Justifying Training Costs
The struggle is real! From time to time, I hear from law firm trainers who love Savvy’s products and services, but who struggle to justify any training costs to upper management. Let’s face it: training often gets back-burnered by the people who hold the purse strings. Then, it’s up to the trainer to justify basically everything that he or she believes in! This purely financial decision for management becomes an emotional struggle for trainers.
Therefore, I thought I’d share some tactics that I’ve seen work at other law firms around budget time. In a nutshell: your best bet is to stick to the facts (keep the emotion out of it) and prove the value of training to the firm using dollars and common sense.
What is Your All-In Cost?
First, before meeting with the budget hawks, figure out your all-in cost. For example, if your LMS subscription is $2,200 annually and you also have a security awareness program that runs $800, you know you’re asking for $3,000.
Break it Down Per Person
Let’s say your firm has 25 people using the LMS and security awareness training systems. That’s a total of $120 per employee per year, or $10 per month. (If you’re a SavvyAcademy LMS user, this small financial commitment gives your firm access to a continuously updated LMS loaded with law-firm specific training materials. If you use KnowBe4 security awareness training, you’re getting the industry’s premier training program along with constantly updated phishing campaign templates.)
The Cost of Not Training
Another way to look at it: what is the cost of not training? Inefficiencies, costly mistakes, hacked networks, bad headlines, high turnover, lost clients. The list goes on. An untrained law firm is a law firm ripe for attack. A law firm with employees who stop learning becomes obsolete – quickly.
Additionally, with a fully loaded LMS, your employees have immediate access to solutions for the challenges that slow down their work. For example, how much time would an attorney spend researching Microsoft Word on the internet to learn how to create a table of contents? (And would they find an article that actually matches your firm’s protocol and software?) Imagine they surf the web for answers every time they have questions. Even at a realized billable rate of $150 per hour, spending $10 a month on training and an LMS seems like an easy win.
Additionally, security training keeps your firm and your clients safe. I am increasingly hearing that clients demand that their law firms submit security awareness training results in the RFP process! They don’t want to partner with a firm that puts their sensitive information at risk. Is your firm ready to positively answer its clients’ security questions?
What Do Your Clients Expect?
Lastly, ask upper management to imagine the type of client they’d like to secure in the next fiscal year. Clients today understand that many firms are stuck in the “old way” of doing things. They seek law firms that invest in the education of their employees, keeping their costs down due to increased work efficiency, and keeping their data safe thanks to secure systems and awareness trainings.
BONUS: Use Your Training Investment as a Marketing Differentiator
And here’s a bonus idea for you: Instead of allowing people around the firm to talk about training as a “financial drain,” convince them that it’s a market differentiator. When you can say that 100% of your employees participate in security awareness trainings, clients will know their data is safe. When you say that every employee commits to ongoing training expectations and every new employee receives 10 hours of orientation training, you’re proving that clients are receiving work from an efficient, well-oiled machine. More efficiency means your clients get more out of every billable hour. (Your firm’s marketing team should be able to have a heyday with this.)
If you’d like more ammo for your conversation with upper management, check out an article I posted about a year ago titled, “The Business Case for an LMS.” You might find some more helpful information to help promote the importance of training at your law firm
If you want to brainstorm ways that you can promote training at your firm, give me a ring! 303-800-5408, Doug@SavvyTraining.com