Custom Skills Assessments Drive Engagement

Ice Miller recognized the need to use custom skills assessments for keeping their technology training current and relevant, by improving and expanding these skills in the firm. A team with representatives from HR and Technology Training was tasked to create tests and develop a technical core competency program for the firm’s legal secretaries.

Who is Ice Miller LLP?

Founded in 1910, Ice Miller has more than 300 lawyers, 40 para-professionals, and approximately 105 legal secretaries. Located at offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Illinois, Indianapolis, New York, and Washington DC. The law firm has a nationally recognized reputation in many of its practice areas.

Ice Miller offers a broad array of legal capabilities including corporate, patents and trademarks, bankruptcy, lobbying, labor and employment, litigation, employee benefits, environmental, tax, trusts and estates, real estate, municipal finance, public affairs, and government law.

Skills Assessment Challenges

Second, to the challenge of keeping their skills training up to date, another task was issued to the team to focus on identifying strengths and weaknesses to develop their people further; defining bespoke learning paths to progress their technical training alongside soft skills.

Additionally, the plan had to respect the experience of the secretaries while developing new skills. If the firm was going to implement accountability for developing firm standards, it was critical that the secretaries be able to complete tasks using their preferred methods.

That concept led the team to search for a skills assessment tool that would be customizable to reflect the solutions used by the firm and how work was being done at Ice Miller. This was achieved with consultative guidance from our team and custom skills assessments built with the Intellek set of products.

Custom Skills Assessment Solution

A successful business case for the firm to join LTC4 and leverage standards that had already been created by the legal community gave the program a head start.

As the team evaluated options, they encountered a few obstacles. Some solutions had strict frameworks and wouldn’t allow Ice Miller to make all the changes and create custom testing as they wanted. Ice Miller was looking for a solution provider that would help them create the skills assessments, while the trainers provided education and support.

Ice Miller was already enjoying a successful relationship with Intellek when they requested a demo of the Intellek Create and custom skills assessment solution. The firm was already using Intellek LMS and our library of eLearning courseware.

After comparing several vendors and solutions, Ice Miller selected Intellek’s skills assessment solution, developed with Intellek Create. This tool creates assessments for users to undertake in a live application.

Ice Miller’s training team also has access to click-by-click reporting through the Results Viewer, showing granular detail of how each user has completed the skills assessment workflow. This detailed reporting enables further targeted learning and support from the training team.

Our Skills Assessment Solution in Action

As a recognized Training Service Provider of LTC4, Intellek collaborates with clients to ensure the skills reflect both the LTC4 competencies and the firm’s unique workflows.

At the time of the implementation, Ice Miller and Intellek’s team had completed four of the six assessments, with the next two scheduled. The skill assessment tests were designed around actual workflows unique to Ice Miller, allowing them to use their existing knowledge and workflows to complete tasks.

While the Intellek team created custom tests using Intellek Create, Ice Miller’s team curated the training content to support the learning requirements of the workflow being assessed. The group gathered together a blend of content types including Intellek Learn (off-the-shelf content).

Pilot Group & Solution Testing

Another significant part of the team was the pilot group of legal secretaries that helped ensure the custom assessments focused on the right skills and training materials. The pilot group took an active role in reviewing the custom skills assessment scripts and was the first to take them.

With a plan to roll out a new assessment every other month and an awareness by the training team that workloads and timing affected the secretaries, the pilot group was expanded.

Communicating & Delivery Skills Assessments

To increase engagement, the team felt it was important to communicate, share information and stay on point with the program’s goals. While most of the communication came from HR, hiring managers, training and management were included to create a blended communication strategy. The training team set aside a site on the Ice Miller intranet to share information about the program.

The skill tests were uploaded to the Ice Miller learning management system. The team took advantage of Intellek LMS’s automatic deep linking feature, to easily capture links and deliver the assessment on the firm’s intranet.

The end-user was given the option to take the custom skills assessment first or review the learning material and then complete the assessment. Recognition was given for completion of units including notifying assigned attorneys of the secretary’s success and a nominal prize was awarded.

The Results Viewer provides the team access to click-by-click details of how the user interacted with the application to complete the tasks. This continues to allow the team to provide accurate and direct guidance when the scores are viewed.

Achieving eLearning Assessment Results

Ice Miller noted that the custom skills assessments are ensuring that learning is now happening. The goal of the program is to build a culture of learning so that people are expanding their skills to more efficiently and effectively use the technology available to them.

“Intellek LMS makes it easy to organize and share our learning content with the organization. A key benefit to the program is the huge uptick in use of the eLearning materials. There has been a 264% increase in use of the eLearning content.”

Lida Pinkham – Technology Training Manager, Ice Miller LLP

Learners reported that they gained insight into new and different ways to accomplish tasks and learned more about the tools used by the firm.

A key benefit to the skills assessment and core competencies program being recognized was the huge uptake in the use of the eLearning materials… there was a 264% increase!

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