How Effective Are Your Employees, Really? Use This Method to Find Out!

The marketing industry is full of mantras, but if we had to pick just one to burn into every lawyer’s brain, it would be this: “Right person, right seat.” We repeat that phrase all the time here at Spotlight Branding, and we’re convinced that following through with it is the best way to build a successful business — whether that’s a law firm or a circus animal training company.

If you’ve been paying attention, you probably remember us mentioning this mantra before. A few months ago, we posted a blog about core values and why it’s so important for your company to create them before hiring. If you missed it, the idea is that core values are the traits unique to how your organization functions. They describe the attitudes and mindsets you want in your team and can help you weed out the applicant pool and even thin your current ranks. In other words, core values help you fulfill the “right person” part of the catchphrase.

“Right seat” is a little more complicated. To figure out if an employee is in the right seat, you have to ask yourself, “Will this person be successful in the position for which they were hired?” Whether or not a person has a certain set of core values isn’t quantifiable, but the answer to this question always is. If you’ve asked yourself this before and been unable to answer, you’re probably missing something critical: the individual measurables that define the success of each position in your company.

Sometimes these performance indicators are easy to pin down. The success of your salespeople, for example, can be measured by the number of clients they bring in or the percent of consultations they close. Everyone in your marketing department can be tracked by the number of leads they generate. But things get trickier when it comes to supporting roles like associate and paralegal. Still, it’s not impossible to come up with a number that will tell you whether that person is doing a good job.

Not long ago, we helped a client through that process. He was stumped on how to measure the success of his paralegals. They were meant to support the firm’s attorneys and keep in touch with clients, which are both tough things to measure. After talking it over, we finally realized that the most important thing his paralegals do is keep cases moving. So, we deduced that the best measure of efficiency would be the average time it takes for each paralegal to wrap up a case from start to finish.

A good way to start this deduction process yourself is to ask, “What is the purpose of this person’s job? What is their contribution to the bigger picture?” Once you know that, it only takes one more step to figure out how to measure that contribution. Another hack that makes identifying individual measurables easier is to start from the top down. 

Figure out your measurables, then ask yourself, “How do each of my managers contribute to our company’s success? And how do their subordinates contribute to their department’s success?” When you structure the process this way, it’s easy to go down the list and check off every position.

If you don’t have at least one number to watch for on every employee, your business is a car without a speedometer or gas gauge. You’re practically driving blind! Not only do these individual measurables show you how well you’re doing, but they also give your team members a way to measure their success. It’s not fair to tell someone to get in a car with a blank dashboard and tell them to drive at 45 mph. But if you give them a speedometer, they can target that speed and work in tandem with the other cars on the road. Playing guessing games just isn’t a smart way to do business. Living by “Right person, right seat” is.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is an internet marketing and branding firm for lawyers. Our goal is to help our clients create an online presence that positions them as a credible expert in their field, keeps them connected with their network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find them!