Three Ways to Motivate Your Law Firm Employees

Your people are an important part of your law business, for better or for worse.

Talented, motivated, and engaged employees provide excellent client service. They execute systems and procedures consistently. They keep the firm running, allowing you to spend your time thinking like a business owner, doing work that you choose to do, and taking vacations.

On the other hand, disengaged employees cause major problems. They provide poor service. They cut corners and disregard established procedures, often with disastrous results. Their lack of motivation forces you to spend all of your time looking over their shoulder… or even worse, doing their work for them.

Here are three quick tips to keep your employees motivated.

1) Help employees understand how their job can help them build the life they want. Ultimately, motivating your employees is about them, not you. You need to show them how this job will allow them to get what THEY want out of life. Salary is an obvious motivating factor, but so is the knowledge they will acquire, the connections they’ll make, the skills they will learn. It’s your job to understand what motivates your employees and to help them understand how their position in your firm will help them build the life they want.

2) Set clear guidelines and document processes so that there is no ambiguity. Ambiguity is frustrating for most employees. Assuming you’ve hired the right people, they actively WANT to do a good job. So it’s up to you to put them in position to succeed, and a big part of that is clearly documenting every aspect of their job and teaching them how to get it done properly. Everything should be systematized and documented – from answering the phones to setting appointments to your billing process. Failure to do this will stress out your employees, confuse them, and cause your practice to run chaotically. Don’t let that happen.

3) Provide regular feedback, both positive and negative. Your employees need to hear from you (or from their direct supervisor) regularly. In addition to correcting mistakes, this means providing positive feedback for a job well done. Human beings thrive on recognition and appreciation, and expressing appreciation to your team is a critical function of a good leader. Note that this DOESN’T mean lowering your standards in order to pat employees on the back. Hold them accountable and demand performance – just be sure to praise them when they deliver it.

Keeping your people motivated and engaged is critical for the success of your firm. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more!

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