When we are sat at our desks doing our day-to-day job, we know what work needs to be done, what the outputs should be and the time by which we need to do something. We all experience pressures around areas such as accuracy, speed and client service. Knowing what we need to do is one thing, but finding the best route to achieve it, when IT is a factor, is another.

You may be one of the lucky ones who know your IT tools and applications inside out and how to work effectively, but there may be others around you that may have to “bodge” their way around IT for the same outcome. You may be thinking “if the outcome is the same, why should it matter?”

Speed and efficiency

IT nowadays is designed to make processes streamlined, with minimal human interaction. This could be as simple as having a practice management system with client details being pulled into letters. Some staff in your firm may not know how to amend or correct these at their source, meaning each letter needs manual intervention to make changes, whereas someone who has the appropriate skills will amend the client record, ensuring that it is correct throughout from that point forward. This is the sort of skill and system capability that can be gained through training.

Upskilling is a great way to increase your knowledge on specific software, in manageable doses, helping you to produce higher quality work and save time.

With the example above, if your firm writes to a client once a week on a case which lasts 3 months that’s roughly 12 letters. If the address needs manual manipulation per letter which takes, let’s say 3 minutes – to find an old letter with the correct address within the case documents, copy and paste it in your new letter – you’ve spent over 30 minutes just making sure the letter is going to the correct address. Now multiply that by each of your clients, resulting in an unnecessary amount of admin time which could be eliminated by a single 3-minute action to permanently correct the client record.

There is often an attitudinal change needed with these challenges, often people will say “they don’t have time” to correct the source record but don’t take into account the time needed to change each letter, or the risk of someone who didn’t know the address on the database is wrong not making the change manually.

Best practice 

As I often say in my articles, IT is forever changing and developing, meaning that you can blink and be behind in new tools and features in your usual IT packages. Upskilling is a great way to keep up to date with software as it evolves, ensuring you don’t end up frustrated or intimidated by software that has moved on whilst your knowledge has not. 

Also, business processes change, often resulting in internal redevelopment of workflows and templates. Combining business process training alongside IT training helps to consolidate and embed these changes more quickly.

The most effective way for a business to support its employees when it comes to IT software is to offer regular, manageable training to allow staff members to evolve alongside the software and processes. This also allows employees to have the confidence they need to carry out their role. We find that this can lead to an increase in job satisfaction and greater morale across the firm as a whole. 

We often come across firms whose only IT training is during the induction process with users just receiving “email updates” when systems change. In this scenario the firm is never going to get best value from its IT investment or achieve efficient working.

Achieving more for less

Upskilling training does not have to be the full bells and whistles, with individuals stuck on a session for hours on end.  Bitesize training is a great way deliver these sessions to employees, either with face-to-face training session (online or on site), video or should the change be minimal even by creating PDF or emailed guides. 

For a very short investment of time, your staff can learn methods of working that will show a return over and over again.

This article was written by Beccy Scobell. If you would like to discuss your firm’s upskilling needs, please do not hesitate to contact Baskerville Drummond on info@baskervilledrummond.com. 

The only thing that doesn’t change in IT, is the fact that IT is forever changing. 

Beccy Scobell

Beccy Scobell

07471 897833

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