Professional Services Case Study

A professional consultancy with inconsistent writing standards, commissioned a series of business writing skills courses.

This global consultancy had highly skilled professional staff who were technically excellent. Most consultants worked autonomously and had regular client contact.

Their high fee structure was supported by the level of knowledge and expertise retained by the company. They were used to being the recognised experts.

The Challenge

Several of the staff were not able to write clear and concise documents which communicated key messages to their customers and colleagues.

Recent client feedback suggested competitors were more able to meet their needs.

The Process

To confirm the scale of the problem, a series of exercises were issued to relevant staff and a review undertaken. This confirmed that many staff were unable to structure and present written material in an appropriate way.

A training course was developed which covered areas such as objective setting, planning, standard formats and email communication. This 6 hour course was delivered to small groups of staff, with minor tailoring for the specific requirements of the attendees. One group underwent training in grammar, punctuation and the correct use of English.

To help encourage behaviour change, peer review was used within the worked examples.

A series of documents templates was developed during the course to help structure internal reporting.

Each attendee agreed to a set of improvement actions during the course. These were subsequently monitored and measured by the organisation’s HR department.

The Outcome

Anecdotal evidence suggests a huge improvement in the quality of communications, both internal and external.

The uptake of standard reporting was universal and this was attributed to the level of ‘buy-in’ achieved during the training.

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