There’s no doubt that this year has been a challenging one for many people – – both professionally and personally. There’s been a whirlwind of things going on this year and it’s hard to just “check it at the door” when you come into the office.
Speaking with numerous attorneys about their current challenges in their practice, one thing seems certain. Office morale is down.
Low morale at the office usually results in reduced productivity, compromised work performance, tardiness and absences, and even personal conflicts and emotional outbursts.
As we wind down the end of this tumultuous year, consider some of these ways that you can boost morale at the office!
TIP #1: Plan a (Virtual) Gathering.
Every November, Phil’s law firm would gather together a few days before the Thanksgiving holiday and they would cater a lovely Thanksgiving luncheon. It was one of my favorite gettogethers all year, but the pandemic has effectively killed many gatherings like this (and certainly for us in California, where our offices are currently still closed down!). That being said, one way to combat this challenge is to consider planning a virtual get together. You might give each staff member a $25 gift card to DoorDash and have them order in lunch and gather on Zoom for an opportunity to gather together in a social setting with nothing to do about work.
TIP #2: Gift Cards.
Another annual Thanksgiving tradition at Phil’s law firm is that they give each staff member a $50 gift card to a local grocery store. Even if a staff member isn’t having a large gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday, a gift card that can be used on groceries will always be much appreciated. If not to grocery stores, think of other gift cards or even monetary gifts that you might be in a position to give to your staff.
TIP #3: Figure Out Fun System for Bonuses/Rewards.
Not everyone (in fact, most) attorney business owners don’t have a formal system out for bonuses or rewards, but there’s a few fun ways that you can set up a system for bonuses and rewards. An easy one would be for you to figure out a goal you’d like to reach (monthly revenue goal for November, year-end goal for revenue to hit for the year, year-end goal for a project to be complete). Whatever goal you would like to set up, communicate and share that with your staff and then figure out a reward for everyone that would be motivating and exciting enough to help get them focused to help your firm reach those goals. It can be strictly monetary, but it might be something else. One firm I know of is offering to give paid holiday and completely close down the week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day if their firm hits a revenue goal for the firm by December 11th.
Another fun idea that an attorney (thanks, James!) shared with me is a service called Bonusly. It’s a service that allows you to set up rewards for staff and you award them points to turn in for rewards. Not having personally tested the service, you can set it up so that points could be converted into rewards such as gift cards, tickets to events, monetary bonus, and even a day off! Kind of a neat feature to reward your staff and keep them motivated. Another super cool feature that I loved hearing about was that staff can gift points to other staff, so it encourages some kindness and comradery amongst your employees.
TIP #4: Give Your Staff a Bonus Day Off.
Speaking of a day off, another way to reward your staff if morale is down is by giving them a day off. If you’re usually open on the day before or after Thanksgiving, perhaps you might want to consider giving them a day off. I know a few months back, an attorney client of mine (Ryan) did this for his staff and it was so well-received and much-appreciated by his staff. Might seem counter-productive to increasing productivity, but if you’ve got staff that are working long hours and burning the candle at both ends, morale may be extremely down and this kindness will be repaid in the form of happier and more rested and refreshed employees returning to the office.
TIP #5: Gratitude Goes a Long Way!
Last, but certainly not least, just plain ole’ gratitude really goes a long way. Many firms are currently under-staffed and busier than ever, which means that a great deal of stress and pressure has fallen on your staff to stay on top of things and juggle everything that needs to get done. Being recognized and acknowledged for your hard work and effort is often times one of the things that business owners overlook to give to employees. It’s especially hard to do this when you might not be interacting with your staff face-to-face (or as much). Earlier this week, I came to the office with a sweet thank you note and a box of Godiva chocolates and I have to say…that meant the world to me and set such a positive, happier tone for me for the remainder of the week. So, take the time to write your staff a thank you note (and chocolate never hurts too!).
It’s these little things that will help chip away some of the things that weigh people down and bring their spirits up. You certainly don’t have to do all of these, but I implore you to take the time to try one of these and see how it is received by those that you work with and who work for you.
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The Ultimate Level is an event unlike any other you’ve ever attended. It helps teach all of the things you’ve never learned in law school or in any continuing education events about how to actually develop, set up, run, and manage your law practice. It also covers marketing and how to drive in revenue into your firm, including a component about how to market your firm during these challenging times.
What used to be a 2-day live event has now been converted into a 3-part interactive webinar that you and your entire firm can attend from the convenience of your own office (or home). We have our final event scheduled for the year and we’ve just opened up registration, so if you want to join us to help your practice, now is the time to join us!
Plus, you will want to act now because we are still offering the option for you and your entire firm to attend for $0 down and $199 per month for 6 months. For more information and details, click here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristina Schneider is the current Executive Director of The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 2004 and was hired right out of college to work for the Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, coordinating and facilitating Philip Kavesh’s “Missing Link” Boot Camps while also providing administrative support to Mr. Kavesh as his Executive Assistant for over seven years. Through her direct hands-on experience in Mr. Kavesh’s law firm, Kristina has been able to assist numerous estate planning professionals through The Ultimate Estate Planner and, equally as important, many of their staff members, in the successful implementation of Ultimate Estate Planner’s products and systems. You can reach Kristina at (424) 247-9495 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.