- PCLaw | Time Matters
A Guided Makeover of Employee’s Habits Drastically Improves a Firm’s Bottom Line
Although law firms are collective enterprises built by a sum of individuals working together to achieve their firm’s goals, each employee is still an independent person deserving customized attention in the workplace. Just like the diverse firms they work for, each person is different and each role has unique challenges.
Firms benefit from the innovation and creativity their employees possess when those talents are allowed to shine. In turn, employees gain the confidence to contribute to their firm’s efficiency by remaining motivated to discover unique solutions for any and all challenges.
Although this idea of “individualism” has always been a driving force, connected to success, in our western culture, the real truth, as we all know, is that the majority of successful individuals have had some kind of help and some amount of luck along the way. The most successful firms understand this the best — top performers attribute success to other professionals who take on the role of mentor, providing reality checks and acting as sounding boards.
Consequently, coaching has grown significantly within the law industry. Firms have realized that their attorneys are likely to perform better if they are coached by an experienced professional. A recent study of Executive Coaching in a Fortune 500 firm by MetrixGlobal reported a 529% return on investment and significant intangible benefits to the business. And according to the Workplace Research Foundation, investing in employee satisfaction by even 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year.1
It makes sense with results like these why many law firms realize the need to place the appropriate value on the organization’s most important asset – the happy employee.
Not only does a happy employee increase client retention by 18%, organizations with engaged employees outperform those with low employee engagement by 202%.2
With the proof in the data reflecting the powerful influence an employee has on an organization’s profitability, for the better or worse, — stressed staff has approximately 60% more errors and defects – firms are recognizing the importance of transforming their habits and systems to keep their employees productive and content.3
However, to do that, firms need to identify what needs to be transformed. The problem is, that often firms rely on the inefficient use of benchmarking to discover their issues. They then try to apply the same solutions other firms may have found successful or only solve surface level issues with product features instead of determining the real root of the problem. As established earlier, just as every employee is an individual, so is every firm. Therefore, getting to the root of any problem will not be solved with a “one-size-fits-all solution.” Coaching, instead, gives firm staff the opportunity to discover their own solutions by asking customized, in-depth questions. This practice helps legal professionals to not waste time on matters they do not find pertinent and ensures that they focus on the recommendations that will benefit themselves and the firm.
Busy with the practice of law, attorneys are hard pressed to find the time for the business of law. Their filled schedules do not offer an opportunity for them to assess the best strategies, and, even if given the time, most are not equipped with the right tools to solve the problem. Coaching encourages better communication and fosters attitudes that not only improve the firm’s overall bottom line, but also benefit the professional’s work and life.
Coaching allows for a careful assessment of the way legal professionals use their time together with the introduction of clear, efficient techniques. Applying practical tips, coaches work with each individual to manage challenges and transform systems for the better.
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Sources: 1 Melissa Dawn Photiades (July 2, 2014). 6 Eye-Opening Employee Engagement Statistics. Retrieved from Talentculture 2 For Loyal Customers, Look to Your Employees. (February 3, 2014). Retrieved from COLLOQUY 3 Seppala, Emma, and Kim Cameron (May 8, 2017). Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive. Retrieved from Gallup