The Law Society is the independent professional body for solicitors in England and Wales. We are the voice of solicitors, driving excellence in the profession and safeguarding the rule of law. We employ over 400 staff and they help to make sure that our members are supported and represented effectively.

The Law Society’s virtual Learning at Work Week supported its ‘smart working’ and ‘learning to learn’ business goals. These aim to build a working environment that is collaborative and flexible; and develop capabilities and skills for everyday learning so colleagues can manage different situations with confidence. The society used the week to specifically support its people through change caused by the pandemic, and help them to work and learn remotely whilst caring for themselves and others.  

A key aim of the capability and talent team was to encourage more use of digital tools so that colleagues could come together, share and collaborate as one connected team. They also sought to address the importance of work-life balance and self-care.  

The team worked with the society’s staff networks and employee forum to design the week. A mix of over fifty virtual events, online resources and self-guided learning open to everyone were delivered under five themes – learning remotely, collaborating and sharing learning, managing your learning and career journey, working at the Law Society, and supporting your and other’s mental health. 

Senior managers delivered virtual sessions on topics ranging from understanding law, workforce planning, and learning from animal behaviour. Colleagues could listen to podcasts and assess themselves as remote learners and apply what they found to adapt and strengthen how they learn. There were sessions on maintaining a work-life balance, the importance of which was reinforced by the chief executive in staff meetings and blogs. Staff connected and networked through online coffee chats using a ‘speed dating’ approach.  

To reach colleagues working remotely, the team used channels ranging from the intranet to social media. Short story teasers were placed on the weekly noticeboard. The week was promoted by staff networks and by managers, who stressed to their teams the importance of investing time in learning. As they promoted the week, the Capability and Talent team asked colleagues what else they’d like to learn which resulted in colleagues delivering additional learning sessions.   

The week has reinforced the society’s commitment to its people’s development.  There were over 320 learning experiences over the week. Collaboration has increased and people feel more comfortable reaching out to others and using the right tools to make these connections more meaningful. Colleagues are taking more time for their personal learning and personal wellbeing. There is more engagement with self-directed content and more people are attending virtual learning events including weekly pilates and yoga sessions. There has been an increase in requests for mentoring and job shadowing. The team will run further themed campaigns to maintain the momentum.