Office policies are essential to creating a thriving work environment as they guide productivity and decision-making. Implementing the right policies and procedures will require risk-taking and trial and error before finding the right fit for your firm. Read 8 Figure Firm’s blog for tips on establishing office policies and procedures that work for your business.
Policies and procedures defined
Before we dive into the above-mentioned tips, let’s define policies and procedures. Policies are rules or guidelines an organization puts into place to achieve its long-term goals. These guidelines outline how the business should operate and generally include information such as the code of conduct.
Procedures are the methods of how to apply policies in the day-to-day operations of the organization. In other words, procedures are actions that carry out policies and tell employees how and when to deal with situations in the workplace.
5 Tips to help you establish policies and procedures
The following tips can steer you in the right direction when developing policies and procedures for your firm.
Create clearly defined job descriptions.
Making sure that you outline clear job descriptions for your employees will save you a lot of time and workflow interruptions. When employees have a clear and concise understanding of their responsibilities in the firm, they are more likely to get the job done. Every team member should understand exactly what their role is in the firm and how it differentiates from other roles. Employee responsibilities should be laid out as well.
Job descriptions are not only useful for employees, but for supervisors and managers as well. They provide managers with a tool to measure their employees’ performance and ensure that they are meeting job expectations. When job descriptions are laid out, employees can follow your firm’s procedures with ease.
Simplify policy and procedure documentation.
To avoid confusion amongst your employees, consider simplifying your policy and procedure documents. Long complicated documents leave room for misinterpretation and poor understanding of workplace protocols. When developing your policy documents, it is essential to use simple and clear language so that employees at all levels have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
An employee handbook is a great way to ensure that you have a comprehensive roadmap of your firm’s policies and procedures. An employee handbook compiles your policies, procedures, and expectations into one document that your employees can reference. It sets clear expectations for your team, defines your employee’s rights, and states your legal obligations.
Automate whenever possible.
There are many repetitive tasks for which there are automated solutions, and the more you can utilize these tools, the easier it will be for your employees to keep up with the day-to-day operations and ensure that all your clients are attended to. From basic data entry to sending reminder emails, texts, and calls for upcoming appointments, many of these and other tasks can be automated so no one forgets to do them.
Establish pre-defined workflows where possible.
This strategy is especially useful for sales funnels and case processing. If you have a clear outline for how to move clients and potential clients through the funnel, you’ll be able to quickly identify where a client is in the process and who is responsible for helping them. Having a specific customer journey will simplify everything for you as you navigate everyone through the process.
Identify your KPIs and monitor them closely to make sure your procedures are effective while saving you time and money. Test, review, and adapt. Your operations protocols are a work in progress. You’ll try things that don’t work, and you’ll need to revisit those things and try something else. Likewise, what worked two years ago might not be effective today. Just like your car needs regular maintenance and tune-ups, you’ll need to revisit your operations protocols to see if they need tweaking. Don’t be afraid to reevaluate procedures and change them when necessary. The journey never ends and will be a continuous work in progress.
You’ll have to devote a lot of time at first when developing your office procedures, but when you set them up properly, you’ll only have to check in once in a while to make sure all is well and to continue to make changes and improvements. When the office engine is running smoothly, you and your team will feel more productive, more creative, and ultimately happier in the office. And your time and energy can then be spent on things that will make you grow.
Speak to the Experts
Developing policies and procedures that work for your firm might seem like a difficult task a first, but 8 Figure Firm is here to support you through your journey with programs like ONE.Coach and ONE.Coach Premier.
If you’re ready to take your law firm to the next level, register for ONE.Coach today. We’ll help you turn your law firm into a law business.