“The leaders who get the most out of their people are the leaders who care most about their people.”
— Simon Sinek
The success of any law firm hinges on its people. No successful law firm was ever built on the backs of average team members. If team members know that you truly care about them, they can flourish. When that happens, a law firm can truly accomplish great things.
Here are some ways to show your team that you truly care about their success.
Treat your staff like gold and do nice things for them. These things do not need to be expensive. A small thing I do each Friday is buy lunch for the office. They really appreciate this.
On a “workiversary,” we celebrate the team member to show them they are appreciated. On their birthdays, we have a party and celebrate them. These little things are so very important and make people feel really good.
Ask them how they are doing. I have quarterly conversations with each team member, rather than have the dreaded review. I take this opportunity to really dive deep to find out how the team member feels about their given role.
Show them you care by asking questions, and then listen carefully to what they say. Ask them if they feel their work makes a difference to the clients and to the world. Ask them if they feel utilized in their current role.
Find out from them if there are other ways they can be challenged. Their responses will reveal so much that you may not even be aware of.
Give them shout-outs. At our daily morning huddle, if a team member had a win the day before, I make a point to highlight it in front of the group. It brings an instant smile. People want and need to feel appreciated. Receiving praise in a group setting can really make a team member’s day and make them feel special.
Pay them what they deserve. Never, ever be cheap with great employees. If you have someone who is doing a really good job, pay them enough so that they don’t leave you for someone else who is willing to pay them what they are worth.
You get what you pay for. If you want to get the very best out of someone, you need to show them you care about them by compensating them well.
Coach them up. You want to get the very best out of each team member. That does not happen by hope or by chance, but by intention. The only way to get team members to reach their full potential is by coaching them up.
This is an ongoing effort. Show them you care and that you want them to always succeed, and that you see their true potential — which they may not see themselves. If they do something great, tell them what they did right. If they do something wrong, tell them how to do it right the next time, while reminding them how good a job they do overall.
Christopher F. Earley is a Boston attorney and author who concentrates his practice on the representation of the seriously injured and their families.