So, the economy is making a lot of employees freak out, obviously. And law firms are no exception.
How to keep people relatively calm and happy — short of giving them money or guaranteeing their job — so they’ll spend more time producing and less time griping and wringing their hands?
We don’t pretend to have all the answers. But we have pulled together some good reminders for anyone out there whose job involves bossing anyone else around.
California blogger Cindy Ventrice, who describes herself as an “employee loyalty specialist,” suggests, among other things, giving out “hall passes” or “get out of jail free” cards good for one or two hours off that people can use at their discretion. We like that idea, though we’d suggest not using a cutesy name that draws an analogy to hard time. Your staff’s probably drawing enough parallels as it is.
For crying out loud, listen to Jeri Cartwright and communicate with your people. In a vacuum of information, people will assume the worst. And unless it’s literally worse than they could possibly imagine, you are just encouraging them to spend the entire day working the phones and scouring blogs to keep tabs on the rumor mill, updating their resumes on company time, and hoarding work and free pens. Oh, and, you’re giving them plenty of fuel for resentment that might increase the odds they’ll sue you. Our theory, anyway.
Give people a forum for venting their frustrations. But at the same time, don’t let it go on forever — give them enough to do and you’ll minimize the dwelling. That’s what they're saying up north, at any rate.
— Pam Smith