Most employers recognise that their staff are what set them apart from the rest; they are a vital resource that require managing and maintaining to continue to perform to the best of their ability. This takes time, effort, a well-planned strategy and training.
Managing the careers of your employees, so that they can fulfil the potential requirements of your firm, will give you a long term reward that is well worth the investment.
The following steps will help you to identify your firm’s needs, then manage and maintain the talent within your firm so that you can meet forecasted goals.
1. Forecast your Firm’s Objectives
This will require a business strategy that offers a projected forecast to include any key skills which are likely to be required if your firm’s progress is to be achieved.
Consider things such as:
• Specific targets – this might involve new areas of law that you want to develop, business networking, inviting trainee lawyers into the firm, training administration staff, and so on. Be clear and realistic about what is possible. Knowing where your firm’s strengths and weaknesses lie is a big help at this stage. What skills will you need in the future and how can you achieve this?
• Measurable Objectives – your targets must be measurable in order to check your progress. For instance, it is vital to track all training offered to employees and get feedback from them. Once you have achieved an objective, review it to check overall progress.
• Achievable goals – are a must. Be realistic about timescales, expenses, resources, and your firm’s progress.
• Relevant targets – we are considering the management and training of your employees so keep your targets centred on what is best for them and your firm. Ensure goals are focused on training, support, and performance.
• Time – be realistic when it comes to setting a timescale for your firm’s objectives. Putting things into place now, in order to secure the future you require, can take time and patience.
2. Identify Skill Gaps
Once you have set your objectives you should have a clearer picture of the areas that will require work.
Talking to your staff about current performance, and your expected projections, will give you valuable insight into possible skill gaps within your workforce.
You might find that there are already employees with some of the skills you require that have previously been untapped.
If your employees feel valued, and believe that their career is important or worthy of your investment, they are likely to be more productive, settled and reliable.
3. Support and Stretch your Talent
One of the best ways to ensure a good retention of staff, guarantee your firm’s success, and increase productivity is to ensure your employees feel valued and respected.
An excellent way to do this is by supporting their career path and offering incentives for those who wish to pursue training in order to advance their knowledge base and career prospects.
Mentoring those employees who display an aptitude for innovative training or stretching assignments will provide a support network for them within the firm, giving them the opportunity to grow and gain valuable skills.
Allowing them to progress outside of their comfort zones will encourage self-confidence and talent – which is beneficial to your firm.
We all know that networking is a vital element of the law industry. However, do you offer, and actively encourage, your employees to take the time to network?
If the answer is ‘no’ then you need to rethink.
Networking opportunities are ideal for encouraging potential new clients, meeting with other local businesses, and advertising your firm.
Encourage your staff to participate in conferences (both local and national) speak at universities, colleges and even schools, or to join local business groups in a bid to become more proficient at networking.
The results will speak for themselves.
5. Choosing the right person for the job
This is perhaps more difficult than it sounds. Too often quieter, studious employees can be overlooked in favour of the gregarious, sociable ones.
However, it doesn’t always mean they are the best person for training, advancement, and talent management.
Take a good look at employees results, workloads, achievements (both in and out of the workplace), to make sure you choose the best people for training and mentoring.
Lawyers suffer from a disproportionate amount of stress. This might be why they are frequently prone to substance abuse, and suicide. According to law professor Rhonda Magee “lawyers are almost four times more likely to be depressed than non-lawyers, and twice as likely to be alcoholics”.
These frightening statistics highlight the importance of teaching mindfulness techniques within the workplace, encouraging all employees to enjoy some ‘me time’, or allowing options for flexible working.
Rhonda goes on to say that “Mindfulness practices increase lawyers’ capacity to be present and high-functioning, no matter how unpredictable or potentially distressing the situations in which they might find themselves.”
“They are also better at assessing high-conflict or other challenging situations from multiple perspectives. Such outcomes make lawyers more skilful at handling stressful situations at work and in their personal lives, leading to increased well-being overall.”
Teaching mindfulness techniques within the workplace can help to reduce stress, improve productivity and keeps staff and clients happier.
Managing and maintaining the talent within your firm is definitely in the best interests of productivity, success and growth for your company.
If you require guidance on which training courses are best suited to your needs, or would like to book a workshop please click here for more advice.