Any firm that acts in advisory capacity can’t afford to stand still. Whatever the sector you are in, you need to have one eye on the future, to be sure that your clients will continue to come for you for advice and professional insights, whether that’s staying ahead of legislation, predicting marketing trends or perfecting new financial management techniques.
Continued professional development is, therefore, your lifeblood, not a luxury, but therein lies a balancing act. If you tie up your staff in training and development too much, then productivity and profitability dip. After all, for your organisation time really is money.
For increasing numbers of professional, financial and marketing consultancy firms, technology has the perfect solution: learning management system (LMS) software.
Controlling professional development
One of the most important advantages of using LMS software to underpin your business growth and to strengthen your reputation is that it provides seamless control.
No matter how remote your consultancy team are during a normal working week, your company’s professional development can be managed from one central point. All the materials and tools for training are centralised, too, rather than being spread out over different systems and devices.
Any updates can be achieved quickly and communicated instantly. Resources can be shared easily and contributions can be viewed by all involved parties in real time. E-learning, training and courses within your intranet software are limitless in their use, whether they are accessed via mobiles and laptops from your HQ or a home office 200 miles away.
Individualised performance management
Having this sort of fingertip control over employee learning management also makes it far easier to create and measure individual achievements against performance criteria.
Using LMS software within your digital workplace provides each employee with their own set of milestones and targets, which both the individual and their line managers can easily track.
Measuring consultancy teams against business goals
From the data provided by LMS software, senior managers can draw vital information. How is the consultancy and its workforce developing in the context of the firm’s growth strategy? This is the sort of analytical data that only well-configured software can provide.
It not only offers statistical evidence, but also business insights on threats and opportunities, too. For example, which training is proving particularly effective and which skills areas still need work in order to meet business targets? Are there team members excelling in a consultancy field you can maximise?
Or, are there individuals whose professional knowledge levels are leaving you vulnerable as a company to the spectre of unhappy clients, or, worse still, professional indemnity claims?
Learning and development cost savings
Integrating training and e-learning in to your digital workplace and its intranet software is going to save you money. You can dispense with some of the training fees associated with continuous professional development, as well as travel expenses, hotel bills and printed materials.
The savings in staff time are potentially even more important. Your consultants and advisors can complete courses, benefit from training and update their skills without leaving their office, and at times that are flexible to their workload.
How to make training effective for consultants and advisors
If your LMS software is correctly configured around your business needs as a legal, financial or marketing advisory firm, it’s an investment in higher professional standards.
Sending staff away on courses, even with the best of intentions and the most attentive personnel, can still be a gamble in terms of effectiveness. How many training initiatives have you engaged in, which were instantly forgotten or difficult to translate in to the everyday realities of your working life?
In contrast, LMS software is geared towards results-driven training. Staff can click on the learning modules relevant to them – repeatedly, if necessary – and take in the information at their own pace. There are often a variety of tools available to attach to the specific learning criteria, too, such as quizzes, simulations or imagery, which can reinforce the learning, but also increase interest levels.
Keeping up to date on compliance
There are few consultancy firms which don’t have compliance issues embedded into the advice that they provide; for example, regulations that you need to adhere to, as well as legislation and guidelines applicable to your clients.
LMS software can orchestrate this in a way that provides less chance of error and greater peace of mind. The latest rules and regulations can be communicated to all staff via intranet software instantly, and then you have the tools to reinforce that by requiring everyone to complete a training exercise.
This way, you know, as a consultancy or agency, that your team is all up the right level of understanding and able to work comfortably within industry standards.
Adaptable and versatile learning for consultants and advisors
As professional development is a journey not a destination, the best LMS software can be updated, amended and added to quickly and seamlessly. Modifications and new data can be added without reconfiguring the whole e-learning system or, worse still, investing in completely new software.
Want to discuss how the digital workplace can support your firm’s continuous professional development and business growth? Contact Claromentis today!