By Doug Striker, CEO, Savvy Training & Consulting
I’m gonna go all throw-back on you today. While I am a big lover of technology and all the efficiencies it adds to our lives, I’m also a believer that nothing “sticks” as well as in-person interaction. Would you rather be on a date with your loved one or on FaceTime? Would you rather read your child a book or have a book read to them by Learning Ally? Would you rather pitch a client in person or over video conference? Would you rather ask a question of an expert in the field or of Siri?
All of those technologies are fantastic and thank goodness we can reach the people and the answers we need when we need them. But I think we can all agree that we value (most) people more than technology and our best learning experiences have been in the presence of mentors who really care about our success.
That’s why, in this article, I want to remind you of all the benefits of floor support as an integral piece of your training program.
Sink-or-Swim Training Doesn’t Work
As I mentioned in a recent blog, a lot of firms rolled out (or are currently rolling out) big technology and software upgrades. As part of this initiative, they are hopefully also launching training programs so that their teams can work as efficiently as possible in the new platforms. These rollout training programs often include in-class trainings, some webinars and even ongoing learning with learning management systems.
But when you finally cut the life vests off and throw everyone into the deep end, I’d argue that you need to send someone out in a boat to make sure they’re swimming! IT and HR professionals know as well as I do that law firm staff just want to get ‘er done. They are barely keeping their heads above water as it is (to continue the water analogy). When they run into a problem with their workflow due to one of your tech upgrades, they are likely to find a work-around or revert to old ways rather than seek out a training webinar.
Adding floor support to your rollout means that, once all of the initial trainings are over, you still have a trainer “floating” around on the floor, checking in with people, making it easy for them to ask questions from a pro and get the immediate answers they need.
So, without further ado, here is my list of the Top Reasons to Add Floor Support to Your Training Program
1. Personalized Training Is More Friendly
Classroom training can be intimidating and even inefficient, depending on how it’s organized and scheduled. Additionally, many people are too proud or self-conscious to ask questions in a classroom setting. When you add floor support to your rollout program, suddenly it’s much easier for the meek legal secretary to ask, “I have a question about mail merge.” Or the know-it-all attorney to say, “Remind me how to access the templates.”
Additionally, if you have a learning management system (LMS), your floor trainer can automatically enroll individuals in the classes or learning paths that will most quickly help them to achieve their goals. This also takes a load off of YOU, madam IT professional or mister HR expert. When the questions are getting answered before someone calls you, you have more time to think about your big goals!
2. A Floating Trainer Wins Friends, Multiplies Productivity
With a trainer floating from desk to desk or department to department offering help, suddenly your people have a Johnny-on-the-spot resource to help them keep their work moving forward. Further, once a few people have success with the trainer, they’ll talk about their experience to others and the impact will multiply weekly. The proper workflow techniques get shared and more people will consistently use your new technologies correctly.
3. Attorneys Need Help but Won’t Ask
Perhaps my favorite use of floor support is in handling attorney needs. Attorneys are notoriously awful when it comes to technology training. They either won’t attend the classroom trainings at all or attend with half their brains, checking their phones constantly and racing out for lunches or meetings.
Floor support takes the training to them. Your friendly trainer can pop in and say, “How’d you do on that brief the other day? Did you store it properly in the document management system? Any glitches you’d like to tell me about?” Attorneys are entirely more likely to get the help they need if the help comes to them.
Doug Striker is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Savvy Training & Consulting, a provider of legal software training solutions. As a former Chief Operating Officer of a prominent law firm, he specializes in helping firms acquire the software platforms they need, training staff for maximum workflow efficiency, and enhancing continuity and bottom-line results.