One of the most important things our consultants want is to ensure their clients feel the advice and support they get is a positively beneficial thing for their businesses. We want to help clients do what they want to do. We want to help them achieve their business objectives and to do this we want to help clarify and achieve their people-related objectives. We want them to feel enabled by the advice we give, because that will make them feel good about us, and come back for more help, and recommend us to others!
Here are some of the ways we ‘enable’ our clients.
1. We don’t say you ‘can’t’ do this or that
We try to give positive advice which is based around what the client wants to achieve. There is usually a way, or several ways, a client can achieve their objective. Sometimes these involve a certain amount of risk from a legal or commercial point of view. But if they want to do something that on the face of it seems challenging, we don’t say they can’t, we find a way they can.
2. We give tailored advice
This is really important. If you are giving more generic advice, it has to be very cautious and restrictive. By tailoring advice very specifically for an individual client, you can assess both the risk in those specific circumstances relating to that individual much more effectively, and can also assess the client’s appetite for risks as well.
You can explain the risks better in that you can do it very specifically and realistically for the circumstances in question, and can advise the client which of a number of different options will be best for them. Tailoring advice is much better for finding a positive way forward to achieve the client’s objective, and it means it can be about so much more than just making sure they don’t break the law.
3. We don’t offer tribunal insurance
Many of our competitors do, and some clients find it reassuring, understandably. But the trouble is that if you offer that, the focus of your advice naturally becomes restrictive rather than enabling. You are aiming to avoid paying out on your guarantee, and the easiest and safest way of doing that is to restrict what clients do. If the guarantee is backed up by an insurer, then you are working for the insurer not for your client, and we don’t think that’s right. We want to find positive solutions for clients, and we want to make sure our interests are aligned with theirs, not split.
4. We understand clients’ businesses
By working closely with clients, visiting them, getting to know their business and their sector, their people, their personalities, their teams and their working patterns and practices, we can give much better quality advice. We can find ways of achieving their business objectives that are absolutely realistic in their business, not just things we’ve done in other, completely different businesses.
Performance management is one example. We design performance management processes all the time, but they are not all the same. A very elaborate, structured process will be exactly right for some businesses, but in another business that process will be unrealistic, therefore won’t be used at all, or will be used half-heartedly and probably resented by most of the staff. Performance management should be a positive, enabling process, but if the system used is the wrong one, no one will engage with it, and it has the opposite effect.
5. We write tailored documents
We don’t issue standard template documents. Instead we draft contracts and policies which suit the individual client’s business. That way every client has the policies they need (and no more), written in a way which their staff will understand, and with content that will realistically work for their business. The documents therefore get used and are enabling, rather than getting ignored or becoming an irritation.
If you’re more about enabling rather than restricting clients, do get in touch.