The only caution here is to not get carried away and focus all attention on short-term gains.

The long-term perspective is important and that is where benefits come in handy to build the right culture.

Don’t copy ‘cool’ ideas like an unlimited vacation.

Instead, listen to what your people want and need — and consider benefits such as:

  • vacation,
  • health insurance,
  • fertility treatments
  • and wellness allowances, among others.

In addition, consider offering remote/flexible work options to get great talent from around the world.

This is how set your people up for success right from the word go.

Ensuring New Employee Success

Onboarding your new people right is the best way to bring them up to speed and contribute their best.

However, as a busy founder, you may be unable to devote time to onboarding because of competing priorities.

It helps to create a clear onboarding process that handholds people and gives them a roadmap to ramp up to desired performance levels.

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