Fostering Talent: How to Help New Hires Succeed

3 min read

Here’s what you can do to help your newest employees perform at their peak.

As a law firm partner or manager, no one has a bigger impact on your new hires’ success than you. How you choose to help onboard your new employees will determine how successful they are in their roles, which means it’s important to invest in a new hire onboarding process that works. Rather than simply throwing your new employees straight into the fire and hoping they figure it out, you can play a pivotal role in preparing your new hires to succeed and thrive in their jobs. Here are just a few ways that you can improve your new hire onboarding process to ensure all of your employees can achieve peak performance.

Give New Hires a Mentor

One of the best ways you can accelerate a new hire’s learning and development is to pair them with a mentor. This mentor could be a senior lawyer or paralegal at your firm who can coach your new hire on not only the duties of their job, but also on your company culture. Make sure you pair mentors and mentees based on job responsibilities – for instance, a senior paralegal could mentor a new paralegal hire, or a senior lawyer could mentor a new associate.

Your mentors at your firm should be prepared to assist new hires by providing them with processes and playbooks to follow, as well as instructions regarding any special technology your firm uses.

Provide Feedback in Real Time

Performance reviews have their place. But too many times, your new hires aren’t alerted to their mistakes until it’s time for a performance review. When you wait until an annual or quarterly performance review to give new hires feedback, it undermines their ability to learn and improve.

Instead, make sure you clearly explain expectations and performance review criteria on day one. Help your new hires succeed by providing them with real-time feedback on their activities. Did they make a mistake in a recent filing? Explain the mistake to them and then explain how to fix it. Are they not producing documents fast enough? Help them accelerate document production by coaching them on your processes. (Alternatively, you can leverage emerging legal technology to expedite your document production through automation.)

Invest in Incremental Skills Training

“Sink or swim” isn’t an onboarding strategy; it’s a recipe for failure. Make sure you give your new hires opportunities to hone their skills on the job. Provide them with new tasks one at a time, so they have the opportunity to gradually take on new challenges. Instead of throwing them into the deep end of the pool, let them acclimate themselves to the water at their own pace.

Empower New Hires with Emerging Legaltech

One of the most common issues new hires encounter is comparisonitis. They often compare themselves to senior associates, and wonder why they can’t achieve the same productivity level as someone who’s been in the job for several years. Your new hires want to succeed, and they want to gain as much experience as quickly as possible. They want to feel like they can keep up with more experienced employees. That’s why you should give your new hires access to emerging legal technology tools that can help them improve their productivity and reduce errors. With access to modern legaltech solutions, your new hires can accomplish their work faster, helping them to gain critical early wins that can build their confidence.

Coaching and onboarding new hires is a critical part of running a successful law firm. The better-equipped your new hires are to take on their new jobs, the more productive they’ll be – and the more revenue they’ll bring in for your firm. The next time you’re onboarding a new hire, make sure to give them all the support they need to succeed in their role.

Legal technology like Appara can help you engage your team effectively. Contact our team to learn more.

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