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MANAGING STAFF

Quiet firing meets quiet quitting

By Lynne Curry Quiet quitting, the employee behavior pattern that swept through the nation this summer after a viral TikTok video in July, has met its match—quiet firing. Employers, disgusted by employees that consider it justified to do the bare minimum at work, are blessing these employees out the door. Managers take action In September 2022, 91% of 1,000 managers surveyed reported taking action against quiet quitters or firing them (1 in 3 managers have responded to ‘quiet quitting’ with ‘quiet firing’ – ResumeBuilder.com). One in three of the surveyed managers reported firing quiet quitters; 75% of the 1000 managers described firing quiet quitters as justifiable. Managers that didn’t outright fire quiet quitters took other actions. 27% of them denied raises to quiet quitters; 23% denied promotions to quiet quitters…. . . . read more

MORE PROFIT

The art of delegating to increase firm revenues

By Elizabeth Miller Law firms are unique in that unlike most other businesses which sell a product, lawyers sell time. Their time is, for a better description, “their stock in trade”. Based on this concept, to be profitable and generate sufficient revenues to carry the firm, lawyers should be spending their valuable time doing client billable work. The exception to this are contingency cases and hybrid cases which consist of a part contingency/part billable hour retainer agreement. Contingency cases, however, have to be profitable for a law firm also. With this in mind, the key to profitability and work product efficiency in a law firm is to assign legal tasks to the lowest paid but most qualified person to complete a task. When partners spend their time doing work that… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Workplaces slow to get well from COVID-19 damage

By Lynne Curry You’ve heard that “long-haulers,” individuals with long COVID, suffer persistent COVID-19 symptoms that erode their quality of life. Anyone scanning the workplace soon realizes that some employers suffer from “long COVID”. A few refuse employers treatment, expecting to get well on their own. Three symptoms signal an employer suffers “long COVID”. Difficult to fill vacancies and continual turnover Job openings outnumber available workers by 5.46 million. So many potential employees have left the labor market to become self-employed, or gig and contract workers, that employers with vacancies continue to fight talent wars. Desperate to fill their positions, long hauler employers hire hastily, hoping the “best of the worst” will work out. Some new hires don’t last a day. Others leave without notice within their first four months,… . . . read more

STAFFING

Is it a recession or not? The answer may surprise you

By Lynne Curry My in-box filled with questions after I posted a Recession Fears Loom blog. Readers asked how I made sense of the different views voiced by economists and politicians. As a law office manager with responsibilities around staffing and profitability, you are probably watching to see which way the economy goes. Here’s the background, and my answer to “are we headed into a recession?”: Some say “yes.” Over 60 percent of the 750 CEOs surveyed by the business research firm Conference Board expect a recession in the next 12 to 18 months1. Another 15 percent of surveyed CEOs report their region is already in recession.1 The most recent gross domestic product report that tracks our overall economic health showed a second consecutive quarter of negative growth, the textbook… . . . read more

LAYOFFS

How do we tell our employees we are laying off some of them?

By Lynne Curry As the economy takes a new twist, the talk in many work sectors is turning from staffing shortages to coming layoffs. If this is the case for your law office, here are some things to think about: Consider alternatives Have you considered all the alternatives your company has to layoffs? Could you reduce hours or salaries for a larger number of employees? If you transition from a five-day workweek to a four-day workweek, you can cut payroll by 20 percent. If you offer employees five weeks of vacation annually, of which two are paid, many of your employees may see this as a perk and that can thin your ranks. Have you asked your employees for cost-cutting ideas? Or, it is too late, and layoffs are your… . . . read more

HUMAN RESOURCES

5 ways to help your staff cope with inflation

By Paul Edwards CEO, CEDR  Solutions Inflation is on everyone’s minds right now, and understandably so. Most Americans are aware that the purchasing power of a dollar is always decreasing to some degree, but rarely does the rise in the cost of living have such a powerful impact on our daily lives or feature so prominently in the public discourse. As you may already know, financial pressure on American consumers reached an all-time high this year. Based on The Consumer Price Index—the best-known indicator of inflation—inflation rose to 8.6 percent in the 12 months ending in May 2022, marking the most extreme spike in that figure in over 40 years. The Impact of Inflation on You and Your Team Employees are justifiably concerned by this sudden and dramatic hike in the cost… . . . read more

QUIZ

Do you make your employees want to stay?

By Lynne Curry Your employees are leaving, because they want better opportunities. What are you giving them? If it’s not better opportunities, you’ll lose them. Here’s what you need to consider: Do you pay your employees what they’re worth? If you can’t afford competitive compensation, do you compensate by giving employees flexibility and autonomy, allowing them to feel they’re in charge of leveraging their time and productivity, and can work harder or longer one day and take a bit of a break the next day? Do you give your employees the chance to learn new things and develop professionally? Do you respect and value your employees, and do you clearly demonstrate that you value them? As a manager/supervisor, do you step to the plate? If you want the best employees, you… . . . read more

TOOL

Love contracts: Help for hot messes

They arrive at work separately. They never touch each other in your presence. Then, as you chair a meeting, you see his gray eyes seek hers out across the conference table. She returns his gaze; her eyes linger. Suddenly you know. The senior manager, despite all the sexual harassment seminars he’s attended, appears romantically intertwined with an accounting clerk. If you’re in charge, how do you handle this hot mess?  The reality Some managers and supervisors would never have an affair with an employee they oversee or an employee in their company. Others consider the workplace a dating pond in which they fish. Still others fall into a relationship that makes them disregard risks. According to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, one in three U.S…. . . . read more

LEADERSHIP

5 ways to help your team members overcome burnout

The last couple of years have been rough on everyone in the workplace, including law offices. Many suffered burnout early in the pandemic; others held it all together until now when they are  quietly falling apart. Chances are someone on your team has had enough of the pressures from work, family, finances, the public health emergency and other turmoil in society. As a manager, you want to help. Here are four ideas to get you started: Help organize and prioritize work into manageable and clear expectations. These changes can help rebuild energy over time and aid in recovery. Develop a practical strategy to support an employee who may be experiencing burnout. As part of any plan, ask the employee how best to recognize their successes and victories. This could include immediate and… . . . read more

RISK MANAGEMENT

How to handle the office romance 2022 version

By Lynne Curry Three potential hot messes. In company Z, a senior manager considered his workplace a dating pool in which he fished. When he put the moves on a new female employee, the workplace grapevine ignited. In company Y, the head of marketing had serial crushes on one after another of the male management trainees. Because she was attractive and personable, several of them developed crushes in return. One put the moves on her when they worked all weekend on a project. In company X, the Chief Operating Office and Chief Financial Officer had a not-so-secret affair. Although he hated to, the Chief Executive Officer called them into his office and said, “One of you needs to resign. Unless this happens, we’ll have no defense if we fire someone… . . . read more


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