A study released by employment and skills research and consultancy specialists CFE has found that, during recession, 63% of businesses said that they would continue to uphold the amount of training they undertake throughout the year. In addition, 16% said that that during tough economic times, they would actually increase the amount of training they conduct. Are these businesses placing too much faith in the benefits of training during a recession or are there more pros than cons when times are hard?

Every Penny Counts

When money is hard to find, clients become choosier about where they are going to spend their money. As a personal injury firm, while your reputation may be strong in times of prosperity, your clients need to know that you are going to be even more efficient at a time when every penny counts. From CFE’s results it seems that, for many legal firms, taking out further personal injury training is a sound investment rather than an unnecessary expense.

When questioned about the reasons for taking out further legal training in a recession, the three most cited answers were:

● More specialised/trained staff are required

● The need to survive in a competitive market place

● The need to retain existing skilled staff

Up Your Game

These answers hint at there being more to consider than simply how cautious clients are when it comes to spending their money. With a decrease in the amount of cash available, your competitors will be upping their game in order to attract the custom that is out there. In order to do so, they will need to ensure that they are operating as tightly as possible, Many firms pull out all the stops when the economic landscape is bleak. In order to remain a serious competitor, you will have to step up to the mark and this means ensuring that your staff can meet every challenge head on. Almost three-quarters of the respondents surveyed agreed with the statement made by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that, in times of recession, “businesses that invest in training are less likely to fail.”

Firm Foundations

Retaining your most skilled staff can also be a problem. Without the means to pay large salary increases, you need to find a way to communicate to your colleagues that they are valued and that you are investing in them as much as money will allow. Investing in further legal training has been found to improve morale and encourage employee loyalty. The company that is prepared to improve the knowledge and skill-sets of their staff is one that employees are likely to remain with.

In addition, you will be showing your clients that you are prepared to ensure that those who deal with their cases are the best in their field. Through increasing their understanding of the Law at and its subtleties at a time when clients are hard to come by, you are cementing the fact that those customers who do use you will spread the word, creating a buzz during an economic situation that takes no prisoners.

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