Trust us…we get it. It’s easy to pull the trigger and make decisions from the comfort of your own leadership vacuum. After all, you know your firm better than anyone, which means you know better than anyone what your firm needs to grow progressively and sustainably…right?
Maybe so. But there is another group of people who are huge stakeholders in the success of your firm—your team. And they also have a pretty good idea about what your firm might need. And they’ve got ideas—great ideas, in fact—that you won’t be able to hear from the confines of your vacuum.
A recent study of over 100,000 U.S. businesses confirms that there is a direct correlation between how involved employees are in corporate decision-making processes and their level of overall morale, motivation and job satisfaction.
Simply stated, keeping employees engaged and empowered results in more satisfied, “go-getter” type employees who can really step up and make a difference at your firm. The benefits of involving your team in decision-making processes include:
• Improved levels of effort and commitment. Being involved in making decisions for your firm makes employees feel valuable, and when they feel valuable, they’ll take more ownership of your firm’s performance.
• Better day-to-day decision-making. Understanding how decisions are being made at an executive level will help them make better decisions at a departmental or individual level. They’ll be better equipped to align their decisions with the direct of your firm.
• Stronger bonds of responsibility. When an employee has his or her say in making a decision, the outcome of that decision—in one way or another—reflects back on them. Employees do NOT want a negative outcome landing on their shoulders. The responsibility that comes with decision-making will keep team members at the top of their games.
• It takes the heat off of YOU! When you make a bad decision, it’s easy for employees to place 100% of the blame on you. However, when team members take an active role in the decision-making process, bad decisions will compel them to analyze what went wrong and make better decisions in the future.
• Employee morale and motivation will skyrocket. If employees have the authority to make decisions, or at least be an active part of the decision-making process, they’ll feel like they make a difference, which is directly related to their levels of motivation and overall job satisfaction.
• It frees up YOUR time to focus on future-oriented initiatives. Empowering your employees to make business decisions eliminates the need to micromanage. If you trust that your employees are capable of making good decisions about various aspects of your firm’s operations and systems, then you can take on those higher-level initiatives you just haven’t been able to find the time for…
Convincing law firm leaders to get their firm’s employees more involved in decision-making processes shouldn’t be that hard of a sell—the benefits are powerful, as you can clearly see. However, the actual process of stepping out of your leadership vacuum and into a more collaborative role isn’t always easy. Ease into the transition by implementing these three tactics:
1. Assemble committees of action teams to brainstorm solutions for specific problems.
2. Send out a survey and allow employees to vote on decisions that could impact the firm as a whole.
3. Make sure there are clear channels through which employees can provide feedback to managers and leaders. Informal face-to-face interactions (i.e. water cooler chats), or even a suggestion box will do the trick.
Law firm leadership development programs, like our Team Empowerment Academy, can add another dimension to your efforts to get your team members more involved in making decisions for your firm. Our Team Empowerment Academy equips law firm leaders and their teams with the tools and techniques they need to take tasks off their attorney’s plates and make decisions that benefit their firms. After just 8-weeks, your firm can expect real, measurable results. Your people are your greatest asset, and our program helps them become more resourceful, more efficient and more profitable.
Ready to Start Engaging Your Employees?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org about the challenges you’re facing at your firm, and we’ll contact you to schedule a free discovery session to brainstorm solutions. Not quite ready to chat? Take advantage of the offer to download our best-selling book, Intrapreneurs in an Entrepreneur’s World: How to Empower Your Employees to Step Up and Lead…completely free!