Soft skills hand in hand with substantive expertise
In the Personal Development Dialogues, Kilpeläinen and Petersson decided to focus on soft skills, because Fondia already organizes a lot of training activities on legal substance and management. They agree that soft skills are in a key position in today’s and also in the future´s working life.
– Most of our staff are lawyers. In addition to solid knowledge of legal matters, good soft skills are essential when working with clients. It’s great that we can go through these topics together, because it allows us to share ideas. The end result is more comprehensive than studying alone, and it also brings people together, says Petersson.
– I remember an article from a few years ago, where they described that the role of a lawyer contains many different small roles. Soft skills support each one of those roles. That’s why I think that soft skills could also be described as power skills or future skills, Kilpeläinen adds.
Learning together every other month
At first, the sessions were organized once a month. Later on, every other month has become a suitable rhythm. The first meeting was organized in February 2021. The topics have been for example psychological safety, resilience, giving feedback, learning, growth mindset and teamwork. Future working life skills will be the next theme.
– During the launch phase, it was certainly useful to organize dialogues more often, so that they became familiar to everyone. Now the staff already knows what it’s about. The new schedule also enables us organizers to prepare better and be more focused, says Kilpeläinen.
In the dialogues, Kilpeläinen and Petersson mainly use Academy of Brain’s online training content. Other materials are also used. The structure of the sessions always adapts to the topic. The meetings usually consist of a Powerpoint presentation, training videos, practical examples, different tasks, conversation and sharing thoughts using the Mentimeter online tool.
Kilpeläinen and Petersson manage the topics together, thinking about what kind of themes they have encountered, and whether any wishes have come up.
– We also strive for continuity: after the growth mindset theme, we saw feedback, psychological safety and positivity as next natural topics. When planning the themes, we go through a huge amount of Academy of Brain training videos and courses. We’ve learned a lot along the way, Petersson and Kilpeläinen laugh.
Appointments in calendars
All Fondia´s employees are invited to each meeting. The number of participants in the meetings is usually around 30. The goal is to gradually increase that number.
Kilpeläinen and Petersson send the invitations in the form of a calendar reservation. This practice has proven to be useful, because Fondia has noticed that the tight work schedules are one of the biggest obstacles to participation.
– You can see directly from the calendar whether the meeting fits into your schedule. It is difficult to find time for personal development, because the lawyers are often so busy. Our lawyers actually live according to their calendars – everything that is there, happens. That’s why the calendar invitations have been a good way for us to invite them to these dialogues, Kilpeläinen says.
Kilpeläinen and Petersson think that the PDD meetings are a great opportunity to increase communication and co-operation between Fondia’s four operating countries. So far, the majority of the participants have been from the Swedish office.
– It is difficult to say why it is so, because we have been communicating about the PDD meetings in the same way in all four countries. Perhaps the reason can be found in everyday conversations: in Sweden these dialogues might have come up in the conversations more actively, Kilpeläinen reflects.
Shared views and discussion
The Mentimeter tool is used in the PDD meetings. The tool can be used to activate the participants to bring up their own thoughts. Kilpeläinen and Petersson want to cherish and increase joint discussion.
– Mentimeter has indeed been an important tool for us. We use the tool to ask questions that each participant can answer anonymously. This way we create an open atmosphere and share thoughts openly, says Kilpeläinen.
– Through Mentimeter, we have asked, for example, what the participants would do in a certain situation. Each participant grabs their phone and receives operating instructions from the application. The given anonymous answers are visible to all participants, Petersson adds.
vuoden 2021 NPS-suositteluindeksimme oli 71!
Asiakkaidemme onnistuminen on meille tärkeää, ja siksi mittaammekin asiakastyytyväisyyttämme säännöllisesti. Seuraamme asiakastyytyväisyyttä ja asiakastyytyväisyyden kehittymistä Net Promoter Score -suositusidenksillä (NPS). Vuoden 2020 NPS indeksi oli 71 ja vuonna 2021 onnistuimme pitämään asiakkaat yhtä tyytyväisenä saaden tuloksesi taas erittäin hyvän – 71! Verrokkiyritysten NPS oli viime vuonna 37, joten Academy of Brain sijoittuu vertailussa parhaiden yhtiöiden joukkoon.