The 2016 Best Firms to Work For: West Monroe Partners

Kevin McCarty portrait. Photo by Andrew Collings.7. West Monroe Partners

When it comes to the Best Firms to Work For, give West Monroe Partners a high five… as in five years in row ranked among the profession’s elite firms.

“The firms on this list demonstrate a commitment to maintaining the integrity of our profession through innovation in training, career development, mentoring, and other factors that contribute to a great workplace. It is a privilege to be recognized alongside them,” says Kevin McCarty, President of West Monroe Partners. “To receive this recognition is particularly important to us given the priority we place on being a people-first organization. As we continue to grow into a mid-sized consultancy, recognition such as this builds our confidence.”

McCarty says it is a key part of establishing a “bigger business card” that allows the firm to compete formidably for talent and for opportunities to serve larger clients and do complex transformational work. For people, “it validates their choice to take the first or next step in their careers with West Monroe Partners and to accept our challenge to make our firm better,” he says. “Any time we receive recognition as a great workplace, our people feel even better about having West Monroe Partners on their resumes.”

The “Best Firm” recognition is the result of many things coming, but most importantly it reflects the firm’s commitment to not taking its eyes off the thing that has made it great—its focus on people, McCarty says. As a matter of fact, in 2016 West Monroe updated its mission statement to better reflect a people-first culture.

“Our mission is to build the next generation of leaders. Simply stated, each one of us benefited from someone investing in us and giving us a chance early in our own careers, and mentoring us become the leaders and professionals we are today,” McCarty says. “We feel a strong sense of responsibility for passing that on.” Beyond that, the firm’s workplace initiatives—from its Career Equity model to ESOP to its work with an outside organization to try and break through the diversity and inclusion challenges of the profession—reflect West Monroe’s belief in developing the next generation of leaders.

Early in 2015, the firm refocused its branding to spotlight its uncommon blend of business and technology expertise—and, in particular, the way in which West Monroe combines and packages those disciplines to transform operations and achieve strategic goals, he says. “That has proven to be a compelling differentiator in the market for both services and people,” McCarty says. “We continue to build on this unique strength of West Monroe Partners.”

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

McCarty: “Morale remains very strong. Our employee stock ownership plan, now in its fourth year, has been nothing short of a home run in terms of engaging and empowering our people—whether delivering service or supporting their colleagues. Certainly the growth of our internal stock price—almost 400 percent since inception—has helped. But ask anyone here, and they will tell you that our highly collegial culture is just as important. Ours is a high-touch environment that is different than many other consultancies, particularly those with virtual workforces. Those who value culture, collegiality, teamwork, and a sense of family are highly motivated by this environment.”

Stats Headquarters: Chicago Billable Consultants: 500 Client Industries Served: Banking, Capital Markets, Energy & Utilities, Healthcare, Insurance, Manufacturing & Distribution, Retail  Consulting Service Lines: Operations Management, IT, Strategy

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