It’s hard to resist a title like that!
First, we’re told to be obsessed with productivity. Well, on a Friday, it’s easy to be obsessed with productivity. Every wasted minute at work is one less for leisure during the weekend.
But, what can we do specifically at law firms to improve productivity? Set the mood. Shut the door. Play calming music. Set a timer and work in 15-minute increments to keep totally focused.
Productivity is often about time management. Allocate a certain amount of time to a task and then disconnect. Unplug the phone and put “do not disturb” on your office door. The fewer interruptions the better the creative flow.
The second step to being amazing at work is to solve problems says Siehold.
This is an easy one. At work, keep a running tally of problems at the firm and within case matters. Create a two-column page with one side “problems” and the other “solutions.” It’s amazing how such a short exercise can go a long way in solving problems with law firm management practices or with cases in particular.
Third, take risks. For law firms, this isn’t necessarily the best advice. Of course, risk taking can pay off. But, it can also backfire. Luckily, there’s a simple adjective that can solve this problem. Take calculated risks.
And, take calculated risks on people. Give young associates a chance to shine.
“The great ones never play it safe when it comes to leading their teams through change, knowing their job is to serve as a guide and coach,” writes Siehold.
Fourth, have a strong work ethic.
For lawyers, it’s important to have a strong ethic in general. Don’t forget the right and wrong of cases you’re trying to win. Dedication to your work and believing in its ethic will go a long way to increasing your passion and productivity.
Finally, find a coach. For law firms, a coach should be a mentor, whether it’s a senior associate or law firm partner. Mentorship is an important part of the law.
“If a person works hard and gets a pay check he has a job. But if a person works hard, gets a pay check, and learns a new skill, she has a career,” writes Joseph Folkman for the HBR Blog in the article, “Are You Creating Disgruntled Employees?”
In any business, it pays to let people make mistakes. And, if you establish a mentorship program, it’s likely your firm will gradually see less and less of them.
With proper training, your employees can learn to communicate and cope–with confidence–during moments of both success and failure. Not to mention that, in the future, your firm will gain good leaders and good lawyers.
For more ideas about how to increase productivity at your firm, read C4CM’s 69-page guide “Creating a Flexible Workplace,” a powerful how-to resource on developing a workforce flexibility initiative that not only helps your employees manage their work and personal responsibilities effectively, but also boosts productivity and your company’s performance.
Some of its guidance includes how to:
- Lower costs associated with employee absenteeism
- Improve staff retention and recruitment efforts
- Maximize employee productivity and performance
- Improve quality and effectiveness of employee work and personal lives
- Decrease health care utilization costs
- Reduce organizational facilities’ costs
- Enhance reputation as an employer of choice