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The Fail-Proof Engagement Strategy to Drive Law Firm Success

Posted by Gaby Isturiz on February 4, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Law firm successHow engaged are the attorneys, support staff and other employees at your firm?

There is an abundance of research that demonstrates that happy and engaged workers are more efficient, productive, perform better and earn a higher paycheck.

Again, I ask: how engaged are the attorneys at your firm?

Engagement can seem daunting, but it is not. There is a simple formula to success. When achieved, high levels of employee engagement bring about immense benefits. It’s not just marketing buzz or HR speak. Take a look at the world’s smartest companies, like Google, Virgin, Netflix and others. They consistently prioritize employee engagement, taking their efforts to new levels (Virgin recently announced a new policy which allows staff members to take as much vacation time as they like).

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor says, “Happiness causes success and not the other way.” Although it may sound like a cliché, there is a scientific explanation behind it. Achor explains, “positive emotions can begin to open our eyes and minds to new solutions and ideas.” Achor cites a specific study, where researchers wanted to find out the effect of positive emotions in doctor’s diagnoses. The research showed that doctors primed to feel happy made the right diagnosis. Not only were they faster in doing so, but were much creative in finding the answer.  “Even the smallest shot of positivity can give someone a serious competitive edge” says Achor.

If happy employees are likely to be more engaged, I ask, how happy are the employees at your firm?

Law firms are known for being slow to embrace change, innovation and new policies. One of the areas that many law firms struggle with is getting attorneys to comply with timekeeping policies. At Bellefield, we’ve found that the more engaged the attorney, the more likely that attorney is to comply with timekeeping (and other policies) at the firm.

Four Steps to Firm-Wide Engagement that Drives Results

If happy attorneys yields engaged attorneys, and attorneys consistently enter their time and follow other policies, the firm wins. But how can you leverage all of the above research to get there? The secret to law firm engagement boils down to the following steps:

#1: Incentivize Behavior

Positive reinforcement leads to increased results, happiness and productivity.

#2: Focus on Purpose

Why do you do what you do? How can you use your work at the firm to help others? Research suggests that acts of kindness decreases stress and increases happiness, which of course leads to better productivity.

#3 Reward Effort

The carrot and stick approach simply doesn’t work. Anticipating future rewards, according to Achor, can stimulate your brain as much as the reward itself.

#4 Create Lasting Change

Consistency is key in establishing new habits. Once established, these habits lead to positive lasting change at your firm.

Have you successfully increased engagement at your firm? Tell your story in the comments section below.

Want to know more about how to increase engagement which leads to law firm success? We’re thrilled to announce our new Engagement Program and accompanying Adoption Kit. We’ve developed these materials to help firms like yours reach their potential through firm-wide engagement. Learn more here.

attorney engagement

Topics: Adoption & Engagement

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