There are a lot of ways that law firms can measure success: billable hours, profit, high profile clientele, and even outsourcing work to other lawyers because the firm just can’t take on more work. By leveraging today’s legal office software, you can ensure your firm is meeting all the important KPI’s. However, one area that isn’t as easily quantifiable and what law firms should consider as a measure of success is employee happiness. Why? There are several reasons.
1. Happy Employees Are More Engaged in Their Work
When employees are happy, they are more engaged in their work and when they are engaged they are more productive. Work isn’t the only place that employees should find their happiness, but given the amount of time people spend in the workplace, it is in the firm’s best interest to make work an enjoyable, peaceful environment.
If you’d like to create a better atmosphere for your employees, start by creating an employee happiness survey. What are some things that your employees would like? The survey can be anonymous and set up through a free survey program available on the Internet such as Survey Monkey. Make sure your employees understand the purpose of the survey and that their answers will be kept anonymous.
If you’re looking for some easy things you can do to nudge the happiness meter upwards, consider some of the following:
1. Host a Quarterly Luncheon
Treat your employees to lunch once each quarter. This simple way to show you care really can go a long way in making employees happy. You could even create potlucks on a regular basis to cut down on expense. The law firm could purchase the main dishes as well as the plates and utensils. Employees could contribute a snack, finger food, or side dish.
2. Offer Flex Time
A lot of law firms already provide this as a fringe benefit. If you have employees who work late or come in early on a regular basis, provide flex time. It is important that managers keep up with the extra time that their employees are working in order to make flex time a viable option.
3. Create an Out of Office Experience
This is good for your employees, and it can also enhance the reputation of your law firm. Create opportunities where your employees can get out of the office on behalf of the firm. Whether your employees are volunteering in their communities or you are hosting a team gathering, these events create goodwill toward your law firm while helping your employees feel as if they are working toward something bigger than themselves.
4. Provide Opportunities for Growth
Not all of your employees require continuing education to keep their designations, but providing opportunities for growth to all of your employees can enhance engagement. This could be paying for them to attend seminars, training with the latest legal office software and technology, or allowing time to attend a free webinar. The key here is to support the professional interests of your employees.
2. Happy Employees Are Better for Your Clients
Law firms are not immune to the customer service challenges other businesses experience. Timely communication and responsiveness to client inquiries are critical in today’s business world. Consumers today are more impatient and more likely to share their experience on social media and a poor service experience can be bad for business. Sir Richard Branson famously quoted, “if you take care of your staff, they’ll take care of your clients”, so it is important to ensure your employees are treated with the respect they deserve and that your firm is implementing processes, policies and strategies to create a happy and healthy work environment for them.
3. The Link Between Employee Happiness and Morale
Generally, when employees are happy, they have better morale. When the morale of employees is reaching new heights, your law firm will continue to meet and even exceed goals. To raise individual morale, take the time to get to know your employees on a personal basis. Celebrate their personal and professional accomplishments.
Your employees have lives and interests beyond the workplace. Granting them time off for something personal that is important to them can often pay dividends in terms of loyalty and engagement. This is very much the philosophy of Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, who wrote the book “Let My People Go Surfing”. By treating employees like your customers, they will inturn treat your paying clients the same.
4. Minimize Stress by Providing the Tools for Employee Success
Having the right systems, processes and legal office software in place is important to ensure efficiency in any business. When employees don’t have what they need to meet the expectations of the job, their employer and clients this can cause problems for a business, stress in the workplace, and lead to higher rates of employee turnover. Hiring, training and onboarding new employees is extremely time-consuming, distracting and costly which is why investing in the proper tools, and technology to drive employee success is important.
Infoware’s document automation and legal office software tools are designed to help save law firm employees both time and frustration. This is done primarily by creating templates for commonly used documents, document compilation, and repairing and formatting legal documents. To learn how Infoware’s unique suite of legal office software choices will improve productivity in your law firm click here to schedule your free demonstration.