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by McKinsey & Company | June 19, 2019


The following is an inside look at some of the key resources McKinsey & Company has in place to ensure its consultants are living full, well-rounded, and satisfying lives. McKinsey is a top-ranked firm in the Vault Consulting 50.

At McKinsey, we work hard and play hard. This isn’t a 9am-5pm job, and we travel to spend meaningful time in-person with our clients. That’s how we make such a big difference and how we build strong relationships with senior leaders, work on challenges that matter, and learn new skills to be at our best.

As a firm, we are committed to making sure our colleagues lead balanced, healthy lives. We hire people who are well–rounded, interesting, passionate individuals and the last thing we want to do is turn them into people who work and only work. We also realize that a full life means different things to different people. For some, it’s keeping weekends free. For others, it’s taking a few months a year to volunteer in a foreign country, write a book, or travel.

We provide lots of resources to help our colleagues live the lives of their dreams. For example:

  • Team learnings– every engagement kicks off with team learning. Every member of the team – from the newest business analyst to the most senior partner and sometimes clients – joins to talk about how they work best. We share strengths and development goals and discuss our individual and collective needs.
  • Bi-weekly barometer survey – every other week, our client service teams fill out an anonymous survey to take a pulse on the engagement. Are we adhering to the norms we set in the team learning? Are we living our values? Are we making a big enough difference for our clients? Results and next steps are discussed as a team.
  • Mindful travel – our traditional working model used to include travel to the client site Monday through Thursday. Many clients have told us this model is difficult for them to support. Many consultants, like Tarra and Jo, agree. 

All our teams now evaluate the best working model for their engagement before beginning work. Sometimes consultants spend only two days a week on-site. Sometimes they alternate weeks. There’s no standard model anymore, only customized solutions that work for our clients and our teams.

  • Mobility – many colleagues want to use McKinsey to explore the world, like VanessaDawn, and William. We wholeheartedly support this and offer lots of options, like temporary assignments and short and long-term transfers.
  • Benefits – McKinsey is known for providing excellent benefits. Specifics vary by country, here are a few highlights:
    • Healthcare &wellness – we provide amazing support for healthcare, vision, dental, mental health support, dependent care and more. We offer gym membership subsidies and other proactive wellness programs.
    • Our commitment to parents includes extensive leave benefits for mothers, fathers, and adoptive parents; coaching and support from a dedicated mothers’ network manager; and, a phase back option that helps consultants transition back to work after maternity leave. Our new dual career initiative has become popular in the US and beyond. Fertility support, breast milk shipping, and nursing rooms also make a big difference when they’re needed.
    • Educational support – for anyone who does not have an advanced degree – such as an MBA, JD, or Ph.D. – and wants to earn one, McKinsey offers options for financial support and prearranged offers to return.

For colleagues who need more time away at certain periods in their lives, we provide part-time options. Flexible programs have been a part of our culture for more than 25 years. They’re available to consultants at all tenures and more than 80% of those working part-time are associates and engagement managers. They’re used about equally by men and women. Here are examples of ways our colleagues have used them. Since everyone manages their life differently, we’re open to different models that might suit your situation better; just bring us your ideas:

  • Fiona used a part-time client service model to better meet her client’s needs and continue in her efforts to develop internal knowledge for the firm.
  • Andrea traveled with her newborn for a little while. She went on to take internal roles before returning to client service.