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COMPLIANCE

What does FMLA require of a law office employer?

One of the employment laws that affect how you manage your staff is the The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This is a federal law that requires certain employers to provide their employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain qualifying reasons. These reasons include the birth or adoption of a child, the care of a family member with a serious health condition, and the employee’s own serious health condition. In terms of what this means for a law office employer, you are required to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for the reasons outlined above, without fear of retaliation or job loss. The employer would also be required to maintain the employee’s health benefits during… . . . read more

HUMAN RESOURCES

Coming out at work

By Lynne Curry “He’s talented but anti-social,” the business owner said of his accounting manager when he called. “At first, we thought the problem was that “Gene” was a finance type and kind of a geek. But there have been odd comments from others over the last two years,” explained the business owner as he asked for my help as an HR consultant. “The latest problem is he doesn’t want to attend our Christmas party. We’ve asked all the managers to make an appearance. We’d like to promote him to CFO and don’t want someone unstable in that position. Could you interview him and give us a read?” Gene sent me a Zoom link for the interview and was tight-lipped, so I invited him to meet off-site. Before we met,… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Six mistakes to avoid when you mentor millennials in your law office

Somebody probably helped you move ahead in your career in law office administration. Now it’s your turn to help another person progress in your field. Chances are this younger colleague is a millennial, born between 1981 and 1996. Here are some potential pitfalls to be aware of when mentoring millennials: Assumptions about their values and motivations: It is important to avoid making assumptions about the values and motivations of your millennial mentee. Each individual is unique and may have different priorities and goals. Lack of clarity in goals and expectations: It is important to establish clear goals and expectations from the outset of the mentorship relationship. Without clear goals, it can be difficult for the mentee to know what is expected of them and how to progress in their career…. . . . 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

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

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

Inflation’s impact on employees and the workplace

By Lynne Curry What keeps your employees and coworkers up at night, and what does it mean to you as their employer or colleague? According to the U.S. 2022 Inside Employees’ Minds Report conducted by the HR consulting firm Mercer, which surveyed 4049 employees between Aug. 26 and Sept. 9, 2022, it’s financial worries, https://www.mercer.us/content/dam/mercer/attachments/private/us-2022-inside-employees-minds-report.pdf. The number one issue for many employees in 2022—can they cover monthly expenses given skyrocketing inflation—ranked only ranked ninth in 2021. As no surprise, employee satisfaction with their employers has declined markedly from last year in the areas of compensation and benefits. Further, two years of continued crises—the pandemic, layoffs and labor shortages, supply chain challenges, political and racial polarization, the war in Ukraine, and the looming recession—have changed how employees view work. Employees who once… . . . 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

REMOTE WORK

Digital presenteeism: Faking you care, faking you’re even there

By Lynne Curry A surprising number of employees, determined to hold on to their “work from home” status and aware that managers and others suspect remote employees of working less than their required hours, practice digital presenteeism. Digital presenteeism involves remote employees demonstrating they’re hard workers by responding to additional emails, attending additional meetings, and contributing comments in every meeting. According to a recent job trends report, the average remote employee works 67 additional minutes daily in an effort to convince managers they’re fully engaged in their jobs, https://www.flexjobs.com/remote-jobs/company/talentwise. The same report reveals that a record 85% of managers find it difficult to know for sure if their remote employees are productive. The problem—these actions erode morale and don’t equate with higher productivity. Said one mid-level manager who called me this… . . . read more


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