Over the years, we’ve connected a lot of amazing lawyers and legal support staff with a lot of amazing boutique law firms. But, over the years, we’ve also seen these amazing law firms make a big mistake: implementing employee training and development programs that focus on short-term success rather than long-term viability.
Don’t do that, okay?!?!
We’re all about instant gratification when it comes to signing that new client contract. Or repainting your conference room walls. But when it comes to legal staffing and talent management—trust us—it’s better to channel your inner zen and have patience with the employee training and development process. The long-term growth and profitability of your law firm depends on it and here’s why:
Your people are your greatest asset, and when they are properly developed and trained, they are able to cost-effectively provide excellent service to your clients—all with a results-driven attitude. This gives your your law firm a competitive edge and enables it to compete, even against big-name firms.
So, what does an effective employee development plan look like? Here are five training and development tips to implement at your law firm now:
1. Personalize an employee development plan for each member of your team.
Match each lawyer’s professional development goals with your firm’s long-term business strategy—this will ensure the development of a mutually beneficial plan that keeps your lawyers engaged while simultaneously working to reach your firm’s goals. Set benchmarks, along with action steps and desired timeframes, so yours lawyers can measure their own progress. Make sure you empower your lawyers and legal support staff with the tools they need to reach their goals, and thus, reach the goals of the firm.
2. Expand your employee training program.
This is especially important for newer lawyers, to help bridge the gap between law school and the real world. However, no matter how much experience an employee has, training them on a broad range of tools and techniques only serves to keep them more engaged while growing your firm.
Clients love our Team Empowerment Academy, which includes weekly virtual masterclasses on a variety of topics, plus over 200 additional tools and techniques to help expand your team’s skill set and empower them with whatever they need to grow their career…and your firm.
3. Rethink mentoring.
Strategically pair your legal support staff and lawyers with team members who can help guide them to the next level. This will not only equip your employees with the skills they need to provide high quality, cost-effective legal services, but will also help them gain an understanding of the underlying culture of the firm. Knowing how the firm works—from the front end and the back—will help your employees progress faster and work in a way that is cohesive with the rest of your firm.
4. Don’t forget about the soft skills…
Teamwork and collaboration. Leadership training. Communication. Time management. Business development. These are the skills that can turn a good employee into a great one! Clients depend on these value-added qualities, especially in a day and age where competition between boutique firms is higher than ever.
Have we mentioned our Team Empowerment Academy. Because teaching these soft skills is just another benefit of our amazing employee training and development program…
5. Retain your legal talent.
Retaining your talent will, ultimately, be a byproduct of properly training and developing them. But if you don’t properly motivate and empower your legal team, well, you’ll lose them. And turnover is not only expensive, but oftentimes also results in dissatisfied clients.
Do yourself and your firm a favor and focus on long-term employee development plans that serve to benefit your people as individuals and your firm as a whole. With the proper training and development program in place, your employees will be empowered to step up and lead your firm towards a successful future.