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A selection of articles related to developing and maintaining a positive company culture as an attorney at a small law firm.

Tag Archive for: Company Culture

Best Practices for Managing a Virtual Law Firm

Virtual Law Firm Best Practices

 

We’ve seen a significant shift toward virtual work environments as technology reshapes the way we work. And the legal industry is no exception. Virtual law firms offer numerous advantages, including:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Reduced overhead costs
  • The ability to attract and serve a larger client base

However, managing a virtual law firm requires careful planning and implementation of best practices to ensure seamless operations, effective communication, and optimal productivity. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best practices for successfully managing a virtual law firm.

 

Embrace Technology and Cloud-Based Solutions

To manage your virtual law firm effectively, it is essential to leverage technology and embrace cloud-based solutions.

Utilize secure and reliable legal practice management software that allows for efficient case and document management, time tracking, and billing. (Clio, Mycase, Lawmatics, PracticePanther, etc.)

Cloud-based platforms enable seamless collaboration among team members, regardless of their physical locations. Invest in video conferencing tools, messaging apps, and project management software to facilitate communication and streamline your workflow processes.

 

Establish Clear Communication Channels

Communication is the cornerstone of a successful virtual law firm. Establishing clear communication channels enables seamless collaboration and information sharing without in-office meetings.

Encourage regular check-ins, virtual meetings, and video conferences to keep your team on the same page. Use instant messaging platforms like Slack for quick, real-time questions and updates. Consider setting up dedicated channels for specific cases or practice areas to keep discussions focused.

 

Develop a Strong Company Culture

Building and maintaining a strong company culture can be challenging in a virtual environment, but the energy and time you put in will be worth it. A great company culture cultivates happiness, a sense of worth, purpose, and being an integral part of something bigger. On the flip side, poor company culture creates a disconnect and sense of meaninglessness.

Encourage regular virtual team-building activities, such as online happy hours, virtual games, or team challenges. Celebrate successes and acknowledge team members’ contributions through public recognition. Foster an inclusive and supportive work environment that encourages collaboration and a sense of belonging.

 

Implement Effective Security Measures

Data security is important for any law firm. Ensure that all of your team members are trained in cybersecurity best practices and adhere to strict protocols. Implement multi-factor authentication, strong password policies, and regular data backups. Encrypt sensitive client information and use secure file-sharing platforms to protect client confidentiality. Stay updated on the latest cybersecurity threats and invest in robust antivirus and firewall solutions.

 

Prioritize Work-Life Balance

One of the benefits of a virtual law firm is the potential for improved work-life balance. Encourage your team members to establish boundaries between work and personal life. Set realistic expectations for working hours and encourage breaks to prevent burnout.

Flexibility is a key advantage of virtual work. Encourage your team members to find schedules that work best for them while ensuring your clients’ needs are met.

 

Invest in Professional Development

Virtual law firms should prioritize ongoing professional development to enhance their team’s skills and expertise. Encourage participation in webinars, online courses, and industry conferences. Provide access to legal research databases and other resources to support continuous learning. Encourage a culture of knowledge-sharing and mentorship to promote the growth and development of all team members.

 

Maintain Strong Client Relationships

Managing a virtual law firm requires a proactive approach to building and maintaining strong client relationships. Regularly communicate with your clients through video conferences, email updates, and phone calls. Remember – lack of communication is a top bar complaint. Set expectations for when your clients will hear from you… and follow through!

Provide online portals for secure document sharing and case updates. Encourage open lines of communication and ensure prompt responsiveness to client inquiries. Make use of your clients’ feedback and satisfaction surveys to continuously improve client experience.

 

Hire Specialized Virtual Help

Reduce your staffing expenses AND your workload by utilizing specialized virtual receptionist and assistant services. These professionals have legal experience and can handle your administrative tasks remotely, freeing up your time for billable work and keeping your clients happy and cared for.

Virtual Legal Receptionists and Virtual Legal Assistants are a lifeline for small law firms because they provide top-tier customer service for a fraction of the cost of an in-house employee. Plus, there are no recruiting, management, or benefits to worry about either.

 

As technology continues to advance, virtual law firms will become even more prevalent in the legal industry. Managing a virtual law firm requires adaptability, effective communication, and a commitment to leveraging technology to its fullest potential. Embracing the best practices outlined in this blog post will help position your law firm for success in the modern legal landscape.

 

Take the first step toward your thriving virtual law firm today. Schedule a free Discovery Call here.

Unhappy Employees Are Costing Your Law Firm Money & Clients

HOW TO KEEP YOUR EMPLOYEES HAPPY (And Why It's Important)

Unhappy employees are costing you money and losing you sales. It’s true. (Even if you don’t have any in-house employees… but we’ll get to that later.)

First, let’s take a look at the undeniable ways employee happiness affects your bottom line.

 

The Dreaded “not my business, not my problem” Mentality

We’ve all worked a job we didn’t love. We’ve all had a manager we weren’t a fan of. At the end of the day, an employee’s performance does one thing: make their manager and company look good or make their manager and company look bad.

 

Employees who feel seen, heard, valued, and respected by the company they work for tend to care about the quality of their work a lot more than employees who feel like a cog in the machine working for someone else’s success.

For example, happy employees will go above and beyond to make sure that clients are helped to the fullest extent possible and go out of their way to solve complex problems and turn angry callers into rave reviewers.

Unhappy employees, however, see these same situations through a different lens: This job is not worth that extra stress. That right there is the “not my business, not my problem” mentality that needs to be avoided at all costs.

 

Now, many business owners don’t have a great deal of employee management or HR experience… which unfortunately leads to a common misconception that this mentality comes from a personal flaw in an employee’s work ethic. But this simply isn’t the case the vast majority of the time.

 

Expertise = Efficiency

You’re certainly well aware that one experienced paralegal, for example, who has been with your law firm for years and knows your operations inside and out is worth 2 or 3 newbie hires.

Unhappy employees lead to high turnover, which leads to less qualified staff as well as high recruiting and training costs.

The longer an employee is with your law firm:

  • The better they will know your operations
  • The more efficient their work will be
  • The greater they will be able to serve your clients

So how do you keep employees at your law firm? Keep them happy.

 

How to Keep Employees at Your Law Firm Happy

Attorneys Drinking Coffee

Put simply:

  • Create a work environment that supports and uplifts your employees.
  • Allow voices to be heard and encourage independence and career growth.
  • Trust your employees and give them the tools they need to succeed.

 

Here are some more specific ideas:

Schedule regular 1:1s.

Giving your staff the space to express their thoughts, concerns, and struggles without feeling like they are interrupting you is essential. Check in on their responsibilities: What are they struggling with? Where do they need support?

Acknowledge good ideas.

Give credit where credit is due. If one of your employees comes up with a great new automation idea, make sure everyone knows whose idea it was! This helps your employees to feel recognized and promotes problem-solving among your team.

Encourage career growth.

Provide access to ongoing training, mentorship, and classes. When you care about your employees’ success, they care about yours.

Listen to feedback.

It’s not all going to be positive. If your employees don’t feel comfortable sharing less-than-stellar feedback with you directly, use a tool like Officevibe to allow them to submit surveys and feedback anonymously.

Develop a strong company culture.

Great company culture is vital to your law firm’s success. It cultivates happiness, a sense of worth, purpose, and being an integral part of something bigger. Read more about company culture here.

 

Don’t Have Time for All That?

We hear you. Attorneys at small and solo firms are STRETCHED THIN.

That’s why outsourcing staffing to virtual receptionists and virtual assistants is one of the best financial decisions small and solo law firm owners can make.

Not only does outsourcing provide you with a team of specialized employees for a fraction of the cost of an in-house employee, but all of the time and stress of employee management is lifted off your shoulders.

 

Just don’t forget:

Employee happiness is a major deciding factor in employee performance. If your outsourced employees are the ones closing your sales or communicating with your clients… their performance directly impacts your bottom line! Make sure to ask the company you’re considering hiring the following questions:

  • How do you keep your employees happy?
  • What is the average length of time your employees stay with your company?
  • How does your company culture align with the needs of your employees?
  • How do you support career growth?

But don’t trust blindly! Take it upon yourself to read reviews from current and past employees.

 

Want to know how Back Office Betties can provide your law firm with a team of happy-to-be-here legal receptionists or assistants? Schedule a call with our Growth Solutions Strategist today!

One Action That Can Free Your Firm From a Plateau

How to Outsource Work for Affordable Growth and Outside ExpertiseAre you the kind of executive that wants to “do it all”?

Me too.

As CEO of Back Office Betties, I have to keep a lot of balls in the air. In truth, one person can only do so many things effectively. So, when you spread yourself too thin as a leader, your team and your business growth will suffer. You don’t want that.

That’s why I’m sharing how I navigated Back of Betties past a plateau, and the hard lessons I learned along the way.

 

Every good leader should do this when their growth stalls

Let’s talk about plateaus for a minute.

Every business has them. It could be that you’re not bringing in enough clients or the clients you have aren’t returning enough revenue. Whatever it is, we’ve all had a time where we’ve felt stuck as a business and unsure how to move forward.

It took a hard look at myself as a leader and the business as it was versus where I wanted to be to realize I needed to make some changes. I needed to learn how to outsource work efficiently and effectively.

I’ll be honest, I had the same concerns as a lot of leaders about investing in outsourcing, such as:

  • Would the ROI be worth the spend?
  • Will the work get done well?
  • Can I trust outside help with my business?
  • Will this create more work for me instead of less?

These are valid concerns, but I also knew that something had to give if we were going to break through a plateau. Here’s the approach I took to affordably grow our team and gain access to expertise outside of my own through outsourcing.

 

5 Essential steps to take before outsourcing tasks

Every firm is different, but I hope that my experience can help other executives strengthen their organization and structure. At Back Office Betties, we used an approach based on EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System® to improve how we outsource.

First, I created an accountability chart that imagined a box for every role at the company and listed out the core responsibilities. I quickly realized a few key things that changed the way I look at my business and how I wanted to move forward.

Here’s what I noticed right away:

  • I was sitting in several of the boxes and holding a lot of responsibilities.
  • I had more than one person filling multiple boxes, making things sloppy.
  • I had vendors/outsourced help filling some of the roles, but I didn’t have a process for holding them accountable.
  • I needed a plan to make sure that I was leading effectively and filling any gaps.

Based on what I learned, this is the advice I would give any firm executive who is starting to scale their services by outsourcing work with vendors, freelancers, and fractional employees:

  1. Identify where you are stretched too thin across roles and responsibilities.
  2. Identify where you can consolidate responsibilities under one person to streamline processes.
  3. Develop onboarding materials so that your vendors have all of the necessary information to get started.
  4. Create a system for accountability to keep freelancers and fractional employees on track.
  5. Set up regular check-in meetings with outsourced workers to stay on top of changes, blockers, and tasks.

 

Break through your growth ceiling

Don’t let your responsibilities control you—control them instead. We all hit a wall sometimes, but your company’s growth doesn’t have to suffer! Free yourself from a plateau by learning how to outsource work to affordably grow your team and gain access to outside expertise.

The Company Culture That Delights Back Office Betties’ Clients & Team Members Alike

This Is Why Company Culture Is Such a Big DealAt Back Office Betties, we make it known that our company culture is important to us. What do we mean by company culture?

COMPANY CULTURE: A set of shared values, goals, attitudes, and practices that characterize an organization.

 

Why Is Company Culture so Important for a Positive Client & Employee Experience?

A great company culture cultivates happiness, a sense of worth, purpose, and being an integral part of something bigger. On the flip side, poor company culture creates a disconnect and sense of meaninglessness.

Employees are more loyal to their company when they know that their work is valued, leading them to stick around longer.

Never overlook the importance of an experienced team! While fresh faces bring new ideas and innovation, senior staff hold the expertise and leadership that glues the workplace together.

All of this leads to a well-oiled, capable workforce second to none.

 

Happy Employees Lead to Better Service

Have you ever worked a job that you hated? Maybe your manager didn’t value your work. Maybe you and your teammates felt pitted against each other. Or maybe your company didn’t stand for anything. You felt like just another cog in the machine, heading into work to get it over with so you could get back to your life.

Negative company culture certainly doesn’t inspire employees to do the best they can for clients or make their company look good.

 

People want to be a part of something that they’re proud of. They want their name and work associated with a company they believe in. And they want their career to be a part of their life, not just something they do in between it.

Happy employees go above and beyond to create the best experiences for clients and customers with a genuine desire to be the best they can.

 

Mission, Vision, & Purpose

Why should someone want to work for YOU above another company? And why should potential clients choose YOU over the competition?

Most commonly, companies are advised to develop a mission and vision statement. These statements give organizations direction and outline the audience for the business and what that audience finds important.

Furthermore, 89% of people agree that it’s important for an employer to have a clear mission and purpose. And 64% of employees say their company’s mission is one of the main reasons they stay in their job.

 

The Mission, Vision, and Purpose Statements That Define Back Office Betties’ Company Culture:

Mission: To power small law firms with an elite legal intake salesforce and relentlessly friendly virtual receptionists.

Vision: Become the #1 sales and customer service engine powering small law firms.

Purpose: Betties is a warm community inspiring clients and team members to OWN their lives and achieve their dreams.

Everything we do at Betties is defined by these goals and what we can do to reach them.

 

Core Values

While Mission and Vision statements provide overarching directions and goals for your company, Core Values give your employees a day-to-day path to achieving those goals.

 

Back Office Betties’ Company Culture is fueled every day by our Bettieisms:

 

ISMs, noun

Our core guiding principles that define the path for serving our clients.

 

ISM #1. Unparalleled Service

Back Office Betties is an elite team of Virtual Receptionists specializing in white glove customer service and legal intake sales.

We pride ourselves on providing superior customer service in the legal niche that can’t be compared to the competition.

ISM #2. Innovate

Our innovation Mantra, “Create and innovate… or die!” may seem a little sensational, but Back Office Betties is constantly evolving and upgrading our services and operations to avoid falling into a rhythm that holds us and our clients back.

ISM #3. Extreme Ownership Mentality

We know that dreams come true when we take ownership of our lives. Back Office Betties empowers our staff to own their work and take pride in what they do.

 

P.S. Have we ever shared our special recipe for Ownership Mentality?

  • A dash of Accountability
  • A sprinkle of Resourcefulness
  • And a heaping cup of Growth Mindedness

(Don’t forget 2 drops of Love of Learning!)

Give it a little stir and enjoy a tall glass of Ownership Mentality!

 

How Your Company Culture Can Treat Your Clients to a Better Experience

Back Office Betties’ company culture surrounds our clients. We strive every day to provide the best experience possible for our clients and theirs. We love making you happy and helping your law firm grow and succeed.

 These are some of the things we provide with those goals in mind:

 

Gifts

They say actions speak louder than words, and sometimes it’s true.

Everyone on the Back Office Betties team has the authority to decide a gift is in order.

  • Did you mention it’s your birthday to one of our Betties when they transferred a call?
  • Your wedding anniversary?
  • Got a new puppy?
  • An unfortunate life event?
  • Did we make a mistake in your call handling?

As a boutique answering service, we are so lucky to have the ability to get to know our clients personally, and we care about you.

 

Complete Customization

Your law firm is unique! We know that a generic service won’t do it justice.

That’s why Back Office Betties goes the extra mile to make sure the way we handle your calls is specialized to your firm.

  • Custom greetings
  • Unlimited intake questions
  • Directions for lost callers
  • Complex call triages
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Appointment cancel & reschedule
  • Payment processing
  • Teams/Slack Heads Up
  • & more

 

Hands-on Management Team

Back Office Betties is here for you and our team. Our management team is always one click or call away. Your Client Concierge is here to help you whenever you need them and Team Managers are always ready to jump in for support if calls spike.

 

A Team That Becomes an Extension of Your Law Firm

Back Office Betties encourages our team to connect with our clients and build relationships. Time is never wasted when we spend it with you!

Betties creates custom training courses for every firm that we work with. An in-house receptionist would be personally familiar with all of your staff members and policies… and we are too! Small teams of 4 – 6 receptionists work with your firm leaving your callers thinking they’re sitting at the front desk in your law office.

 

Work Perks

How can you recognize your appreciation for your employees?

Make your company a fun and positive place to work. No one should dread coming into the office or leave feeling unappreciated.

Back Office Betties’ company culture is filled with work perks. These are a few:

 

Wish Lists

Each Back Office Betties employee fills out a wish list. When their birthday comes up, they rock a project or work situation, win a contest, etc. they’ll find one of their wishes comes true.

 

Working From Home

Everyone deserves a comfortable and professional workspace tailored to their traits and work methods. Working from home allows our Betties to have their own private offices constructed for their most productive selves.

Not to mention the time saved with a non-commute that can then be spent with family, friends, and hobbies. Did we mention mid-day showers on your lunch break? Underrated.

 

Fun Team Events

Community is important. Team-building events cultivate strong relationships between your employees and improve morale and teamwork. (There’s a reason they call it team-building.) It’s also a fun way to treat your employees to a well-deserved good time.

Back Office Betties’ employees work remotely, but that doesn’t mean we don’t party and host events!

Virtual events are the perfect way to get together over a distance. Zoom classes and trivia are two of our favorites.

 

Teamwork & Community

Good company culture will foster teamwork and a close-knit community and vice versa.

Teamwork comes when your staff is comfortable with and trusting of each other. Encourage your team to work together so they can share their advice and offer support instead of keeping their methods to themselves to try and get ahead of the bunch.

 

Wellness Month

Twice a year, Back Office Betties celebrates a month of wellness by promoting well-being and health for the team. It’s important to recognize how hard your employees work and encourage them to keep their own well-being in mind.

The following are some of the things Back Office Betties implements during Wellness month:

  • Book clubs
  • Complimentary massages
  • Healthy recipes
  • Rewards for being active
  • Wellness boxes: A little box of treats tailored to each Bettie put together by our Operations Manager, Katelyn. (She does such an amazing job taking care of us and we love and appreciate her SO MUCH!)

 

Above Market Average Pay & Ongoing Training

Rewarding your team with the compensation they deserve and the support they need to continue to grow in their career is one of the most important aspects of good company culture.

Back Office Betties wants our team members to succeed in their careers and lives. This is why we offer:

  • Above-average market compensation
  • Ongoing training and mentorship
  • Annual financial support for career education
  • Professional coaching
  • Comprehensive insurance options

Treat your team right and you will be able to hire and retain the top talent in your industry.

 

Want to find out how you can better support your employees and enhance your own company’s culture? Request a call with our Growth Solutions Strategist.

Incentives That Will Improve Law Firm Employee Happiness & Loyalty

Incentives for Employee HappinessEmployee happiness is an often overlooked stat in business. I understand how it happens; you’ve got a lot going on and the last thing on your mind is worrying about the mental health of those working in your office. It can be easy to ignore… until your employees up and quit, that is.

Employee happiness is directly linked to productivity, creativity, and positive attitude. It is also linked to the longevity of employment and increases loyalty to your company.

So, how can you make your employees happier? Spoiler: You don’t need to give everyone a raise. Implementing creative and useful benefits and incentives is enough to help your staff feel valued. Keep in mind that the most beneficial incentives are going to be those that encourage work-life balance and negate burnout.

Elaborate Benefits Other Companies Are Offering

Vault curated a list of benefits other law firms offer to members of their law firms and I want to share a few of my favorites.

  • Daycare exclusively for children of firm employees that operates on the same schedule as the law firm
  • Quarterly massage budget
  • All expenses paid annual one-week trip to Hawaii
  • Global soccer tournament with paid travel to different fun locations to play
  • On-site gym with a personal trainer available for once-weekly sessions

Now, those benefits are all dreamy but most of us aren’t quite in a place in business to offer such elaborate perks just yet. What can we do on a tighter budget?

Benefits That Won’t Break The Bank

There are plenty of ways to show your appreciation for your employees without emptying your pockets. Here are a few that really stuck with me as impactful.

  • A cereal bar – this one is quirky, fun, and filling
  • Breast milk delivery program for traveling moms
  • Extended parental leave for all parents, including adoptive & surrogate
  • Flexible work hours – Netflix doesn’t track vacation time or working hours, they track the actual work completed
  • More vacation time

These are all pretty simple examples but they greatly improve the balance between work and family, which is shown to improve the quality of work produced. It’s important to note, too, that if you notice a benefit is not being utilized, you can switch it up! There’s no need to waste money if the benefit isn’t one that your team finds valuable. Survey your employees about what they would rather see and work to implement those instead.

How Back Office Betties Got Creative With Benefits

You don’t have to stick to the same benefits that everyone else is offering. In fact, I highly recommend that you don’t do that! Sure, there may be some things that would be viewed as standard. But offering additional unique ( & useful) benefits helps to make you stand out as an employer and further encourages employee happiness and loyalty in your team. At Back Office Betties, we have implemented some perks and incentives that our team loves and utilizes.

  • Dream Program – Every employee fills out a wishlist of their dreams and we grant wishes based on performance, thus connecting personal goals to their day-to-day work
  • Working From Home – Every Bettie works in the comfort of their home. We provide their equipment and encourage participation in our Betties community through chat and virtual events so that each employee gets the best of both (working) worlds!
  • Home Buyers Program – Two Betties per year qualify for assistance with a down payment on a new home
  • Wellness Days – Twice per year, Betties are offered paid time off to get pampered on Back Office Betties’ dime
  • Annual Growth Budget – Each Bettie is given a budget to spend on learning and growth, however they see fit
  • 2 + 3 = 5 Year Anniversary Program – Upon their fifth Bettie-versary, employees get 2 weeks consecutive paid time off + $3000 to take a vacation and treat themselves for their loyalty and hard work

 

These are just a few examples of ways to boost your employees’ happiness, but don’t let these suggestions limit you! Benefits aren’t the only way to boost morale. I recommend asking your team what would make them happier, and follow up with action based on their suggestions. Utilize an employee happiness survey like OfficeVibe and also track productivity, then see how the two compare!

Inspiring Teamwork in Your Law Firm

Teamwork in your law firm

It’s no secret that current events throughout the world are causing more division than ever and you may be noticing some of that enter the workplace. Opinions differ on social and health issues, politics creep into everyday conversations, and relationships are being taxed. Not to mention that teams that are used to working closely are now being distanced and working from home. It is more important now than ever to instill an environment within your law firm that encourages teamwork and nourishes the relationships within your office.

The Key Elements to Inspire Teamwork

  1. Leadership
  2. Daily Huddle
  3. Open Dialogue
  4. Goals
  5. Benefits
  6. Team Building Exercises

Leadership

Teamwork starts at the top. Without a clear leader, there cannot be effective teamwork. Someone needs to guide the team, set expectations, and encourage the direction of the conversations into productive avenues.

When there is no leader, two things can happen. More than one person fighting for control can quickly become volatile, and on the other end of the spectrum,  nobody leading the team can cause for a lackluster collaboration with no direction. In either scenario, effective teamwork is not the end result. Avoid this by designating a leader who can help to guide collaborations in a way that stays on topic and productive.

Daily Huddle

Meeting daily as a team does a couple of things for teamwork. First, it fosters the bond necessary to trust others in a collaboration. Second, it allows for continued updates on current projects and allows additional input on the progress being made. These daily huddles should not be long, nor should they be without direction. Set the expectation on how each meeting will go and what each team member should come prepared with to ensure that they don’t become unproductive time-sucks.

At Back Office Betties, we keep our daily huddle short and sweet. Each member of the team gets 3 minutes to speak and we have a defined process we work through each day, including a time to bring up any important topics that are needing collaboration. The leader of the meeting has the power to say whether a topic is pertinent to the entire team or if it should be discussed outside of the daily huddle. This helps to keep the meeting focused on topics that are pertinent to the entire team and avoid wasting anyone’s time.

Open Dialogue

Everyone should have a voice when you’re trying to instill an environment that fosters teamwork. There should not be any fear to speak up and every member of the team should have the chance to feel heard.

This means that the leader of the team needs to be receptive to communication and help to encourage members of the team to speak up. If you’re finding that your staff consistently apologize for asking you questions or bringing things to your attention, it might be that they feel that you are not as open for communication as you hope to be.

Let your team know that you are open to talk and they can come to you any time they need, then watch as your team’s collaboration efforts expand.

Goals

Every team needs goals to work towards for efficient collaboration. This is one of the first places to start with teamwork – what goals does the team want to work towards together? Whether that be an improvement of service, creation of a new process, or a way to improve on a current process – set the goal together, and then work towards reaching it as a team.

Benefits

What’s in it for your team when they work together? You might say, “well, they’re helping the company!” But is someone who may be lower on the totem pole really affected enough by the stats in the company to care? What might cause them to want to add to their plate and throw in with the team when they could just keep to themself? How many ideas are sitting out there in an intern’s head because they don’t feel important enough to speak up?

Offering a reward or praise for a job well done goes far to support your team in ways that make them feel appreciated and encouraged to continue working together and finding solutions to problems.

At Back Office Betties, we grant wishes when a member of the team excels or goes above and beyond in their job. Each team member has a wish list of things they want, ranging from Starbucks gift cards to the hot new makeup palette. When management feels that that team member deserves a granted wish, they pick something off of the list and sends it to the team member as a way to thank them for their hard work. This instills a feeling of appreciation and encourages that extra effort when working together as a team to be innovative or solve a problem.

We also regularly shout out our team members for work well-done and push the rest of the team to show their appreciation for their coworkers. Not only are they being acknowledged and encouraged, but their teammates are encouraged to step it up too.

Team Building Exercises

Team building helps foster better communication between team members and also reveals unknown skills and talents that might not be pertinent to a person’s specific job. Building those connections helps when collaborating, as the person you might not think to ask first for help may actually have a background in exactly what you’re struggling with. Or perhaps you discover that a coworker in another department has a thinking style that compliments your own, revealing that you are perfect brainstorming partners.

Team building also helps to keep your team engaged and ready to work. When being around your coworkers is fun and engaging, the conversation flows more easily and brainstorming can happen naturally.

Even though the team at Back Office Betties works in 3 different states and we all work from home, we do annual team building events in each state. We also do monthly video meetings that help us to feel connected to the team members that we aren’t physically close to.

 

Hopefully some of these tips help you to bring your team closer together. If you’re ready to expand your law firm’s team and add a dedicated team of virtual receptionists to your firm, request a call with our Growth Solutions Strategist today.

The Importance of Ongoing Training for a Successful Team

Betties Legal Academy Ongoing Training

Customer service and our client’s success are two of Back Office Betties’ biggest focuses as a business. We dedicate our time to bringing you valuable information on how to best manage your law firm, we created a company culture that attracts (and retains) only the most qualified receptionists, and we answer every one of your phone calls with a smile and expertise. In order to ensure that our employees stay happy, knowledgeable, and ready to serve your firm, one of the big things that we implement is ongoing employee training.

Ongoing Employee Training Benefits

As time passes, it is likely that policies, trends, and preferences change too. By continuing training throughout your employees’ time with you, they are staying current on policy changes, procedures, and technology. In addition, ongoing training ensures that tenured employees have the same information as new hires. Investing in ongoing training for your employees boosts employee happiness, confidence, and proficiency in their position. In turn, your clients are happier because they are receiving high-quality service from a knowledgable professional.

Boosting Employee Happiness with Ongoing Training

How is it that employee happiness can be so linked with ongoing training? According to CNBC, professionals who were surveyed as “heavy learners” were more likely to be happier, less stressed, more confident, and more productive at work. Light learners were 48% less likely to have found a purpose in their work. They were also 47% more likely to be stressed. Stress + lack of purpose = unhappiness.

In addition, 94% of employees say they would stay with a company longer if that company encouraged and allowed them to learn. The younger generations are driving this home with a fierce desire for continued learning. Specifically, 27% of Gen Z and Millenials would leave their job because they weren’t provided enough opportunities to enhance their knowledge and grow.

Are you giving your employees a reason to leave you by skipping over this vital responsibility as an employer?

Investing in Your Employees is Investing in Your Business

Investing in your business feels like a no-brainer. But how can empowering your employees to learn more be considered an investment? Easy! The American Society for Training and Development conducted a study that showed companies that offered comprehensive training profited greatly over other companies. Those companies benefited from 218% more income per employee and had a 24% higher profit margin than those who spent less on employee training.

According to New Horizons Learning Solutions, this is due to the increased efficiency and confidence of employees who undergo continuous training. Clearly, they are doing something right!

Client Happiness Soars When Employees Are Well-Trained

Reduce turnover, improve consistency, and offer high-level customer service – all are keys to retaining happy clients. Educated employees are more confident and able to help solve more problems than those who are iffy about their company’s policies and procedures. Employees who go through ongoing training are more consistent and follow through on the company’s policies because they remember what they are. In addition, clients like to have stability in who they communicate with within your company. Turnover reduces their feelings of trust. Working with a familiar face enhances that trust. When you take all of this into account, it amounts to high-level service that keeps the client and keeps them happy.

Have you ever had an experience with an employee at a place of business who clearly had no idea what they were doing? How did it make you feel? Did you trust them? Did you enjoy doing business with that company? Probably not. You likely wrote them off as incompetent and moved on, right? Avoid that by continuing to train your employees, even after tenure.

Implementing a Training Program

Ready to create an ongoing training program? Start by documenting every step and process in a central place that employees have access to. We love to use Trainual for our initial employee training and refresher courses. It’s user-friendly and allows you to track employee progress, as well as quiz them on the materials they learned. Trainual also alerts employees when a training has been updated! This allows for seamless ongoing training and ensures your team is always up to date on the latest policies and procedures.

When implementing training that exceeds what your company teaches as far as policy and procedure, it’s important to source courses from reputable sources in your field. Take the course yourself before offering it to your team; you don’t want them to be wasting time on a course that turns out to be invaluable or has wrong information. This is also a great way to continue your own learning! Nobody benefits from not learning. Once you have reputable courses and learnings, be sure to offer ample work time for your employees to take them. Set an expectation of how many hours should be spent learning each week so that your team feels comfortable doing so. You don’t want them to feel pressured to learn off the clock! This could lead to resentment or even just blowing it off entirely.

Another great way to ensure learning within your company is to ask for volunteers to share tips and teachings regularly. As they learn, they can share their notes with the team through email, ensuring everyone is up to speed. At Betties, we do this within our team meetings. Everyone shares something they learned that week, as it pertains to their position in the company. This also allows other team members to understand parts of the company that they may not be directly involved in.

Back Office Betties Legal Academy

As you can tell, we love to train our team to ensure the best customer service. This all starts with Back Office Betties Legal Academy! Every new receptionist goes through a two-week program where they dive into legal terminology and process training. We cover the basics of each type of law that our clients practice, as well as the case types within those practice areas. Our receptionists are guided through the training (using Trainual) and are quizzed along the way. Everyone has to pass every part of the training before becoming a true Bettie and getting on the phones with callers, even if this takes a little bit longer than we hoped.

After onboarding training, our receptionists are updated daily on notes from our clients, updates to case types that a client may handle, and feedback on the way that they’ve handled past calls. This ensures that every single receptionist is constantly improving and striving to do their best. We always keep this fun and light with jokes and memes, as well as our favorite Gifs ;) Who doesn’t want to learn when it’s fun? Our culture stays positive because everyone is striving to improve together and we have fun doing it!

In addition to general process trainings, every receptionist goes through training on the call-handling process of each individual client. After our clients determine their ideal call flow with our Client Concierge, a training course is sent out to every receptionist who may serve that firm. Getting these calls right is vital so training on them is very important!

Encourage Personal Development Outside of the Company

Of course, part of ongoing training goes outside of the lines of process training. To give our team real motivation to continue bettering themselves, we encourage one hour of paid personal development each week. This can be through taking a webinar, reading a book, or taking a course. We also offer an annual budget for each team member that goes towards any course or seminar they wish to take!

Your team is a family and it’s important for them to be their best selves. They’re not robots and should be allowed the time to develop in any area they feel necessary. As team members learn more, they share more, and the entire team becomes more knowledgeable and proficient. Encourage your employees to learn outside of their direct role and they only become more valuable to the team as a whole.

What are your thoughts on ongoing training? Does your company practice this kind of development? Let us know in the comments or take the conversation over to Facebook.

Why Your Company Culture Matters

Why Company Culture MattersYour company culture is a big deal – it’s the actual backbone of your company. A bad one and your business will be in pain, struggling to keep itself ahead. A good one and you’ll be running metaphorical marathons, way ahead of the competition. Why? Because good company culture makes for happier employees and happy employees do better work.

What exactly is company culture?

Company culture can be defined as a set of shared values, goals, attitudes and practices that characterize an organization.

However, it goes so much deeper than this general definition. Anyone you ask will have their own definition of company culture. The measure of company culture varies widely from place to place. But in the end, your employees are the ones who will give you the most insight into what your culture actually is.

We like to think that company culture is a representation of how you nourish your employees. Everything you do for your employees directly relates to their retention, respect for the company, willingness to be flexible, and the impression they leave on your clients. That leaves the question: What do your employees value and what shows them that they’re important to you? Do you offer special benefits, aside from health insurance and PTO? Are you open to criticism? Can employees come to you with new ideas or is everything your way or the highway? It must be clear to your employees that they are valued and important to your business’ success through how you speak to them, how they are managed, and the workload itself. Otherwise, what is the point of the work they do?

Why is all of this important?

If you find yourself constantly struggling to hire and retain employees, your company culture may be to blame. According to FastCompany, more than two-thirds of applicants want to know what the company’s culture is like over anything else when making a career change. That is pretty significant! But when you really think about it, it’s understandable. Who wants to stick around somewhere where they feel undervalued?

In addition, employees who feel there is a lack of respect among colleagues are 26% more likely to quit their job. Cultivating an environment where employees admire and respect each other is one key to good culture. This applies to the entire team, from CEO down. Employees who don’t like their boss are 4 times more likely to find a new job. On the other hand, 60% of employees would rather work with a boss they love for a 50% pay cut than work for a boss they hate at a higher salary.

Not only is turnover expensive, but it also negatively affects your level of customer service. The head of customer and employee success over at JustWorks states that “the best way to support customer happiness is actually to ensure employee happiness first.” He goes on to talk about the correlation of happy employees and higher Net Promoter Scores – the score that gauges how likely someone is to recommend a product or service. To have happy customers, you need happy employees.

Take a look at Google

Google is widely known as an amazing company to work for, as shown here by their ratings on Glassdoor. The reason behind their being such a great company to work for comes down to the culture they promote within. Flexibility, fun, trust, and collaboration are all keys to their company culture and allow employees to feel heard, respected, and valued. The CEO eats lunch in the same room as the rest of the employees. They also offer fun perks like nap pods and free snacks and employees are encouraged to work when and how they want. Employees want to be there and they want to contribute. Ideas flow and work gets done because every member of the Google staff is treated as an equal and important part of their business.

You don’t need to believe us, though. A research team from the University of Warwick explained that “Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37%; they know what they are talking about. Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off.”

An example of poor company culture

On the other hand, you may have heard about the recent issues with poor company culture at luxury luggage brand, Away. A controlling CEO, lack of independence & privacy, and reduction of benefits all led to extremely low morale and eventually, the CEO stepping down due to backlash from employee unhappiness. Employees were required to make all communications public to the entire team, time off was taken away under the guise of motivation, and the CEO was known to use harsh language to berate staff in front of everyone else. Fear of making a mistake or saying the wrong thing was at the forefront of the staff’s minds. Constant fear of criticism leads to decreased productivity. Decreased productivity leads to reprimanding employees. The cycle is vicious and employees simply do not last at Away. If the business hopes to retain its employees and ultimately succeed, there is work to be done on their culture.

 

Core ccomapny values as related to company culture

Back Office Betties company culture

Emily (CEO & Founder), being the customer service and culture queen that she is, puts both of these aspects of business above all else. In fact, she views both as symbiotic. You can’t have one without the other! Some of the most important aspects towards achieving the great company culture at Back Office Betties are:

  • The use of Culture Index in hiring to ensure that the position someone is hired for is the right fit for their personality type
  • Availability and accessibility of management for discussion of concerns, ideas, and day-to-day chit chat
  • Thoughtful compensation plans and benefit packages, including generous PTO
  • Twice yearly wellness days where we give each employee an extra day off and the gift of pampering
  • Granting “Wishes” for birthdays and going above and beyond or meeting a goal
  • Anonymous OfficeVibe surveys every week to determine receptionist happiness and areas of opportunity
  • Remote work – Every staff member of Back Office Betties works from the comfort of their own home!
  • Team chat that provides means of easy communication and community between team members
  • Team get-togethers in all three of the states our employees live

As you can see, we take our employee happiness extremely seriously. This is not necessarily a complete list but you get the picture. It’s no secret that we love customer service and we’ve learned that a smiling staff is key to delivering! Our receptionist happiness goal is to always be above 9/10 and we hit it nearly every time.

How can you improve your company culture?

If you’ve noticed that your employees could be happier or aren’t performing to the degree you know they’re capable of, consider making some changes. Improving the company culture of your law firm doesn’t require extreme measures. No need to add the expenses of an in-house kitchen like Google right off the bat! Start small.

  • Establish your core values and implement policies that positively enforce them. Involve the whole team in this for best results.
  • Set the example for your company’s core values
  • Smile more in passing
  • Open your office to allow dialogue
  • Create a space that your staff is happy to walk into each morning. If you can’t do that, consider offering remote work opportunities to your highest performers
  • Offer small snacks in the break room
  • Send an anonymous survey to your staff regarding what may help them to feel more valued
  • Give praise when you recognize great work
  • Take some work off of their plate. Allowing burnout is like taking a hammer to your company culture.
  • Be human! Apologize when you are wrong, say thank you when appropriate, and relate to your staff on a personal level

Implementing some of the above is a great first step to getting your team back on track. Once you are able, add in some perks or update your benefits package. Create a reward system for positive reinforcement. You will see increased productivity and a fantastic general shift in work environment!

Have comments to add? What do you do to enforce a good company culture? Let us know!

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 and 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!

 

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