Let’s face it, the best employees are the ones that fit in really well. They might be proficient at their job, but you’d rather keep the employee that you can connect with than the “perfect” employee that doesn’t fit in well with your purpose and overall environment of the office.
Having a good work ethic is a very important trait in an employee. Whether the employees are attorneys, paralegals, or office administrators, the most important trait an employer must look for is not a trait of the individual, but rather a trait of the entire staff.
This trait is known as synergy.
Synergy among the employees in the workplace will not only improve your law office’s productivity, but it creates a sense of belonging to a greater cause.
Synergy can only be achieved when each and every member of your staff shares the same vision, followed by working together to actualize that vision. If five out of 10 employees share the same vision, while the other five don’t, your office will be half as productive at most.
So how do you attract and keep the right employees? Should you increase their pay? The truth is that a higher salary does not guarantee synergy in the workplace. The employees at Apple don’t get paid nearly as much as the employees at Microsoft or Walmart, yet they share a powerful cult-like experience that is unmatched in the business world.
Attracting great employees to your law office is not all about money, benefits and retirement plans. The newer generations seek something greater than money; and to most law offices, this “something” is very difficult to provide. In this article, we will discuss how you can attract the best employees, keep them around for the long-run, and have them improve your law office’s performance.
Here are 5 tips on how to be the best law office to work for
Present a Great Employee Culture at your Law Office
Potential employees, whether they are attorneys or seeking other positions, must see your law office as a fun place to work. This doesn’t mean that you have to turn your office into a playground. Instead, your law office must not appear to be a boring workplace. The size of your law office doesn’t matter, nor matters how long ago your law office was established. Employees don’t want to be bored at work.
Your law office should make potential employees think “I wish I could work for a law office as exciting as that!” So how do you create such an awesome office environment? The rule of thumb is that you must create an office environment that inspires and motivates, but more importantly, connects with your staff.
For example, we encourage our writers and staff to express their personality by decorating our office. Our office walls carry a variety of posters hung by our employees, from Led Zeppelin and Elvis Presley to inspirational words by Winston Churchill. One of our writers brought in a foosball table, while another brought their record player and vinyl collection. These are just a few examples of how we make our workplace unique and inspiring.
When your employees can express their personality through decorating the office, they treat your office as their own. Summoning this feeling of attachment to the workplace within your employees is the first step to creating synergy.
And don’t forget to take pictures and videos of your office! You will have to showcase your office environment through social media in order to attract like-minded potential employees.
Maintain a High Reputation on Job Websites (Glassdoor and etc..)
A great reputation and image is vital to the success of your law office. By now, you must already know how online reviews can influence a potential client’s decision whether or not to choose you as their attorney. We even check online reviews of nearby places to eat when deciding what to eat for lunch! Online reviews are equally as influential for people who are searching for jobs, especially for the Millennial generation.
The key to this step is simple: maintain a good reputation on job websites, and use social media to recruit potential employees.
Job websites, such as Glassdoor, are great for individuals who want to do their due diligence on the companies they are applying to get hired at. For example, Glassdoor allows job-seekers to read the reviews left by the company’s current or previous employees and they can learn about the general culture of the company.
As a law office, having great reviews on websites like Glassdoor and properly using social media to recruit potential employees will significantly improve your chances of finding and recruiting quality employees that fit in with your staff.
Adjust to the Needs of the Current Generation
Based on the studies done on the Millennial generation, Millennials are considered to be more ambitious than the generations that came before. What seemed to attract employees in the previous generations, such as job security and benefits, is not a priority to the Millennial population. Although job security and benefits is still very important to them, Millennials are in search of something greater, some intangible – impact. They want to make an impact in the workplace, in their social circles, and ultimately, the world.
So how can you, as their potential employer, offer this intangible desire? Although there are many ways to go about doing it, the proven methods are as follows:
Room for Growth
Potential employees want to know that working at your law office will not be a dead-end job. Making it possible for new hires to be promoted will motivate the right type of employee to stick around.
Perhaps it will take offering a partnership at a certain point. If that is off-limits, then maybe a management position later on, enabling the employee to vote on important matters (even if it doesn’t the position doesn’t increase the pay). The point is that if the great potential employee sees that there is no room to grow under your employment, then they will most likely look to be hired elsewhere, leaving you with only those employees who work for the paycheck.
Express Your Law Office’s Purpose and Mission. Recruit Those Who Want to Join Your Cause.
Give your employees a reason to be proud of under your employment and it will result in attracting the right type of potential employees. This is something that money cannot buy. According to author Daniel Pink, all workers are after three things: the autonomy to do their jobs, the opportunity to master their trade, and working for a purpose and not just the money.
By creating an environment where employees can work for a greater purpose than money, while mastering their skills and not micro-managed, they will not only become better employees, but they will better your law office and will stay with you in the long run.
Boost Your Employees’ Self-Esteem
Give your employees the chance to shine, and you will get the attention of the great potential employees. Not only will this improve the image of your law office, but this will boost the self-esteem of your employees, resulting in an increase in performance.
Employees want to know that their efforts are not in vain, and that they actually have an important role in the workplace. And they do! Employees are the bedrock of any great law office or company. When employees are praised for the good work they’ve been doing, they maintain that level of work ethic and performance. Anytime an employee is neglected and not given credit for their efforts, their performance gradually fades away.
The rule of thumb is: Boost your employees’ self-esteem, and you will not only have a great performing law office, but you will attract potential employees that share your mission and purpose.