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HIRING

Gen Z: Avoid crucial mistakes when managing them

By Lynne Curry Question: We’re hiring a group of young office interns this summer for a special project and are trying to figure out the best team member to supervise them. We’re thinking someone as close in age to them as possible. Your thoughts? Answer: You’re hiring Gen Z workers, individuals born after 1995. The oldest Gen Z workers are 27, and while similar to Gen Y employees are as different from Gen Y workers as Gen Y employees are from Gen Xers. It surprises many that Gen X managers fare worse when managing Gen Y employees than do Baby Boomer managers, those born prior to 1964. Thus, don’t let age be your deciding factor. Gen Zers crave independence and consider themselves self-directed, even if they aren’t. It’s easy to… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Just promoted to office manager? Follow these 9 critical rules to avoid problems managing former friends and colleagues

Getting promoted to office manager can be a mixed blessing. As a former staffer, the new manager comes into the job knowing the good performers, the bad performers, the shortcuts, the troublemakers—and a few secrets. But the former peers also know their new boss, including strengths, weaknesses, and what buttons to push. Along with that, they are wondering how their relationship with their former peer will change. And someone who vied for the promotion could be poised to sabotage the new manager. Things are different now. To be successful in the job, the staffer-turned-manager has to carve out an entirely new position in the office. 1. Get a proper introduction The first hurdle is to get into the position with the acceptance of the other staff, and to achieve that,… . . . read more

STAFF MEETINGS

Zoom hiders: Camera shy or disengaged?

By Lynne Curry Question: For our mandatory manager meetings, I show up on time so my attendance is noted, and then get through the meetings by multi-tasking. It’s easy enough to hear what’s said as I get other work done. I cover this up by always making a positive comment on at least one of the manager’s proposals. I leave my video off, though, and when the manager chastised me, I compromised by turning it on at the beginning, saying “hi” to everyone, and turning it on anything important is happening, and when I’m speaking. I thought this was a reasonable compromise, so imagine my shock when my manager said my leaving the camera off was a key reason I wasn’t one of the three managers being sent to a… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Roe v. Wade wars in the workplace

By Lynne Curry Question: Our office employs an interesting mix of personalities. In the past, this made for intense discussions about politics and world events, until last week when the U.S. Supreme Court’s potential overturn of Roe v. Wade leaked. The discussion became hateful and resulted in personal attacks. The manager stopped it, but not soon enough. HR then interviewed involved employees. Several said they don’t feel comfortable working alongside several other employees any longer. Now, instead of employees asking each other questions, they email work-related questions through the manager. This is wearing on her and slows productivity. We need to mend what took place and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Our management team has decided if we need to ban all political, non-work-related discussions, we will. Several of… . . . read more

12 marketing secrets of superstar lawyers

By Trey Ryder #1: They make marketing their highest priority. Superstar lawyers know marketing is the key to success. They hire capable attorneys to do legal work for them so they can focus their attention on maintaining relationships and attracting the clients they want. #2: They know that nothing is more important than their credibility. Superstar lawyers avoid selling-based marketing, which casts them in the role of a salesperson, because it undermines their credibility and causes people to question whether they can be trusted. They use education-based marketing instead, which attracts clients to them because of their knowledge, skill, judgment and experience. #3: They seize the number one position in their niche. The Law of Leadership states it is better to be first than it is to be better. Everyone knows Charles… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Changed jobs: What have I done?

By Lynne Curry You expect to feel angry when fired from a job you enjoy. You expect to feel scared when laid off from a job at which you felt secure. You don’t expect to feel rotten one week after you intentionally make a career move from a job you’ve outgrown to one that promises to be challenging and rewarding. So why are you so rattled during your first week on this new job? Sudden job change takes you from a job and practice in which you know who’s who and what’s what and throws you into situations you need to navigate without a clear road map. Before you have the chance to learn your new employer’s unwritten rules, including whom to trust and who might take things the wrong… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Negative staff: Is the problem you?

By Lynne Curry The manager called me, completely frustrated with his team. He told me his employees were negative, blamed each other for problems, didn’t communicate with him or take accountability and didn’t buy in to important initiatives. He asked me to talk with his key employees and tell me how to fix them. When I met with him afterwards, I asked, “How honest do you want me to be?” His eyes widened in alarm and he said, “Honest, I guess.” “The main problem on your team isn’t your employees. It’s you.” Here’s what I told him. If you’re the team’s leader, it’s on you As the leader, you set the tone. If as a leader, you focus on “who was responsible for what went wrong?” with pointed “why did… . . . read more

TECHNOLOGY

Artificial intelligence frees lawyers and admin of tedious tasks

The legal industry often lags behind other industry sectors in adapting to technological change, resulting in losing out to competitors, and ones that are not necessarily other law firms. Savvy law firms recognize the interaction of law and technology and leverage legal tech to be more effective in their practices, according to a blog by SMI Aware, a social media evidence collection and preservation service. For instance, artificial intelligence (AI) enabled tech reduces the tedium involved with administrative tasks. At the same time, ethical practice is as necessary in the use of legal tech as in every aspect of the practice of law. Competition from alternative legal service providers Alternative legal service providers (ALSP), like Deloitte, are competing with law firms for clients and, in many cases, are coming out… . . . read more

HIRING

It’s harder to find and keep office workers

Echoing reports of ongoing labor shortages, a new survey confirms that a vast majority of organizations are facing extreme difficulty finding and retaining qualified workers. But, the survey reveals, these challenges are no longer being driven solely by a lack manual services workers, as previous trends have indicated. Rather, office workers are now significantly harder to both find and retain than just one year ago. The Conference Board survey found that 84 percent of organizations hiring professional and office workers are struggling to find talent, an increase from 60 percent in April 2021. And the percent of organizations struggling to retain office workers more than doubled in the last year, from 28 percent to 64 percent. The survey of more than 175 US Human Resource executives also underscores the staying… . . . read more

RETURN TO THE OFFICE

Caregiver caught between employer’s expectations and family’s needs

By Lynne Curry As managers require employees to spend more time at the office, they will encounter special circumstances that require special solutions. Consider the following situation of an employee needing to work from home to provide family care. Employee question: Since our schools no longer require masks, my husband and I decided to homeschool our youngest child. My employer initially made this easier by allowing me to work remotely. Although I needed to run into the office occasionally for an hour or two, it wasn’t a problem because my mother-in-law lives with us. Unfortunately, my employer now insists that all employees work a minimum of three full workdays in the office. I argued with my manager and he insisted it was a matter of fairness that I work onsite…. . . . read more


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