Don’t worry about utilisation rate

Consultants worry about their utilisation rate.

It’s pegged to their bonus at the end of the year, and along with the usual performance review, 360 etc.

So when someone’s on the bench or tagged onto non-billable work, such as working on pre-sales and proposals, onboarding new hires, speaking at conferences, they are understandably worried about the impact to their utilisation.

This creates a behaviour centred around ‘me’.

“No billable project code? Sorry – can’t help.”

Some thoughts:

  1. Treat the bonus… as a bonus. Learn to live within your salary, and not depend on the bonus as part of your critical living expense.
  2. Don’t worry about being billable, instead, work on being valuable. You become more valuable by helping the company win business, mentoring others, blogging, speaking, adding value to others in a non-monetary way.

Show that you care more about others than about money.

This way, you will see your value go up, and others will want to work with you.

At the same time, consulting companies should reward value-adding non-billable activities, which creates a strong culture of ‘us’.

Great culture is always a winning strategy.


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