The 2015 Best Firms to Work For: Slalom Consulting


2. Slalom Consulting

Headquarters: Seattle
Billable Consultants: 3,200
Client Industries Served: Biotech & Pharmaceuticals, Business and Consumer Services, Financial Services, Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Media & Information, Nonprofit, Real Estate, Retail, Hospitality, Software, Telecom, and Utilities & Energy
Consulting Service Lines: Information Technology, Strategy

Typically, as firms get larger they have a much more difficult time keeping the same positive culture they had when they were a smaller firm. Which is what makes Slalom Consulting so unusual. In 2007, when Slalom made its Best Firms debut, it had only 360 consultants. In 2011, the firm had 1,100 consultants. As the number of employees rose, so did the firm’s ranking. The last three years, Slalom has been ranked No. 5, 4 and 3.

In 2015, the $700 million employee owned consultancy has hit No. 2 on Consulting’s annual ranking of the profession’s Best Firms to Work For. “Our purpose is deeply rooted in helping those we serve fulfill their own purpose and vision,” says John Tobin, Co-Founder and President of Slalom North America. “It’s a simple equation that translates to meaningful connections and impactful work, and in leaving each person, client and community we work with better off for the shared experience we have together.”

It’s also led to a lot of success. “We are proud to be recognized by Consulting as a Best Firm to Work For. It’s especially important because it reflects the voice of our employees,” says Tobin. “The commitment they have to our company, unique culture and core values is demonstrated in the incredible work they do each and every day.”

On the survey, Slalom excelled in the areas of Work/Life Balance, Culture and Career Development. The firm finished No. 1 overall in Work/Life Balance.

Tobin says Slalom consultants have a direct say in the work they do and the projects on which they are staffed. The firm also has a “no unwanted travel” policy that’s helped create a “rewarding work environment that enables our people to maintain and strengthen relationships with loved ones, colleagues, clients, and the community,” Tobin says. The firm also has sabbatical benefits, which provides a full month off at 75 percent pay every three years.

When it comes to career development, Slalom recently revamped its onboarding program to help new hires build stronger, more immediate connections to the firm, he says. This includes recognition programs to celebrate amazing work, training and support for people managers, and new classes and coursework.

“We have made significant investments in developing career journeys for all employees, and expanded our leadership development program,” Tobin says.

Looking ahead, Tobin says the firm will be rolling out its 2020 strategic plan and roadmap in early 2016. And in keeping its focus on its’ people, Tobin says that “every employee is invited to participate in the process in a truly collaborative and transparent way.

Q&A: How would you describe morale at your firm and why?

John Tobin, Co-Founder and President, Slalom North America, says: “We put people first. Every individual who joins us becomes part of our fabric, weaving their unique talents and perspective into the greater whole of who we are. Slalom has had consistently high morale since we were founded in 2001. People love being here because we are a growing, thriving organization and actively promote a healthy balance between work and everyday life. That in turn creates the most motivated, efficient, and productive people. We genuinely like each other, and we like working together.”

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