Billable hours are the lifeblood of many US law firms. This means their profitability is greatly impacted by the productivity of their associates and other staff members.
In this blog post, we will discuss things you can do to boost employee productivity and consequently improve your firm’s bottom line.
1. Train and develop employees
Forcing new employees to accomplish a task with zero guidance can be tremendously inefficient. Instead, teach them the necessary skills to do their jobs. Not only will this help them accomplish their tasks faster, but you will also spend less time correcting their errors.
Beyond their initial training, encourage your staff to expand their skill sets. Having additional skills can help them work smarter and faster.
You can support employee development in many ways:
- Letting them attend seminars and workshops
- Sponsoring their online courses or classes
- Providing them with individual coaching or mentoring
2. Equip staff with the right IT solutions
Many law firms still rely on outdated systems and software, which can hamper productivity. For example, using an old case management system can make it difficult to track deadlines and progress on cases. Similarly, relying on an outdated document management program can lead to lost documents and wasted time searching for files.
Therefore, you need to ensure that your IT solutions sufficiently support your operations. This will save you time and effort and positively impact your firm’s productivity.
Related reading: 12 Tech tools law firms should utilize
3. Encourage collaboration
A 2018 Stanford University study found that employees were more productive when they felt they were working with others on a task. Another study confirms this by saying that organizations that fostered collaborative work were five times as likely to be high-performing.
Given these findings, you should leverage collaboration tools to simplify teamwork. For example, Microsoft 365’s Word, Excel, and PowerPoint programs enable several people to work on the same file at the same time. Your staff can then store that file and access its latest version on Microsoft’s cloud storage service, OneDrive.
4. Automate time-consuming tasks
It’s very easy for employees to get bogged down by tedious, mundane tasks. Fortunately, you can leverage technology to automate these, freeing up your staff to work on more important, billable tasks. For example, you can use billing management software to automate the following:
- Creating, approving, and sending invoices electronically
- Monitoring payments
- Sending payment reminders
- Applying discounts or interest to certain bills
You can also use document generation software to quickly produce new legal documents. This software converts your firm’s existing legal documents (e.g., contracts, purchase agreements, leases, licenses) to automated templates, enabling you to easily change client-specific data. For example, instead of having to manually copy-paste the client’s name in every instance needed in a legal document, the software can do it for you automatically. This speeds up document generation and reduces the risk of errors as well.
The more tasks you automate, the more your productivity will increase. Computers work lightning fast and are incredibly consistent, enabling your firm to accomplish more tasks in less time.
5. Leverage outsourcing
Another way to free up your staff’s time is to outsource tedious tasks like document preparation, legal research, and record retrieval.
To illustrate, with Record Retrieval Solutions (RRS) as your service provider, you simply need to submit your record requests using our secure online portal and we’ll take it from there. You can then check your order status and download your requested records once available.
RRS lets you get your records faster, so you can settle your cases faster. Contact us today to get started.