At the heart of every service provider, the talent performing those services makes the company successful and Custom Legal Marketing is no different.
One of the biggest challenges that businesses face is keeping their best people. Low employee turnover is good for everybody. It's good for team morale, and your bottom line, but it's also good for your clients. Our law firms know our core team members by name and that positive report between our clients and team members is infinitely valuable.
I recently published an article in Inc. titled, "How to Use Performance Reviews to Keep Loyal Employees on Your Team" where I shared how we've been able to keep top performers by creating an open two-way employee review process.
As a law firm, you could incorporate the same policies and avoid costly employee turnover.
How do you keep your best employees?
The employee review should not be a one-sided conversation. Of course, you want your team members to grow so you definitely should address any areas that need improving and set benchmarks. But your employees also want to see your law firm grow and within the various corners of your business, they have different perspectives. With those perspectives, they can bring challenges to your attention that you may not be aware of. Welcome their feedback and grow from it!
Take some heat.
In my article, I encourage law firms and business owners to make employee reviews an open dialogue by saying "Your employee should know that their critical feedback can be shared without consequence or defensive posturing. You expect them to take negative feedback as a professional; you can do the same."
As a manager or owner, you're decisions, behavior, and communication style impact your employees. Hopefully, in a positive way, but you may also have flaws that inadvertently get in the way of your team members delivering their best work for your firm. Take that criticism. Just as your employees know that your criticism is out of a desire for them to grow and succeed, their criticism of you also comes from a desire to see you (and the business that their livelihood depends on) grow and succeed.
Say yes to one-time investments.
During the course of your two-way review, your team members may request some things that require an investment. Obviously, for major recurring investments like additional or upgraded benefits, you will need to make sure that it's financially within your firm's abilities and long-term best interest.
But the cost of one-time investments or comfort items is usually minimal compared to the cost of hiring. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it costs approximately $4,700 to fill a position. So if your employee needs a faster computer, a better laptop for remote working, a second monitor, a more comfortable chair, or another one-time upgrade, say yes! Most one-time investments are far less expensive than replacing the team member...especially if they're an A-lister. Plus, you currently have their experience, their relationship with your clients, and the smooth daily operations that come from their reliability. If keeping them happy means you have to spend a couple thousand dollars on some new tech or furniture, do it! You're saving a lot of money and you're telling your employees that they're worth investing in (because they are!)
Over the years, our employee feedback has resulted in office snacks, beer and cold-brew coffee on tap, periodic workspace upgrades, high-performance notebooks, and we've even shipped iMacs to work-at-home or hybrid workers to ensure that their home office is as functional as their workstation in one of our offices. We've also made pricier recurring investments like larger 401(k) matches, expanded dental coverage, low copay medical coverage, and other perks.
Keep your winning team together and your law firm growing by making two-way employee reviews part of your annual routine.