An excerpt of my 2020 self-evaluation

Do you have any suggestions for the management team?

1) If you make a decision, tell us. Better yet, tell us right away and tell us why, especially if that decision reverses a prior decision.

2) Please consider different/additional business models for the consulting business. I wrote a bit about this in my prior review and shouldn’t repeat it here except to point out that it is apparent to me that the strict hourly model places a lid on profitability, quality, and employee engagement in the work. That’s probably necessary to point three below.

3) Please consider how to make compensation and benefits more competitive. I also wrote about this in my prior review. I’ve since realized that this is not just a competitiveness problem; it is also an equity and inclusion problem.

At the time I said “there also are numerous small compensation-related disappointments that I’ve mostly gotten over” — I was wrong about that. A few of them have run their course and no longer affect me directly; these are PTO accrual from zero, no benefits until well over one calendar month plus the month of start has elapsed, no profit sharing after a cutoff date rather than prorated profit sharing after a cutoff date, no key to the office for the first month. These will remain disappointments to new hires and in one case (benefits delay) is distinctly family-unfriendly.

No holidays is a real problem, as it takes fifteen days of PTO and makes it behave like eight. Eight days are VERY easy to consume and exceed in a year’s time, and folks in young families, with elderly parents to care for, or with disabilities or medical concerns are likely to burn through this allowance rapidly and find both their earning potential and ability to recharge harmed as a result. This is (unintentionally) as anti-diversity as it could be, as the least likely to be negatively affected are unattached young men followed by men in multi-earner households.

We’ve since learned from our research interviews with Directors and VPs that low offers plus lack of holidays is also a distinct brake on hiring, as they are a double blow to total compensation. We’re in a competitive environment where parity with local employers is no longer sufficient (and are we sure we meet even that standard?).

All the more reason to examine the business model or add additional business models to our portfolio.