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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

MANAGING STAFF

5 lessons employers can learn from Elon Musk’s Twitter crises

By Lynne Curry When multi-billionaire and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk acquired Twitter on Oct. 27, he assumed leadership of a company that hadn’t earned a profit in eight of its ten years, By Nov. 4, eight days later, 1.3 million users had fled Twitter. Revenue dropped dramatically as advertisers, Twitter’s main revenue source, pulled out. One could feel sorry for Musk—except Twitter’s crises resulted in part from Musk’s own “I wing it” actions. His mistakes provide valuable lessons for other employers. Don’t alienate those you most need to survive Musk’s own tweets and heavy-handed actions alienated Twitter’s employees and stakeholders. In his first eight days, Musk fired massive numbers of Twitter’s full-time workforce, throwing remaining employees into survival mode. Remaining employees heard about the mass layoffs but didn’t learn… . . . read more

Loyalty and co-operation are not optional

By Dr.  Steve M. Cohen It might sound obvious, but being a key employee, especially a top-level manager, requires above all organizational loyalty. Yet, in many businesses, some employees are working at cross proposes with their organization. Assume that Office A has an objective, probably something articulated in their mission and vision statement. This objective could be stated in a premise like the following: In order to be successful, we must all work together. Using a metaphor might help. Everyone in the boat must be rowing, rowing hard and rowing together, in order for the organization and employees to be successful. An employer or organization can tolerate an employee rowing slower than expected. An employer or organization can even tolerate an employee putting down his or her oar for a… . . . read more

HIRING

College…no longer the golden ticket for employers or employees

By Lynne Curry College was once the “golden ticket” to the American Dream of greater job security and higher lifetime wages. In the last decade, however, college enrollments have declined. According to a recent Harris poll, 51% of U.S. adults report that skyrocketing college costs have decreased their ability to pursue a post-high school education.1 Although 62% of U.S. employees 25 or older lack a college degree, some employers still use the college degree as gatekeeper when assessing which candidate to hire or promote.2 Does this work any longer, or are employers missing out on skilled employees with talent and drive because the best potential hires lacked the time and money to attend college? No longer the only path Some employers, perhaps forced by the Great Resignation to seek out formerly… . . . read more

PRODUCTIVITY

Quiet quitting: The new ‘just say no’ employee pushback

By Lynne Curry Gone are the days when employers could count on employees competing to go “above and beyond” to rise faster in their organizations. Employers now face “quiet quitting,” a trend that emerged in July 2022 from a viral TikTok video to become a phenomenon noted on Wikipedia and discussed in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. Quiet quitting is more than employees setting boundaries or intentionally putting a hard stop to their work day or work week so they can create a work/life balance. Checked-out quiet quitters simply slack their way through their workweek by doing the bare minimum needed to keep their jobs, overloading their coworkers, frustrating their supervisors, and draining productivity from their employers. According ResumeBuilder.com’s August 2022 survey of 1000 U.S. employees, 21% of surveyed… . . . read more

HIRING

Adopt these four best practices for successful staff onboarding

A structured onboarding process can lead to a better start for your employees, resulting in better retention and productivity. That’s the word from Paul Edwards, CEO and founder of Cedr Solutions, a provider of custom employee handbooks, management software and HR support. He suggests these four best practices to add to your process. 1. Begin onboarding before your employee’s first day. After you provide your employee with an offer letter stating the basic terms of at-will employment at your business and explaining that their employment is contingent upon passing a background check, you should start making sure you and your team are prepared for the employee’s first day at the office. This includes: Entering their information and paperwork into your HR management system. Preparing all new-hire documentation Setting up their… . . . read more

TELEWORK

What law firms have learned about working remotely

When the pandemic first hit, the professional world shifted to remote working in an instant, but many people viewed the transition as temporary. Two years later, it’s clear that working from home is here to stay. The more time we’ve spent working remotely, the more we’ve learned—and like everything else in life, our process continues to evolve. According to Cosmolex, a company which provides cloud-based management software to law practices, this is what we learned over the last year: Communication is key Working remotely means fewer opportunities for casual checking in with team members—which puts more pressure on maintaining clear communication. Every law office will have its own preferences, but it’s a good idea to have some kind of platform for quick, casual messaging. Establishing office-wide use of a designated… . . . read more

STAFF RETENTION

Find out what your employees want before they join the Great Resignation

By Lynne Curry After nearly two years of being whipsawed by the pandemic, increasing numbers of employees have gone left work. The trend picked up speed in the middle of 2021, when twenty million U.S. employees quit their jobs between April and August 2021.1   4.3 million employees quit in August 2021, a figure 40 percent higher than in August 2020, and 20 percent higher than in August 2019 before the pandemic.2 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which began reporting resignations in 2001, this 40 percent figure establishes an all-time record high.1 Surveys suggest this employee resignation tsunami will only increase. In March 2021, Gallup reported 48 percent of the U.S. employees they surveyed were job searching or scanning for new opportunities.1 In August, the consulting firm PwC’s poll of… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

How to improve employee experience and organizational culture as COVID-19 takes toll on staff

The pandemic dramatically changed how, when, and where work gets done. And while a majority of businesses reported that productivity increased as employees settled into working remotely, for many, it came at the expense of the employee experience. Employee burnout, time spent in meetings, and the number of employees with mental health problems increased, while work-life balance, engagement and morale, and the number of employees reporting high levels of personal well-being decreased. A new report from The Conference Board, Reshaping Employee Experience and Organizational Culture: Lessons From the Tumultuous Events of 2020 and 2021, examines how the events of the last year and a half reshaped both employee experience and organizational culture and what lessons organizations can take away to thrive in the future. The report combines qualitative findings from interviews with… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

Creating the right spaces for your post-pandemic law office

Staff have returned to law offices this summer, with more likely return in the fall. But the pre-pandemic office design might not work anymore, with some staff continuing full-time telework, others opting for part-time presence in the office—and many accustomed to the freedom they enjoyed while working from home. Allwork.Space, a company that focuses on what it calls The Future of Work, has this advice for reconfiguring offices for today’s needs: The open office may be a thing of the past. Large, one-size-fits-all spaces certainly don’t fit all needs, and can negatively impact productivity. Buildings may be static, but people are dynamic, so physical design must account for the motion of people through the static space. Re-designing your space for activity-based working can improve the workplace experience by better meeting… . . . read more


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