How to Train your Associates to Train new Staff

teach each other

One of the ways supervisors and law firm owners get bogged down is by trying to make themselves a part of every single process, procedure, and system that happens at the firm or on their team.

But as we know, the problem with micromanaging is that it not only becomes ultra time consuming, it misses an opportunity to empower your team members to exhibit leadership.
The next time a new staff member or attorney joins your team, or you decide to implement a new systems, workflow, or procedure, consider delegating some of the training responsibility to your associates.
The most obvious benefit is the time saving that comes from delegating.
But more importantly, if your associate is the one on the front line working with staff and other associates on matters, it makes sense to have them give at least some of the training—not only to build a rapport but also to work through the nuances that you aren't a part of on a day-to-day basis anyway.
But here’s the MOST important reason: Affirmatively giving your team permission to block off time in their week to teach one another how to improve the firm’s work and systems is critically important. If you don’t provide the time and space to train, then training ends up getting rushed, fit in here and there, or more likely it doesn’t happen at all.
So if you want to start empowering your associate to handle some of the training at the firm, here’s the way to get started:
1. Outline training expectations + materials. Start by giving your associate a clear picture of what the training should look like in terms of scope, content, and time. In other words, spend some time “training the trainer” so that you feel confident in what they’re going to cover and they feel prepared. Have them prepare an outline of what they intend to cover so you can comment, add, and subtract.
2. Set weekly time blocks. Work with your team to establish weekly time blocks that are specifically dedicated to learning. I’m sure you could come up with a list of 50 things you’d like your team to learn or improve—so give them the time to do it by working to establish a weekly “training time.” Everyone can find at least 30 minutes a week to spend on learning.
3. Review what was covered during the training. At your next weekly office or team meeting, spend a few minutes going over how it went, what was covered, and the takeaways from the training. This will allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of their progress but also reinforce that you believe training is important.
REMEMBER THIS: Will the training be done exactly the way you would have done it? Probably not, but the benefits that come from giving your team the space to train is well worth letting go of some control.