“Professional services” is a term used to describe a variety of services that require professional licenses and education, such as accounting, law, and architecture.
In other words, if it’s a job George Costanza might make up for the imaginary Art Vandelay, it’s probably a professional service.
Professional services industries have their own unique challenges, and because most participants in this industry are highly educated and skilled employees, deciding where to start when it comes to training can be difficult.
We’ve compiled three tips for program managers to use for their professional services training programs!
Microlearning for Billable Hours
Most professional services work in billable hours. Because clients pay for professionals’ time, time not spent working on projects for clients is not billable.
This has traditionally been a major challenge for training in these industries, but doesn’t negate the fact that training is still necessary and important.
A lawyer absolutely needs business acumen to attract clients and earn their business, but since law firms don’t make money during training, it has traditionally reduced the ROI with providing training.
Microlearning is a great way to sidestep this dilemma – short bursts of content mean we can spend less time in training and achieve the same or better outcomes as a day-long training seminar, since learning in smaller segments leads to improved information retention.
This also increases profits – a professional can learn a new skill within minutes, increasing the amount of time left in the day to spend on billable hours.
Training Dispersed or Remote Employees
Because certified professionals can be difficult to hire, and the talent pool is limited, these professionals have leverage when it comes to employment. As a result, it’s very common for professional service employees to work remotely.
Online learning is a simple solution for training remote employees. They rely on telecommunication applications like Skype, email, and chat services like Microsoft Teams or Slack.
In a recent podcast episode, leadership expert Kevin Eikenberry told us that mastery of these applications is the most important and overlooked aspect of remote leadership.
Additionally, many professional services firms have multiple locations; an accounting firm may have locations in several major markets, and hiring a learning and development manager for each location could be impractical.
To overcome this, many companies send their program managers to their various locations to conduct classroom training. Aside from the massive travel commitment this takes from program managers, traveling is expensive, and reduces the ROI from training.
By delivering training online, companies can reduce travel expenses, and deliver consistent training to every location.
Legal Requirements and Privacy Laws
There is no shortage of requirements and certifications that need to be completed before a professional is allowed to practice law, accounting, etc. and constant changes to keep up with in these industries.
Accountants need to understand tax code changes each year, and marketers need to be caught up with the latest information and strategies to provide maximum value to clients.
By using off-the-shelf training, you can keep your staff up to date on the latest best practices and legal requirements.
Professional services is a difficult industry to train in. Most professionals already have a lot of industry knowledge, and there are several challenges for training professionals to overcome.
By using online learning, program managers can deliver great value to their organizations, and with microlearning in particular, that time spent developing employees can be efficiently used, giving them more time to earn revenue!