Professional Services firms that want to hire and retain the top talent need to ensure a good work-life balance for consultants, which is possible with the right tools and strategies.
Consultants are on the move again, moving to greener pastures for higher pay, growth opportunities, and most importantly, work-life balance. Professional Services firms may not be able to offer their employees everything they need, but new strategies and tools that are available today should help you check some of the boxes to keep attrition levels low.
One of the areas you can focus on is work-life balance.
Do consultants have a good work-life balance in Professional Services firms?
The question on work-life balance has always been a big one for consultants. This is also the question professionals ask about before joining the firm. The answers to this question, however, have been a mixed bag of making the travel and long hours seem exciting or make employees accept it as an expected part of the job.
Consultants know that the workload is never the same. You are hard at work from Monday to Thursday, meeting clients and getting things done, and you get to slow down a little on Friday and have the weekend to yourself to recharge the batteries. There are also those few months in the year where you must work on an important project where its all-hands-on-deck and very little free time.
Those who could not handle this daily grind and experienced frequent burnouts took the opportunity the Great Resignation provided to find better opportunities in other companies, leave the industry altogether to switch careers, or start something of their own, or just retire early.
Why people are leaving consulting?
For a while, it was a good time for employee retention. This was because people stayed on in the same firm because of the uncertainty of the pandemic and the state of the economy. Things changed in 2022 with new opportunities for growth and all that pent up need to make a career move, coupled with other factors, led to the Great Resignation.
Employees mostly leave for one or more of the following reasons:
- Consultants lured by other firms with better offers with higher salary, more interesting work, better work environment and boss, and promise of career advancement
- Better work-life balance in other firms
- Opportunity to work on new and popular technologies or work with key clients
While you may have little control on continually increasing the salaries, there are steps you can take to ensure work-life balance of consultants.
Creating a work-life balance in Professional Services firms
Creating a work-life balance is a responsibility of both the employees and the business. In some cases, the firm can only play the role of an enabler and share guidance to create a balance, but there are also other areas where you have to create the right policies for consultants to lead a more balanced life.
Some of the things consultants can do to create a balance are:
- Prepare for the hard days and weeks by checking the projects that are in the pipeline
- Exercise regularly, even if it is for just a few minutes a day
- Take regular breaks during the day and use your vacation leaves regularly
- Hire a personal assistant or virtual assistant to outsource all non-essential work while you work on your core consulting role
- Focus on results and not on the mode of service delivery, which can be on-site or remote service delivery
- Move to a low-cost city and cut down on travel by choosing virtual consulting
Professional Services Automation Tools for Better Work-Life Balance!
While there many things consultants can do in their individual capacity, there are also some steps that the firm can take to improve work-life balance. Using the right software solutions and policies are crucial to create the structures you need to make sure your employees are not burning out.
One solution that all growing Professional Services firms need to consider is Professional Services Automation (PSA). Imagine your consultants have visibility on not just the backlog but also the pipeline of deals that are going to be closed. Imagine the HR team knows about the current skillsets of the team, what skills are needed for upcoming projects, and hire talent to fill those exact gaps. Imagine project managers and senior leaders of the firm knowing how different projects are progressing, with the ability to track those that are going beyond budgets, deadlines, or scope.
You will be able to do all of the above and more when you have a connected system that has PSA, Human Capital Management (HCM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).Professional Services Automation Tools for Better Work-Life Balance!