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CYBERSECURITY

Treat passwords like underwear: Change often and don’t share

Did you know that most confirmed data breaches involve the leveraging of weak, stolen, or default passwords? One of your practice’s frontline defenses for avoiding the phishing  attacks and other cybercriminal schemes is effective password management. How well are you managing yours? Take this quiz from Michael J. Sacopulos, JD, founder and CEO of the Medical Risk Institute, to find out.  Strong passwords are too complicated to remember. It’s fine to use passwords that are short and easy.            True or False?  Answer: False Easy passwords are easy to crack. Popular passwords in the United States continue to be “password” and “12345.” These weak passwords offer little security and are simply dangerous. Instruct your team to create strong passwords that contain a mix of letters, cases, and… . . . read more

POST-PANDEMIC WORKPLACE

Managers hold the key to employee engagement and retention

With many workplaces now allowing hybrid work, new complexities in managing the workplace are emerging, says the The Conference Board in a new report. Recent evidence suggests that productivity among US workers has declined significantly from heights experienced during the pandemic. Remote and hybrid work arrangements combined with ill-prepared managers may be a cause. Why it matters Managers lie at the nexus of employee engagement and retention. Given the added challenges of a post-COVID world of work, it is essential to strengthen how employees are managed and led. Care must be taken to create an organizational culture welcomed by employees that also supports organizational goals. The path forward Postpandemic, managers and employees must learn how to adapt effectively to each other’s emerging needs and preferences. This can be done by… . . . read more

MOTIVATING YOUR STAFF

Praise is nice but a year-end bonus is better

A year-end bonus can be a powerful tool for reminding your staff their hard work and commitment and the company’s overall growth and success are closely intertwined. And according to a survey of employers, 50% of companies plan to award year-end bonuses in 2022. While this is down from 63% last year, it’s a sign that staff retention remains top of mind for many employers, says Robert Half, the specialized talent solutions and business consulting firm which conducted the survey. Presenting employees with a financial reward—whether it’s to acknowledge individual, departmental or companywide success—can help bolster retention and even help with recruitment efforts. It can also be a motivational tool for driving team productivity and engagement in the year ahead. A year-end bonus can help employees feel like they make… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Tick those unpleasant tasks off your to-do list

Avoiding something unpleasant is the main reason people procrastinate. Try one of these four approaches when you face an unpleasant task: Do it. There’s an adrenaline rush from knowing you’ve completed an unpleasant task. Finishing something you’ve been putting off will energize you for the rest of the day. Don’t do it yet. If you’re not sure what to do, putting off an unpleasant task may be wise. That’s prudent postponement. Perhaps a better approach will surface once you sleep on it. Ditch it. If the task has been hanging over your head for a long time, maybe you don’t really need to do it. Delegate it. Delegation can be a great way to procrastinate less. If you’re someone who feels that you need to do things yourself to get… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Do you just open your mouth and let the words fly?

By Lynne Curry When you’re upset with another person, do you open your mouth and let your emotions erupt and words fly? If you want to resolve an interpersonal conflict, you can’t afford to blast the other person. While you may feel vindicated, you risk the other person attacking back, getting defensive or shutting down If you want things to become better and not worse between you and the other person, learn to tackle yourself first, open the conversational door to the other person, remain results-focused, word your thoughts so they can be heard, and admit your part in the problem. Tackle yourself before you slam the other person When you’re upset, adrenaline can hit you like a wave. Don’t let it swamp you and torpedo your chances of attaining… . . . read more

WORKPLACE SAFETY

Are there guns in your workplace?

By Lynne Curry If you think the national division over guns hasn’t hit your workplace, you haven’t been listening. Not only are the employees who advocate for increased gun control, including a ban on assault-style rifles like the AR-15, engaged in an active argument with those who argue for fewer restrictions on gun owners’ ability to carry concealed firearms—but some of your coworkers or employees may be packing. Does your employee handbook address whether your employer allows employees or non-employees to bring guns onto worksites? What about whether employees can keep guns in their cars or trucks? The concealed handgun permit statues in many states don’t address whether those legally permitted to own guns can bring them to work or carry them into others’ workplaces. Instead, it’s up to employers… . . . read more

WORKPLACE SAFETY

Signs of potential disaster were present at Walmart—Are they at your workplace?

By Lynne Curry There were signs of potential disaster that later erupted in six deaths when Walmart supervisor Andre Bing shot and killed six coworkers in November. There always are. Four decades of investigating violent workplace incidents have convinced me of this. “I didn’t want to say anything,” someone always says, “but….” “That was just ‘Jon,’ but we all sort of knew it, and didn’t poke the bear.” “I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble, so I didn’t tell anyone.” “I was too scared to say anything.” The Walmart investigation uncovered significant information detailing the genesis of the November disaster. Bing had written a note on his phone filled with complaints about coworkers, saying they mocked and harassed him. He named the coworkers he felt had antagonized or betrayed him. One coworker… . . . read more

PRODUCTIVITY

3 questions to ask in your daily standup meetings

A daily standup meeting can be a highly effective way to keep your staff motivated and moving on important tasks. This 10-minute meeting, used in a variety of workplaces, provides an opportunity for a quick check-in on the day’s priorities. As the name implies, participants stand up—a posture that discourages long discussion. The meeting is so short no one bothers to find a seat. You should schedule the meeting at the same time and place deal. The start of the shift, after staff arrives and gets settled for work but before the office opens to clients, is one common time to schedule the regular standup meeting. You should also start on time rather than wait for latecomers. You can use the time to review ongoing projects such as filing backlog…. . . . read more

TECHNOLOGY

6 tips for choosing legal practice management software

By Diane Camacho There continues to be a tremendous push in the legal community from practice management software companies. This has evolved from the use of cloud-based software. What should practice management software do for you? Keep all your client information in one place. Keep all your information available to you on the go. Allow you to enter your information one time for all applications. Provide document automation. Provide document management. Efficiently track your time and produce bills. Either produce financial reports or sync with a financial management platform like QuickBooks. From my experience in the legal community and particularly working with small firms and solo practitioners, I’ve accumulated the following tips on legal practice management software. Tip 1 Each of these programs have a sweet spot. Some do billing… . . . read more

3 steps to determine what office help you need

By Diane Camacho When you are at the point where you know you have to get office help, take the time to determine what help you need.  Your neighbor’s brother-in-law may need a job, but he may not be the best bet. The following three step process can help you hire the right help.  Step 1 – Track your non-billable time Create a client/matter number for your non-billable time and track it just as if it were client billable. You are in effect paying for it, so track it. Don’t get too complicated. Simple entries that will remind you what type of task you did and how long it took are fine. Perhaps things like: Research new software File papers Type pleading forms Look for insurance brokers Make folders for client files… . . . read more


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