Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers – Driving operational excellence through customised training

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Established more than 120 years ago, Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers (COD) continues to make a difference for its clients, its people and the community. Over the years, the firm has developed an important knowledge base in the areas of law it operates in and deep relationships with its clients.

A commitment to operational excellence

In 2020, COD continues its dedication to delivering value to its clients by focussing on people, process and technology. 

This commitment to operational excellence requires the sharing of knowledge and the delivery of excellence across all aspects of its practice. To achieve this, the organisation invests significantly in the training and development of its workforce. 

After a particularly busy period, the team was seeking to support its client-facing workload with its commitment to professional and personal development and began exploring ways to deliver training more efficiently. 

An internal review identified the employee induction process, and the optimisation of internal administrative tasks as two areas where standardising a common approach could reap significant benefits. It was thought that delivering training and knowledge through an online platform would enable the firm to improve the induction of new staff and provide valuable training content ‘on-demand’ to everyone at the firm.

The first objective of the training involved communicating how the firm handled new client enquiries. A process was already in place for how new enquiries were to be addressed and to whom they should be assigned. This is a critical part of the firm’s operations, and there was little tolerance for errors.

The second objective was to ensure that the induction of new starters into the firm was as smooth as possible. COD had identified that the weeks and months immediately after a new starter joined were critical to ensuring their ongoing success in the firm. The organisation had a formal, face-to-face induction process in place, and felt this process should be supported and bolstered by an always-available, online offering.

Finding the ‘right’ fit for online training

COD identified that to achieve its goals in these areas, relevant, business-specific training needed to be created and delivered consistently. Standard off-the-shelf training would not get the job done.

A heavy workload and busy people meant there was little capacity in the organisation to extend any further commitment to face-to-face training sessions, so an always available, online solution was required. As the training was to be created by staff members with multiple responsibilities within the firm, it was critical that the selected solution was simple to use. 

After some deliberation, and having worked with David King (CEO & Founder, Tribal Habits) previously, COD decided to bolster its face-to-face training efforts with Tribal Habits. This platform allowed it to create customised online training at a low cost quickly.

Up and running in 24 hours

Using the Tribal Habits platform, the team were able to rapidly build training modules that directly addressed the learning objectives of its new enquiry handling and employee induction initiatives. 

COD’s training modules leverage video, quizzes and other interactive elements to engage learners and bring training to life. The customised training created by the team is designed to support and build-on the face-to-face training sessions the organisation already runs. A great deal of the training was built using assets that already existed in the organisation.

“We had our two training modules created very quickly and were rolling them out almost immediately to our staff. Our internal processes have been brought to life by Tribal Habits and made them accessible at the click of a button.”

Sally King – Director of Strategic Communication and Business Development – Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers

The Results

COD’s new training modules have been incredibly well-received across the business. 

New enquiries are now transferred to the correct team more accurately, and front-line staff have reported that the training has provided them with greater clarity on how to handle enquiries. For staff new to the firm, it has given them a head-start in getting across the way the firm works. It is also an excellent resource for others at the firm who want to learn more about the new systems and platforms being used by the firm at a time that is convenient for them.

COD has also been able to change its end-to-end induction approach and process so that new starters are set up for success from day one. From aligning with organisational culture to reducing the time taken in face-to-face induction training, COD has revolutionised the way it brings new starters into the organisation.

“We used to spend three hours coaching each new staff member on administrative tasks. Now it’s all managed through a short, engaging online course that’s available anytime. If anyone is uncertain about anything, they can always ask a colleague or go to a partner for clarity. We’ve reduced our face-to-face training hours, and we’re getting much better results.”

Kim Turnbull – Human Resources Manager – Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers

One of the most clearly defined results of the Tribal Habits implementation is the fact that employees now have a knowledge repository of company-specific information. Any time someone is unsure of a policy or process, all they need to do is log into Tribal Habits and review the relevant training. This has made employees more self-sufficient when it comes to finding answers to their questions and has reduced disruption within the firm.  

“If ever there is a dispute or misunderstanding in either of these areas, it’s easy to look back to the training as a reference point.”

Kim Turnbull – Human Resources Manager – Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers

Next steps 

After great feedback from the COD senior management team, the organisation is now rolling Tribal Habits training out to more parts of its operations. The team are initially targeting internal processes and have identified several initiatives where online training could be created as a means to share knowledge with external entities.

As part of its commitment to operational excellence and staff development, COD will continue to leverage Tribal Habits as a means to share subject matter expertise, bed down internal processes and to contribute to the personal development of its staff.

“I believe Tribal Habits can be a big part of the future for a firm like ours. It builds on what we believe will be a strength of a modern law firm in 2020 and beyond – people, process and technology.”

John Willey – General Manager – Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers


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