Nearly every business, regardless of the industry it is in or its size, has fallen victim to unnecessary, time-wasting meetings and struggled with teams that don’t collaborate as well as they should. Because time is money in a small law firm, it is especially important for lawyers, paralegals and other law firm staff to work together effectively and efficiently, but we all know there are many barriers that keep that dream from becoming a reality. Luckily, there are a few easy ideas you can put in place that will help everyone in your law firm work together in a more productive manner.
Want to amp up your team’s productivity today? Here are three ways you can start fostering collaboration at your small law firm right away:
1. Discuss Expectations and Goals
Before work on a new matter or project begins, take the time to discuss in detail the expectations of each team member, then decide on a few short-term and long-term goals. By clearly defining project roles and expectations, team members will know how much work is expected of them, who they can look to for support and what part of the project they’re responsible for. Once your team knows what and how much they’re working on, having pre-set goals will help keep everyone on the same page, including you.
2. Come Prepared for Meetings
It’s happened to all of us–we walk into a meeting ready to discuss upcoming projects, tasks and to-dos, but somehow wind up using the time to chat about personal things, catch up with colleagues or discuss an off-topic work related matter. Not only is this habit unproductive, it also limits the progress of the entire firm. In order to keep this from happening, create an agenda for your team prior to meetings. Outline what needs to be discussed and what everyone should do in preparation. This will help with staying on task, keeping meetings shorter and more productive than before. In addition, if everyone is completely prepared to discuss the topic of focus, you’ll be able to collaborate better and come up with more thoughtful ideas.
3. Use Digital Tools
Digital tools can make team collaboration efforts easier and more efficient, especially if one or more people are working away from the office. Smokeball’s cloud-based case management software gives lawyers and paralegals the ability to work from anywhere, granting them access to every detail of every matter, whenever they’re working, wherever they are. Smokeball also keeps all of your emails on the same digital file, ensuring you don’t lose track of anything important your team needs from you.
Photo Credit: nrcgov via Flickr Creative Commons