New starter vs. existing staff
In so many law firms there is a good emphasis on new starter training which is great, but we must never forget the existing workforce!
Your new recruit has successfully completed all the set training programmes and set off in their new department trained to the max.
Beware of the learned short cuts
In a very short space of time, they are likely to have either started to forget some of the training, especially for those rarely used features, or they have witnessed others around them doing things differently. What they may be witnessing is what looks like an easier or quicker way, where in fact these short cuts are missing out potentially vital checks or features on your systems.
It is also highly likely that your existing staff feel that investment in their ongoing training has been forgotten slightly, so to continue with system training really does benefit that feeling of still being valued.
It may be that you are implementing a version update or technical upgrade of your existing system. Just because it’s the same system it doesn’t mean it will work the same for the end-user. It is vital that your lawyers and support staff are fully briefed on why, when and how before any upgrade takes place.
Typical law firm challenges in delivering ongoing training may be:
- In the event of an update or upgrade ensuring that all staff are effectively and successfully trained BEFORE go live is essential.
- This will become an increasing challenge for law firms investing in SaaS software platforms where the IT architecture usefully allows for much quicker and easier updates – but doesn’t necessarily make it easier for the end-users to keep up with interface or functionality changes.
- To ensure that new efficiency and risk management benefits of the original investment are carried through to good end-user adoption, training has to match the increasing cadence of new functionality.
- You won’t want your firm grinding to a halt on the day of go- live after an upgrade as no one knows how the system now works!
- Lack of time! As much as your existing staff want to feel they are still invested in, fee earners themselves don’t have the time to spend attending classroom training.
- Lack of time again! As much as your existing staff want to feel they are still invested in, the training team themselves don’t have the time to spend delivering classroom training for upgrades as they are focussed on new projects.
- Senior people may feel their time is too valuable from a billing point of view to spend training. They want their support/secretarial/PA to do it for them or feel that the training they attend is tailored for them.
Verdigris can help you manage the communications out to the staff and refine a training plan to ensure everyone is trained on-time and consistently.
E-learning, if available for your new solution, is a great way of training without too much distraction. Your staff can stay sat at their desks. Only the time taken to actually do the training is required rather than moving to a meeting room, waiting and also ensuring their work/telephone/desk is covered, causing even more team disruption.
If however, you find classroom-style training works for your firm and is effective then we can provide a comprehensive proposal on this too.
Training needs assessments
By carrying out ongoing training you will also be able to monitor and review the results of the training programmes that are completed by your staff. This will allow you to conduct a training needs assessment and perhaps form a component to staff performance reviews.
This level of visibility helps review what training is undertaken by new starters, how effective this training programme has been, and your training team to make amendments made if required.