Consultants and Training


In my practice, I interviewed Jane Marshell. Jane Marshell is a commercial, pragmatic, and focused human resource professional. She is a strong communicator with delegation and organizational skills and also has sound project management. Marshell has excellent influencing skills and can create effective relationships with company stakeholders while understanding their business requirements (Interview Script). She is also confident and with the ability to adapt to organizational change. Her typical duties include making sure all W2 information is submitted, making direct deposits, compliance modules completion, and severance packages, etc. She is the main point of contact for all employees in her organization who want to talk about family situations, reasons for absences, or check into resources available through the company. These include stress management, daycare resources, employment verifications, and company perks. She also makes sure employees sign up for their medical insurances. Nonetheless, she handles any complaints, including harassment and disciplinary actions.

Company Used

A significant company I used for my interview is Press Ganey. Press Ganey is a global organization that aims to improve patients’ experiences in different health care facilities around the globe. The organization has its scoring system to determine the level of dedication that hospitals have in enhancing patient experience from entering the facility to the time they leave. Press Ganey is a strategic business partner to over 41,0000 health facilities as they lead the industry in assisting hospitals in creating sustainable and continuous development and transforming their care experience. The company associates are strongly committed to their work and clients’ success and have deep healthcare experience. The company’s core values include commitment, teamwork, and respect.

Question 1: When do you use an internal and external consultant?

Internal Consultants are part of the company and therefore can go at the company’s pace and act as any other employee. According to the interviewee, it depends on what they are using internal consulting for (Interview Script). Internal consulting is used in analyzing risks in a project and understanding the relationship between systemic risks and project-related risks. Everything is interconnected. Increased technical complexity creates tremendous demand for usability. There is a connection between usability and capability for a project solution which is often not understood in projects. The correct implementation is the internal consultant’s receipt if he or she has done everything correctly in understanding the organization’s strategy and processes. They also summarize and have a keen eye for minor signs and problems in a project that unattended could lead to much bigger problems.

External Consultants are typically hired for high-stakes projects under tight timelines with explicit deliverables. For many years, the internal consulting department at Press Ganey Company was considered to be equal in consultant talent to any of the prestigious management consulting firms. The principal U.S. management consulting certifying organization, the Institute of Management Consultants, has recognized experienced internal management consultants as candidates to meet their criteria for certification in the same manner as outside consultants. Missing a deadline or messing up a deliverable could lead to termination. There are all kinds of management tools available (Communicating for Results in Organizations Consulting). However, assuming that everyone has received training, what needs more focus is to understand common risks and their relative importance in projects.

Question 2: Explain how the different training techniques can be used to introduce change into an organization. Include a discussion of all of the methods.

Several training techniques can be used to introduce change to the organization. One of the most effective taring techniques is the use of the Prosci ADKAR model. They used this model since they wanted their staff to be trained and receive a certification as change agents. Prosci ADKAR model is a set of organizational rules which place the responsibility for development on the individual (Interview Script). Prosci ADKAR model is a goal and results-oriented discipline and relies on the client, in this case, the employee, to determine and act upon their goals. The training technique supports the individual in pursuing those goals, where they are aligned with the organization’s goals and business plan. The line managers must also hold individuals accountable for the goals that they have themselves defined.

Another training technique is the train the trainer technique. This enabled them to train other lower-level staff (Interview Script). Train the trainer activities often imply open discussions, which result in employees starting to feel more open about expressing their opinions to each other. More than that – they get the chance to know each other in a casual situation which is always much different from chatting in the office. If the training is done right, the trainer will have compelling selling stories (about the industry, company, customers, competitors, products, services, partners, objection handling, etc.) internalized and ready so they can deliver them at the appropriate time in the heat of a conversation

Another technique is hands-on training.  Hands-on training is much needed and essential to increase productivity with the new changing trends. One time acquired knowledge is not sufficient if considered for an extended period. So continuous learning is required to being with the flow of work. Here, hands-on learning solutions come to the front. It is the bridge that takes individuals to the success of their business or organization. If organizations train their employees, it directly positively reflects the business and improves efficiency. Another reason hands-on training is essential is for compliance. Recently, anti-harassment training and diversity training has become very popular. Many companies are beginning to see the need for compliance training to avoid sexual harassment or discrimination within the workplace. Without regular compliance training, companies are more at risk of harassment claims and having increased legal expenses.

E-Learning is another learning technique that has already benefitted several organizations across industries. E-learning enables learning anywhere, everywhere, and on everything and is cost-effective. There is also no physical infrastructure needed. Nonetheless, organizations can create life as well as self-paced programs. This kind of training provides technological possibilities since a lot of innovation is going on in eLearning, and it is only going to become better with time.

Question 3: What skills does an effective consultant need?

To be successful, a consultant must develop different skills. Consultants should specifically have good communication skills. It is essential to listen “between the lines” because clients may not know what they need. Communication also enables consultants to communicate with clients and other employees within the organization effectively. Communication skills also entail active listening (Interview Script). Being an active listener means a consultant is interested in having clarity on the problem. Part of this listening quality has curiosity. Great consultants are curious about much about them and are always thinking about the why. After communication skills, a consultant needs to know human psychology (Communicating for Results in Organizations Consulting). It does not have to be in-depth, but the heart of consulting is to get people to see themselves as others do to develop a shared worldview.

A consultant should have solid analytical skills (Interview Script). This entails figuring out in the broadest context possible what is the right thing for the client to do from a world (or at least industry) perspective. This ensures any solution a consultant has come up with has a more extended view as its context. The short-term outlook is essential, particularly when it comes to earnings, but the long-term view is usually the absolute right thing to do. This “quality” comes from experience and an ability to take that experience. Consultants should also have problems solving skills. Often a great consultant will instinctively know the answer to a problem before solving it, and the engagement is spent proving or disproving that hypothesis.

Consultants should have collaboration skills and have a good sense of humor (Interview Script). This means engaging in healthy debate within their team or with the client or getting through a tough slog of data gathering and analytics. In particular, being able to discern the foibles of people and understanding what drives them will not only help in getting an engagement accomplished but also help everyone have a better experience doing it. Apart from the standard case framework utilization and building solutions for clients based upon feedback, consultants center their thoughts on two properties and subsequently screen for them during personal achievement interview sessions.

Question 4: How would you determine whether the consultant would be the right fit for a company’s needs.

I will determine if a consultant would be the right to fit the corporation’s needs by analyzing different aspects. She must have a good academic background. If a consultant does not show that she can quickly learn complex things, digest them and form an opinion or understanding, and then reuse that learning, she cannot get past the first gate. The interviewee also needs to be strongly numerate and analytical (Communicating for Results in Organizations Consulting). Whether a consultant is assessing a market fit or advising on organizational design, she will need to be able to develop a business case, read graphs, and present numeric information clearly and well.

The interviewee also needs to be able to communicate well and be fast thinking in the conversation. Good communication includes being able to present ideas clearly but, more importantly, being able to listen carefully and ask insightful questions.  As a consultant, she is going to run lots of interviews, whether gathering business requirements for an SAP implementation or assessing a company for a fit in an acquisition (Communicating for Results in Organizations the Communication Audit). There are also several personal characteristics I will determine. The client needs to be hard-working. Working all night on a presentation is not unusual, particularly in the early years. Working more than sixty hours in a week is pretty standard. She needs to be able to sustain that work rate for months at a time.

The consultant would be fit for consulting if she is good at and enjoys problem-solving. While traditional consulting firms typically emphasize quantitative skills and analytical capabilities. In today’s world, sheer creativity can make a difference in solving tough. She has to be interested in how things work to be able to tackle different challenges that come with a company. She should have the ability to create value by recognizing and solving problems. Every person is paid the wage they receive based on the value they create. In the business world, people’s income generally reflects the value they bring with their particular skills or knowledge.

The interviewee is fit for the business because she enjoys networking, solving problems, and have high expectations for herself. Consulting is about relationships to enable individuals to be consistent on the projects they take. The interviewee feels that her job is to integrate herself into an organization to correct inefficiencies without disrupting efficiently run processes. She has also taken her leadership and communication skills to influence many people at one time for exponential growth. Years of leadership roles and business owners gave her the ability to work with an organization and make an immediate impact. It is an art of asking the right questions, observing the culture, and recognizing strengths and weaknesses, and then settling into a spot that will impact the business during the contractual period and long after. Thus she is the right fit for the company’s needs.

Question 5 Select a particular company, describe what the company needs in terms of consulting, determine what skills a consultant would need to address that need, and then select learning techniques that would be appropriate.

After analyzing the needs of Press Ganey, I think it would be effective for them to have a robust consultation. In today’s age, there is an increasing amount of competition for most consulting firms. People no longer live in an era where there are high costs to opening a business. Anyone with some references can open up their consulting shop. This presents a problem for businesses. Now in the past, this burden fell on the consulting firm itself. They would have to convince the business that they were the best choice (Communicating for Results in Organizations the Communication Audit). Today that’s not the case. In the information age that people live in, most businesses will have done significant amounts of research before they ever get to pitching them.

This gives an excellent chance for truly experienced consultants. By far, the best way to begin a robust digital culture in any Press Ganey is to invest in content marketing. In this case, consultants need technological and communication skills. With this, the company can take the consultant’s solid ideas and put them to paper. Then, they can create fantastic industry whitepapers, become thought leaders in the industry, express their high-level thoughts on events. With tech and communication skills, consultants can promote these ideas through FB groups, LinkedIn groups, and your newsletter.

To address this need consultant, need to be emotionally robust since they are dealing with patients. Clients will be demanding, and consultants will not get a lot of sympathies, and the partners they work for may well shred their efforts in front of them and the rest of the team. Consultants need to have a forgiving and supportive family and friends. They will work away from home for six-month stretches, and when they are at home, they may not be able to be flexible to go to their partner’s choir concert or take them out to dinner on their birthday. They also need to be self-confident and present their point of view despite often knowing less about the details of the domain than the client.

The best learning technique, in this case, would Prosci ADKAR. Prosci ADKAR is one where individuals are encouraged to learn from failure instead of being punished (Interview Script). It ensures individuals are encouraged to develop into new roles rather than being kept in place and where individuals are. Prosci ADKAR. This leads to improvement in communication which paves the way for organizational success.  It also empowers employees and leads to job satisfaction. If employees are confident that they have the skills and have a solid understanding of the tasks they are given, they are much happier in those roles and will not only work harder but stay in those roles longer.

Question 6: How do you evaluate whether or not the training and the consultation were practical?

To evaluate whether or not the training and consultation were practical, I can use the KPI Scorecard in measuring training effectiveness. This method describes the statistical record measuring achievement and progress towards performance indicators (Interview Script). At the end of the program, the participant’s reaction to the program on parameters such as trainer competence, the program’s relevance, ease of application in real-life scenarios is captured on the scorecard. The scorecard provides a visual representation that is easy to understand. The knowledge levels of the participants before and after the program is assessed to measure the increase in knowledge in terms of concepts, tools, and techniques. If the gain in knowledge is negligible, then again, the program is considered ineffective. The scorecard will indicate whether the participants are applying the learnings from the program. The impact of changed behavior on the business in terms of productivity, efficiency, effectiveness, sales is also measured

There are several well-known methods to measure training and consultation effectiveness. The majority of companies choose employee training and development to improve the skills and enhance the productivity of their employees (Communicating for Results in Organizations the Communication Audit). Training measurement is beneficial to improve employee engagement and retention as well. To measure training, I can also conduct one-to-one discussions, post-training quizzes, case studies, surveys, and certification exams to measure training effectiveness. Depending on the consultant’s response, I can easily understand, evaluate, and measure the effectiveness of training.



Communicating for Results in Organizations Consulting: Class Lecture

Communicating for Results in Organizations the Communication Audit: Class Lecture

Interview with Jane Marshell, HR Officer



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