Our MD Matt Turner reflects on latest research, LiveTime’s work with fee-earner businesses and how we are all under pressure to get more done in less time…
I heard a really interesting statistic yesterday by Fosway Group – always a source of excellent research – that said in a recent survey, 67% of employees need to learn faster because of changes at work.
We can all identify with time pressures whether due to change or not. I suspect some of this could be our own doing. It’s interesting that even Apple are looking at helping us use our phones less. But mostly we are all under pressure to get more done in less time.
Some organisations have faced this for longer than others. What can we learn from them?
Time to learn has always been an especially strong challenge for LLPs, management consultancies and some creative businesses where you have a big disparity between major fee earners and others.
The fee earners (we’ll call them) have always had to maximise billing time. They frequently work punishing hours and (be that due to perception or reality) feel they need the support from the rest of the organisation to help maximise the organisation’s income.
The demands from fee-earners, which are in many ways very understandable, mean that everyone else that supports the business can find it hard to carve out time for personal development. Too often they can be pulled out of classroom training either during the training or before it even starts due to “demands from above”.
A good solution is to only use classroom training for key, major initiatives e.g. specific soft skills training or part of a change project which require a lot of practice and role play or reflection.
After that, digital, on-demand learning is ideal for point of need training. Digital learning can be video, TED Talks or some of the myriad self-directed e-learning available.
This cannot however work in isolation, for three main reasons:
- It is not the only way we learn.
- The learning is rarely at the literal point of need, but more the “point of allowance” when employees can slot it in around demands for other work deemed “urgent” by others.
- People want to still feel special, and sometimes have time set aside for them where they can and share with others.
A live webinar or virtual classroom is a great support to on-demand resources. They have the “event” status of classroom training but take only 30 or 60 minutes at a time, giving employees a break and a hit of learning simultaneously. They can learn with like-minded colleagues in similar situations. And no-one is going to begrudge 60 minutes, much less 30, so employees do not get called away before or during the webinar – and all parties are happy.
If you cannot find time for live webinars, see if there is an opportunity to have selected coaching or mentoring sessions for support staff – even if this can prove more (and even prohibitively) expensive, it shows a great commitment to busy people in roles where they have little control over their own time. Again, like a webinar or virtual classroom, it has the “event” type status (even if only 1:1) so it does not get cancelled or interrupted.
As we all must do more with less, this approach we have successfully delivered with LLPs, management consultancies and agencies is a solution that is well-worth applying.
Not wanting to end on a sales CTA but do drop me an email if you’d like to learn more or see a demo 😉
Matt’s personal blogposts can be found on LinkedIn Pulse.