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Increase Workplace Happiness With A Dream Manager

If you are looking for employees who are loyal to your company, strive to meet company goals, take pride in their work, and want to see their organization grow more successful…then you need to understand the influence of job satisfaction. Employees who feel appreciated and tend to be happier are:

  • cared about by management
  • feel they can be trusted
  • given an appropriate workload

It’s not exactly rocket science that being treated well makes a person happier, but often organizations miss the mark with their attempts to increase employee job satisfaction.

Dream Manager Program

One of the more unorthodox, yet effective strategies at increasing employee happiness is implementing a dream manager program. Matthew Kelly’s book, The Dream Manager, shows how companies can have stupendous results by helping their employees achieve their dreams. A dream manager’s job is quite literally helping employees plan how to fulfill what they desire! This can be anything from helping an employee with their goal of running a marathon to helping an employee learn to make the perfect souffle!

While employees work hard to support company goals, in return, the company is helping them achieve their personal goals. This sends a message to the employees that their interests’ matter and that their lives outside of work matter.  More importantly, they feel valued. In turn, employees have more confidence, are more invested in their work.  They naturally will work harder and become generally happier, feeling more satisfied with their position.

If you’re looking for a way to increase job satisfaction, consider a dream manager program because it’s fun and rewarding. It truly benefits everyone! Furthermore, it’s doable for almost any company, no matter the size. Even small businesses can fulfill small employee dreams and goals.  It’s certainly a worthwhile investment!

 

Showing Appreciation

Showing your employees that you appreciate them should not just be an item on the agenda but a top priority. Recognizing your employees is crucial because they work hard for you every day.  It can also be beneficial for you, increasing workplace morale thus an increase in productivity.

In addition, it builds a loyal team that feels confident to take on more difficult and daunting tasks. Plus, its easy. Showing appreciation to your team doesn’t have to be a big, expensive production. For Example, Back Office Betties appreciates our employees by:

  • Offering a $15 an hour minimum wage.
  • Creating “Flow Time” for our team to unplug and relax by listening to music and taking time out to recharge.
  • Providing a beautiful office fund every year so employees can buy something for their desk, office, etc. (making it their ‘space’).

Get Creative!

However, there is a ton of different ways to show your employees you care about them – be creative! Here are a few ideas that you can explore implementing into your business:

  • Ask for employee feedback by offering a survey. This will tell them that their voice matters and that they are being heard. It also shows them that you as a leader want to meet their needs and provide the best work environment as possible.  
  • Allow them to take extra breaks or longer lunches.
  • Organize a team service project for an organization of your employees’ choice. This is a great way to not only give back to your employees but give back to the community!
  • Simply tell your employees how grateful you are for their hard work in person or through a handwritten letter/card.

These are just a few of so many easy and creative ways to show your employees that you care about them. Never shy away from opportunities to show employee appreciation, you will find that it is very rewarding for them to hear!  Even more so, it’s gratifying for you too!

Legal Intake: The Perks Of Automation

In past blogs we have discussed the perks of automating the intake process, and the perks of hiring a virtual assistant to take over administrative duties.  Combining the two of them can make your process seamless! The beauty of combining these two ideas is they work for virtually any firm, giving you customization and flexibility.

 

Create Your Own Intake Form

First, you will need to tailor your physical intake forms so that it makes sense for the kind of services your firm offers. Providing an intake form will save you so much time and energy because they are a way to organize important and necessary information neatly onto a sheet that you can use and reference when needed.

Using Clio is an easy way to create your intake forms and organizes them with the rest of your client data directly into the CRM platform. Choosing to use a platform like Clio has many perks other than just offering an automated intake form- it allows clients to e-sign documents, can schedule consultations, and it even offers fee arrangement automation.

Assign Your Intake Process To Your Virtual Receptionist

Once you have automated your intake forms and designed them to fit your services, you can assign the intake process to a virtual receptionist.  If you don’t have a virtual receptionist, check out our Blog about why you should think about hiring one.

Automation is particularly helpful to virtual receptionists because it saves them time from having to scan, fax, or mail in forms. An automated process allows the forms to be filled out and submitted online so once completed they are automatically entered into the system.

Let Technology Help You

You only have so much time in the day, and there is no way to get around those administrative duties. So, don’t shy away from technology. It will help take care of mindless tasks like data entry, so you can spend time with your clients.

And if you are ever considering hiring a virtual receptionist, look no further than Back Office Betties!

Legal Intake Forms: Why You Should Use Them

Do you currently use intake forms when answering new client calls? If not, you need to severely rethink your client intake! Using a detailed standardized intake form will streamline the process and ensure that important details have not been overlooked. If completing intake forms has not been working for you, perhaps your forms need a facelift. Here are some suggestions of what a great intake form includes:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact information
  • Details of the legal issue (some firms put a checklist here)
  • History of prior legal matters
  • Other firms they have worked with
  • And any other information they feel is relevant to the matter

If the form is too basic, or if it does not apply, then surely it won’t be helpful. Sometimes it is helpful to create different intake forms for specific needs or areas within your firm. Some firms choose to simplify things even more by doing their intake forms online through Clio.

Intake Forms Are Versatile

Offering intake forms are useful for areas other than just streamlining the intake process. They can be used as:

  1. A screening tool. If a prospective client is unwilling or hesitant to provide certain information, it could be a sign of problems to come.
  2. Documentation. Intake forms are a great place to document that you have discussed the fee arrangement with your prospective client and that they have agreed to the terms you set forth. This ensures right from the beginning that the prospective client can afford your services.
  3. A risk management tool. Having clients sign that the information on the intake form is correct can save you in the future if something is incorrect or inaccurate.
  4. Identify future needs. They can help you identify if a potential client needs any additional legal services that you may be able to help with in the future.

Intake Forms Are Useful

As you can see, intake forms are infinitely useful and can be implemented in any firm. Remember, they’re not just a tool to make life better for you- your prospective clients will also love them because they offer an easier, neater, and more streamlined process for them too! When your client is going through [sometimes] long, expensive, and messy legal matters, they will recognize and appreciate every effort made by you to simplify their case.

If you have yet to implement intake forms in your firm, what’s stopping you?

Improve Your Law Firm Process

Constantly looking for ways to improve your law firm is never-ending.  Now more than ever is the time to find an integrated system that can you with your practice management.  Clio Grow is just that – a groundbreaking cloud-based law practice management software program.  This system is designed to streamline day-to-day work of law firms and improve the tasks required.

Client Lifecycle Solutions

Here are some of the ways in which this system is providing you with end-to-end client lifecycle solutions:

  1. It allows you to organize your leads and house billable matters for clients all in one system.  Whereas before these had to be done through two separate systems. This means no more wasting time transferring data back and forth between systems and no more doing duplicate data entry.

 

  1. A cluttered billing system can be a nightmare to organize and manage, especially when it is clogged with old information that you may not need now, but you also don’t necessarily want to delete. Clio Grow acts like a filter to allow you to capture all the valuable information you need for leads. The good stuff makes it to Clio Grow for billing and casework, and the rest is stored so you don’t lose data that you may need again later.

 

  1. Clio Grow now greatly reduces the time spend doing data entry to intake forms by allowing clients to fill out forms on their own, then is automatically submitted. This eliminates the time is takes to be filled out by hand and then transcribed, saving you hours to time.  It also reduces typos made through the transcription process.

 

  1. For every new client, Clio Grow provides firms with an ROI measurement for investments in business development like marketing. This helps firms zero in on the business development strategies that work best for them, so they can continue to grow and acquire new clients.

Improve Your Process

If you are not a Clio user, there has never been a better time to become one. This technology is huge for law firms and is ever-changing and improving, continuing to make life easier and more seamless for you.

 

Methods To Gain Client Trust

When it comes to marketing, it seems the most unorthodox methods grab the attention of clients the most. That is why you and your firm should explore using video and client workshops to market your services. Lawyering requires excellent interpersonal communication skills, so it only makes sense to use workshops and videos to showcase your persuasive skills. Furthermore, videos allow complex information to be explained simply and quickly.

Deciding On Content

Deciding your video content and workshop topics depends on the type of services you offer. For example, family law firms could offer workshops educating potential clients about estate planning, how to avoid commonly made mistakes, and answer client questions. That same firm could also offer videos on their website answering frequently asked questions, unscripted testimonials, interviews with experts, and anything that they think will fulfill a need of their prospective client demographic.

What To Keep In Mind

When forming videos and workshop classes it is important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Keep it short and simple. When it comes to explaining complex concepts, speak in laymen terms, and keep it brief. The point of workshops and videos is to inform, not add to the confusion.

 

  • Be unique! You are trying to outshine your competitors and grab the attention of prospective clients so don’t be afraid to be bold.

 

  • Be relevant. Make sure you are staying relevant with your video and workshop content. As stated before, make sure the information you are offering is fulfilling needs of potential clients.

Create Trust & Credibility

Sharing your personality in this way can feel vulnerable but it is also one of the best ways to deliver ideas with authority and emotional impact!  Give your future clients a sneak peek inside your law firm and show them the personalities of you and your staff.  By showing them a little more about the firm, you are creating a sense of loyalty and credibility on your expertise.

Be a trail blazer and embrace informative videos and workshops before they become something every law firm offers. Use this as a tool to connect with potential clients and help them to see why your law firm is different.

Work Backwards!

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule,

but to schedule your priorities.”  

-Stephen Covey

This wise quote conveys the importance of goal setting and planning your future.  Goal setting can feel like an overwhelming task, in fact, many people struggle to do.  It is difficult to foresee the future when you start from the present.  However, when you start from the vision and work backwards, you can uncover a clearer idea of what the road-map will look like.  This gives you the benefit of calculating more precise steps of what is needed to attain the end-goal.

Identify Milestones

A major benefit associated with backward goal setting is that it helps you to easily identify milestones.  When you start from the present and set your goals, they will probably be mostly comprised of immediate things on your to-do list.  When you start from the goal, the first milestones your brain produces will be high-level goals, ones with many subsequent steps.  Once you’ve established the subset of goals needed, correlate them closer to the present.  As with any form of goal setting, being accountable on due dates will be vital to success.

Better Understanding

Backward goal setting can also create a better understanding to your team members.  It can be easier to present to team members when working on group projects.  Good presentations outline the goals early on and use the remainder of the presentation to illustrate critical milestones that need to be hit.  This minimizes confusion for team members because they don’t have to figure out the main points themselves.  Backwards goal setting works in the same way.

Use It As Motivation

Backward goal setting can also be much more motivating than traditional planning.  Plans tend to be less cluttered with smaller tasks, so everything appears more manageable.  It also highlights areas in the process that will require outside assistance or additional resources, thus preventing unexpected hiccups along the way.  And with enough self-discipline, this method will eliminate time pressure caused by procrastination.

The following quote from Stephen Covey is a perfect illustration of why it is vital to success:

“To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination.  It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right direction”

 

Branding Your Business: The Do’s and Don’ts of Videos

In our world of social media, branding yourself has become a critical component in business.  Using videos can be a wonderful way to boost your brand.  One of the most common platforms you will see for videos is YouTube.  YouTube is widely accepted because it is easy to use, it creates a promotion, and it is ideal for quick reference.

Creating a YouTube channel for your business will promote what you have to offer while giving knowledge of those who want to learn more about your business.  But before you go running off taking those videos, here are some of the do’s and don’ts of creating videos.


Do’s


Content

In the beginning, you may need to take some time to develop content.  It is crucial that you have prepared content in mind of the message you want to convey.  YouTube is a great platform for micro-learning so ask yourself – what do you want your viewers to learn from your video?  Think of ways to keep your content fresh and entertaining.  Often, if you do not get the attention of your audience within the first 10 seconds of your video they will move onto something else.

Visually Attractive

Creating thumbnails and banners will help to make content more visually appealing, not to mention increasing your brand awareness.  Often this can be time-consuming and many do not add this extra step in due to time constraints trying to learn something new.  Consider outsourcing this task to save yourself the time, companies like Podcast Memes can create widescreen banners and thumbnails to incorporate on your YouTube channel.

Be Consistent

Think of your YouTube channel as your personal television station.  If you want to build and audience, then you must be willing to commit to providing content consistently.  Consider providing content on the same day and time every week –  just as if it’s their favorite TV show every week!   Be sure to align your other social media formats to publicize the date and time of when your videos will be showing.


Don’ts


Poor Audio

Double-check to make sure your audio is good, and people can hear you clearly.  Try to make sure there is not too much background noise if you are filming outside or at a location with people.   Do a test run to make sure your sound is sharp, and your voice is clear when speaking.

Movement & Position

Consider using a stand to hold your recording device when filming your video.  A big pet peeve for audience members is a lot of movement on the video and if the position of your video is not in the upright position.  This typically happens when recording a video from a mobile device and it has been turned horizontally.  Many new devices will allow you to rotate the footage afterward, so be sure to edit before uploading.

Order Of Content

Content that you produce will always be the more important part of your videos.  While it is very tempting to put your most popular content, try to refrain from doing so.  Your YouTube list shouldn’t be listed by the most popular video, but by what you think your audience wants to see.  If necessary, create playlists of related videos to keep things organized.


Make It A Learning Experience


No matter what your target market is, take the time to produce quality videos that will be a learning experience for your audience.  Many consumers now go to YouTube to find tutorials or information on a subject.  For them, this is cheaper than buying a book or guide.  Give them content they can use and benefit from, they will appreciate the resource and refer people to your channel as well.

Happy Filming!

Back Office Betties