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Professional editorial training – how we do it

Every wise employer knows that investing in training keeps their staff satisfied and engaged. Did you know that happy and engaged employees do better quality work and make fewer mistakes? And a well-trained employee has a greater understanding of how to do their job effectively – which in turn leads to more positive outcomes and even more job satisfaction.

Accuracy Matters exists to support our clients in reaching their business goals. And at the heart of our business is a passion for language and communicating clearly. So, delivering editorial training that combines our passion with a client’s business makes perfect sense – and it makes us really happy!

The type of editorial training we offer varies and it always depends on what our clients need. From an introduction to proofreading, to learning to write more clearly, we can deliver training sessions in person or online. 

The argument for training
I’m sure we’ve all sat through some dull training at some point in our corporate lives, so does it really make a difference? We would argue that the right kind of training most definitely does!

1. Neurons and new skills

Neuroscientific evidence suggests that training can induce structural and functional changes in the brain, known as neuroplasticity. Through training, new connections between brain cells can form, strengthening neural pathways associated with the acquired skills. This applies to learning a musical instrument and learning to write more clearly, for example. Natalia Ramsden is a business psychologist and founder of SOFOS Associates (the UK’s first and only brain optimisation clinic). She says: “There’s something hugely empowering about the idea that we, as individuals, can actually change the structure of our brains for the better.

“There’s so much we can do to develop their function, which in turn can dramatically increase our productivity in the workplace,” says Ramsden.

2. Practise, practise, practise

Evidence from cognitive psychology explained in this video shows that deliberate practice, a form of training that involves focused and repetitive practice, can lead to significant improvements in various domains. (Conversely, when we stop practising new things, our brains will eventually prune out the connecting cells that formed those pathways.)

If we don’t use it, we lose it. Developing new writing habits is the same; that’s why the best training sessions give you the opportunity to practise those new skills you are learning.

3. Boosting productivity and performance

Studies have shown that well-designed and targeted training programmes can lead to improvements in job performance, productivity and efficiency. Sure, training by yourself online has its uses, but finding a training organisation that recognises your organisation’s needs, understands the context for your work and can create something bespoke is invaluable.

Train your way

What have we learned from our clients, and where does that leave us today? The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the workplace forever. We no longer need to be in an office every day to do our jobs effectively. During lockdown, we had to adapt the way we worked out of necessity. Today, most of our clients have taken the best of these new working practices and combined them with some of the more traditional methods to create a workplace environment and culture that suits their businesses right now.

Online training has always been very popular, but we definitely noticed a surge in demand for remote training during the pandemic. One such example took place towards the end of lockdown when we delivered online editorial training for a PR company.

The training centred around proofreading in a busy office environment where trainees needed to adapt to very different client styles and constraints, as well as improving their ability to focus in the midst of many distractions. We devised an online training programme in two 90-minute sessions, which were scheduled two weeks apart. This meant that trainees could digest and practise their learning from the first session, and bring any further questions to the second session. This way we were able to refine the training even further to make sure it hit the target.

Proven expertise

Training has always been an important part of our client service offer at Accuracy Matters. Many of us are former civil servants with a strong communications background. We delivered training sessions to fellow civil servants on a wide range of editorial subjects, so we have proven expertise in editorial training (not to mention many ideas for the best ice-breaker activities for even the most reluctant learner!).

Targeted editorial training

While online editorial training is here to stay, sometimes clients would prefer a face-to-face approach for their teams. Earlier this year, a colleague and I delivered a day’s in-person training to a team within a large public sector organisation. They were a super group of professionals, all experts in their field and all short of time. They needed some tools to help them write their reports more clearly and concisely.

We examined some of the barriers faced by the team and devised a solution consisting of a day’s training session plus a leave-behind ‘quick guide’ that participants could keep and refer to in the future.

Our editorial training session was interactive and peppered with relevant exercises so that the learners could practise the new skills we were teaching them. It really helped that the group were engaged, they were willing to participate fully, and they asked lots of pertinent questions. (After all, there is no such thing as a stupid question in a training context.)

Everyone provided feedback forms and the entire team said that the training met their objective and left them feeling more confident as a result. (The group even asked for some more training and we’re hoping to deliver a follow-up session later this year.)

Designing the perfect editorial training programme

We believe that the best training depends on the combination of the design of the particular training programme, the expertise of the trainers, and the motivation and engagement of the learners.

Clearly every business has different goals. That’s why every editorial training session we run is unique. The new workplace environment – across all sectors – demands that any training represents value for money. As the bottom line gets squeezed, clients (quite rightly) are looking for ways to increase productivity and effectiveness. We believe that good-quality, tailored editorial training is certainly one of the solutions to this challenge.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.Benjamin Franklin

To talk about how we might help you reach your business goals through targeted training, please get in touch.

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