Here is our first Guest Blog from First Impressions…
How do you convince an experienced leadership team that good isn’t good enough? From the outside, Band Hatton Button (BHB) looked like a highly successful law firm. Formed from the merger of three legal practices, the company grew and saw good results. They invested in skills and process training, and MD Mark Moseley recognised that to fulfil their purpose of ‘delivering excellent legal services with a human touch’, they needed to empower staff to focus on relationships rather than just getting business done.
‘We have to continue to grow and succeed and develop our team, and to do that we have to invest in the training, the support and the process. When we talk about strategy and where we need to go as an organisation, obviously everything is driven towards where you need to be, and about keeping yourself in business and longevity.
‘Some of the very senior guys in terms of experience and age thought they’d been there before, seen it, and done it, so to speak. They were apprehensive and unsure it was necessary for the business. They couldn’t necessarily see the benefits. There was enough of the senior team that understood the potential benefits of this or could see its potential. And we had to make sure that we demonstrated the long-term benefit to the business.’
We designed and delivered bespoke training to meet BHB’s needs. Every member of their team attended full-day interactive programmes on communication styles. The programmes helped them understand their own styles and their colleagues’, and how they could enhance collaboration.
We used DiSC to facilitate this. We also covered how they could better connect with their clients through personalised service based upon each client’s communication preference. As well, we helped them identify how to streamline processes to improve client experience and discover tangibles on how to deliver the human touch. We focused on helping them consider the difference between a transactional interaction and a relationship-driven approach.
Mark adds, ‘People are more aware now that it’s about service. It’s about engagement with the clients. It’s about flexing, using your style. Another positive that came out of the training is that although we are profiling our staff to be able to work together or work as teams, staff were saying that they can also deduce our client’s preferred communication style and we try to flex our style towards the client. This enables us to give the client the best service that we can possibly give, and make them comfortable and at ease.
‘For example, if the lawyers spot that a client values detail and accuracy then they’re going to spend time with that client, and give the client the opportunity to consider what they’re talking to them about before they rush them into a decision. So their whole process with the client has also changed. This has created lots of discussion around the business and it has created a real energy and buzz around the office.’
Team members have been able to communicate openly and contribute ideas about potential barriers that could be overcome. Here are some of the great changes that have come out of the bespoke programmes: enhanced staff benefits, more team social events, improved internal process and governance and improved facilities for clients.
Staff absence is noticeably reduced, morale is higher and staff are feeling more valued—they are more engaged. As well, client-satisfaction scores are higher.
‘Staff is one of our biggest commodities if not the biggest, so in terms of making sure we invest in our people, it’s our culture, it is what we believe in and it’s what we want to continue to do. And this has obviously been a good investment for the organisation. To be able to bring our people to the level that we want them to be at, but also to give them the confidence and the support they need to do the job we want them to do. So it’s been a huge success.’