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Hiring is not an easy task, and sometimes it takes time away from your legal work. Too many businesses focus on the wrong aspects of employment. Keeping your current employees happy is just as important as hiring the right people for your law firm. Employee turnover and retention should be at the top of your considerations. By creating good retention practices, you can have a competitive edge in your field.

In studies on employment, one in three employees expects to change jobs within six months. So how can you keep your valuable legal support staff from leaving?

Determine the reasons for employee turnover.

The most important metric to track is why your employees are leaving. There are plenty of reasons having nothing to do with the company itself, such as life changes or relocation. But what about the reasons that are closely related to your firm and management style?

Are your employees leaving because they are dissatisfied with management, their co-workers, or their duties? If so, only you have the power to make these things better.

As each employee leaves, your focus turns to replacement rather than retention. These costs reach beyond salary and benefits. Your time is also valuable, and the more time you spend searching for the right candidate, the less you can give to your law clients.

It’s easy to think the solution comes down to bigger pay rates, but there are plenty of other factors that affect an employee’s decision. According to the Society for Human Resources Management, 42 percent of people responding to an employment survey indicated they would leave a job due to a toxic workplace, and 31 percent say it would come down to work/life balance. Considering a range of incentives to keep your top legal employees happy will only enhance their experience.

Think about the office environment. 

It may not occur to you, but your law office also impacts an employee’s satisfaction on the job. Are they comfortable? Do they have all the tools they need, including technology and software, to make their job more efficient? If they're feeling frustrated just by accomplishing their normal tasks on a daily basis, it can lead to unhappy, disgruntled employees. Keeping your firm conducive to productivity will cost less over time than replacing your legal staff with others who also will quickly become unhappy in the environment. Learning where to make investments to keep employees happy is the first step.

Realize why productivity levels will drop. 

When an employee leaves, it doesn't affect just their individual job. You will lose the productivity in that role, and it will affect the rest of your team. Someone will need to take up the slack and accomplish the work of two people while you search for a replacement. This will cause that employee’s productivity levels to dip for both duties. It can even start the cycle of unhappiness over again. Unhappy employees also affect their co-workers. The entire team will influence each other, and one disengaged employee can begin an avalanche.

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