Note: The following is an excerpt from a new eBook titled 15 Ideas for Getting a Jump-Start on 2015 which is freely available with registration.
For many law firms today, much of the emphasis is on constantly updating and improving technology, and with good reason. Between case management software and cloud computing, I’m able to respond to clients from any remote location and that has made me exponentially more efficient. It’s hard to even imagine operating a productive and efficient firm today without the latest technology at hand.
But without the right staff to back me up, that technology can be a trap, making me a slave to answering email, scheduling meetings and court dates and all the million or so other day-to-day tasks that can easily take my time and attention away from practicing law if I allow them to.
That’s why I depend on my staff members to act as extensions of me. They have their case notes with them. They can send me a message and update me, then go on without waiting for me to talk about it with them in person.
Because I know them well, I have full confidence in my people to act on my behalf. They’re well-trained. They’re tremendously professional. And I know my clients can and do depend on them to ease the stress in difficult situations.
I’ve seen studies estimating that it can cost companies 20 percent or more of a good employee’s salary to replace him or her. It’s important to keep in mind, too, that keeping and retaining highly skilled staff takes more than money and benefits. Maintaining a positive office environment, encouraging education and skill enhancement and respect and appreciation go a long way in keeping staff in place and loyal.
While the last few years of high unemployment may have caused some companies to take their employees for granted, it’s important for law firms to keep in mind that sometimes personal relationships can have a bigger impact on getting or keeping a good client than any kind of technology.
Whether it’s economics, productivity or maintaining good client relationships, it’s simply good practice to make a good-faith effort to keep your best employees on the team.
The complete eBook, with 14 other expert viewpoints, is freely available for download with registration here.
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Lynn M. Myrick operates theLaw Practice of Lynn M. Myrick, a family law and divorce practice in Oregon. He previously conveyed A Tech Tale of Two Law Firms published on this blog. He can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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