Happy Employees, Happy Firm

By Cheryl J. Leone, Law Firm Coach

When developing a high efficiency law firm, it’s crucial to factor in the generational issues that come along with a multi-age work force. You must consider the mix of skill sets that will be available, and how you can construe that into proper management to master such a diverse group of employees. Each type of employee has different expectations, but they all do have some common needs as being part of the law firm.

In 2012 we published Soaring Eagles; defining a new way to manage law firm employees. We have implemented it in several firms. Those that try it, like it. But it takes a change in thinking.

All employees want recognition for their talents. Loyalty from an employee will be determined by how much respect the feel from the rest of the firm, which is shown in recognition of their individual talents and skills. The goal is to have everyone at the firm understand this respect is necessary, no matter the status of the employee or number of skill sets available; everyone always has something to offer.

All employees strive for one goal; a well balanced life that comes from a rewarding job. They want to be more tomorrow than they are today; to be shown more opportunities where they can use their skill to accomplish more in order to prove their work. They also want recognition for what they do for the team and their knowledge in their position. They want a work environment where they can find professional satisfaction while being able to have a personal life outside of the job. The key to all this is the team leader bringing the team together, but that isn’t possible without a little self-reflection of the leaders.

A good lawyer is always respected, but that respect is earned from the rest of the staff. Team purpose is broken when lawyers believe they are at an elevated status in the firm. The lawyer must realize that he is nothing without a strong team behind him. The job of a lawyer is to train, educate, and elevate the staff with knowledge and skill. All of this should be embraced, and will help both the staff and the lawyer grow.

In order to rework a firm to be the most efficient, that means narrowing it down to the best of the best, and then retraining them. The best law firm owners are the ones that recognize that success is built on people, and leadership of soaring eagles is the easiest way to run a law firm that delivers quality work product, extraordinary client service, and a profit.

About the Authors

Principals Dave Favor and Cheryl Leone are the founders of Catalyst Group, Inc. with its corporate offices in Raleigh, North Carolina. Rounding out the Coaches is Attorney Carl Solomon of Columbia, South Carolina. They share a common value and belief system that everyone deserves a chance to work for themselves and do it in such a way that it is profitable, enjoyable and respected by others. For more information email our Head Coach.

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