“Hello, my name is…”
A few months back we told you how to prepare your team in advance of a new consultant coming onboard. We understand this is a complicated topic that many in our audience need advice on, which is why we are returning to the subject this month. Here are a few more tips to help you get your consultant and your team on the same page:
Hold an Orientation Meeting
The first day the consultant is in the office, bring him and your team together to have an informal meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to make introductions, go over broad intentions/goals for the project moving forward, and discuss any issues/confusions face to face. You can do this before the consultant arrives through video conferencing. The point is to help everyone feel comfortable with one another and establish a sense of collaboration and camaraderie.
Prepare a Design Document
A design document is essentially an outline of the project you’ve brought the consultant in to participate in. The document defines goals, highlights resources, establishes points of contact, and references metrics. Once the document is complete, distribute copies to both the consultant and your entire team. A guideline like this can help smooth out points of friction and eliminate common confusions.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
We mentioned previously how important it is to solicit feedback. Even before the project ends, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open and promote the free flow of information/opinions/ideas between all parties. It’s not a bad idea to hold regular “status report” meetings just to make sure that benchmarks are being met and that the relationship between your team and consultant is working out as planned.
Grade the Experience
As the manager, it’s important for you to closely observe the relationship between you team and consultant and identify positives and negatives. What factors allowed you to achieve your goals and what factors caused you to fall short of expectations? This kind of reflection is helpful because this probably won’t be the last time you bring in a consultant. Figuring out what works and what does not helps you to tweak the onboarding process for next time and create a more productive link between your consultant and your team.
Why invest so much effort in preparing your team if you’re bringing in the wrong consultant? Get the most from the relationship by consulting with a team-oriented, expert HIM professional. Contact MedPartners to learn more.