In my last blog, I talked about something really important: I told you to not stop delegating. Continue focusing on your clients and growth, and let your team of professionals take care of the rest.
If you keep delegating tasks, and if you play your cards right with marketing and asking for the sale, you’ll experience growth. And once you do, you’ll need to scale. You’ll need to hire. That’s what we’ll talk about in this blog.
So many lawyers don’t want to hire. They say it’s because they don’t have the time to train or don’t know how to train. Bringing someone new onboard just means more work to them.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand, and often, that is actually the case. At the beginning, anyway.
Remember that onboarding and training is an investment
A lot of us grew up in law firms and that’s where we learned much of what we know even without formal training, so it’s naturally hard to fathom how to train.
It is true that every time you onboard someone new, you do have to train them. This is a time investment and it can be a very tedious task if you don’t have some organization or a plan already in place. That’s the key to successful and smooth onboarding and training.
Use your training manual
It doesn’t matter whether you have one person, 20 people, or zero people on staff. You need to create training and procedure manuals. They are called Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). I just like to call it a training manual because that’s easy to understand.
Every single task that you complete in your firm should be detailed in this training manual.
If you already have one, great. Use it when you onboard new hires. Study your training manual to make sure it’s easy to understand for people who are not yet familiar with your firm.
If you don’t yet have one, email your entire team. Ask for a bullet-point list of everything each employee does for your law firm.
Request a step by step guide on how each task is done with more bullet points for each step.
You want people who haven’t performed that task before to be able to jump in because the training manual is absolutely clear about what needs to be done and how to go about doing it.
Stop being the keeper of information
This happens so much during training. Even with senior staff and senior paralegals, somehow questions are always getting routed to you, and that is disruptive. It’s frustrating. Honestly, sometimes it’s downright annoying.
So no one should be the keeper of information. Not you. Not your paralegal. Not your assistant.
Very rarely should one have to explain something to another person.
Everything should be in the training manual. This is where all the information on the tasks and procedures of your law firm should be kept.
Use training videos: turn videos into a crash course
An alternate or a companion to the training manual, videos are helpful in showing how something is done.
We had a really great admin with us for two years who was moving on to a new opportunity, and before she left, she made videos on everything that she did.
She explained what a receipt notice was, gave details on each case type, and explained how to identify each inbound document and what to do with it.
This has been so critical in helping each incoming admin, and every person who works with our mail.
That’s a really important job in my law firm and it’s a huge job because we often get over 300 pages of mail daily that needs to be processed and logged. Clients need to be contacted, and I have to be notified.
It is very time consuming, and even more so if you don’t know what the heck it is that you’re looking at. So having those videos explaining every single detail was extremely helpful.
At one point we were also training someone new in my office on how to do declarations.
My lead paralegal was working, training someone on declarations. She was detailing how to use the declaration guide, the different kinds of tips and tricks that she’d learned along the way including things that clients often forget to say or the techniques to help clients who are struggling to express themselves adequately.
So I had her record that training. Now we have a training video on how to do those declarations. I put together a course called The Introduction to Immigration, which is available on introtoimmigration.com, and I use it for my team.
I created that course because I wanted my team to have an overview of everything that we would be doing in my office.
It gives them a bird’s eye view of everything we do.
And that way, when it comes to talking about cases, I don’t have to start from the beginning and explain each and every case type and all the things that might come up.
They now have resources that they can access at any time that explains all of the basics. And then from there, they can reference if they ever have any questions about big picture concepts.
And so by maintaining a training manual and creating training videos, you’re going to really set your team up for success.
You’ll be removing a lot from both you and your team’s plates.
Training manuals and training videos are easily shared over the internet. The files can be housed in Dropbox or in a Google Drive folder and can be easily accessed with a link. Your new hires can basically train themselves.
It’s going to be much easier to delegate as you go. And now you won’t feel the pressure that if you do hire someone that it’s going to take so much of your time to maneuver the training process. Keep delegating, keep hiring, keep growing, and use these techniques to speed things along.
If you can believe it, I have even more knowledge to share on this topic! If you’d like to learn more about how to onboard new staff, sign up for my Six Figure Solo program! Six Figure Solo now comes in three tiers – Executive, Solopreneur, and CEO. Sign up here! (https://ally-alozano.teachable.com/p/six-figure-solo)