There are few things that send chills down the spine of a training-conscious corporate counsel, but the following issues are some of the most common and most difficult to overcome.
We'll go through each fear and how you can overcome them to create effective and engaging legal training.
1. You can't get "buy-in" from management
You know employees need to understand the rules of talking to competitors, but you keep bumping up against a stubborn manager who doesn't see the importance.
This can be a killer for your compliance program. Without management buy-in, you won't get the required "tone from the top" or the attention of their employees.
This is a huge obstacle for any corporate counsel.
How do we solve this issue?
Here are 3 effective strategies:
a. Explain benefits of legal training as related to specific managers' strategic goals
b. Show managers that employees will learn valuable information in an hour of legal training or less (30 minutes if possible)
c. Provide legal training to make managers' jobs easier
Check out our article on getting management buy-in for more details.
2. Your training materials are boring
I can't think of a bigger fear than having boring training materials. Seeing employees look around the room (or down at their phone) instead of focusing on your presentation is a good indication your training materials aren't entertaining and aren't effective.
How do you make exciting and engaging training materials?
Here are some resources to help you transform boring training:
- Build contrast into your presentation
- Use amazing videos to spark excitement - TED Talks are my favorite. (here are some more)
- Structure your training appropriately
- Use interesting hypotheticals tailored to your employees
- Create persuasive training presentations
- Make visually engaging PowerPoint presentations
3. You can't cover enough material in the short time you have
How much legal training can you actually get done in an hour?
A few years back, I did a contracts training session with our international sales team.
I thought I was realistic.
20 slides. 10 tough contracts concepts. 1 hour.
It sounded VERY doable.
I got about 2/3 of the way through the materials when the 5 minute "alarm" rang. The questions were flying. "War stories" abound. Hypotheticals took twice as long as I expected.
Do you have this issue?
You have grand plans to make it all the way through your meticulously planned training materials, when reality strikes. People have questions. They get off on a tangent. All of a sudden, your time is up.
One of the biggest training fears for in-house counsel is getting bogged down during the presentation and not having time to present the important information.
How can you avoid this problem?
- Make sure to plan appropriately - don't try to cover everything
- Use a cloud-based learning management system to effectively train employees (where I can effectively train your employees on 22 (!) contracts concepts in just 1 hour)
- Limit conversations that get the group off-track
- Plan for 25-35% of your time to come from questions and conversation
- Practice to find out how long it takes for you to present the materials without interruption
4. You have no idea if your training is effective
You gave a great presentation. Everything went smoothly. People said you did a great job!
But days later, you wonder... did they actually learn anything?
Was my training effective?
Given the DOJ's latest guidance on effective compliance programs, corporate counsel need to know if their training was effective.
How do you do that?
- Use pre-training and post-training assessments
- Benchmark your training materials against materials deemed to be effective by the DOJ
- Survey your employees to understand what they liked and disliked about the training