When you own a law firm, delegation is really important. This is especially true the larger the law firm you have. To make sure that your law firm is run efficiently, the reality is you just cannot do everything yourself.
Whether it’s a legal task or a non-legal task, if you have delegated enough, it can become frustrating. Try as you might, your employees are not always going to complete tasks as you would like them to do so. With rare exceptions, employees are not going to behave as you would behave. They are not going to do things exactly the way you want. They will not live up to your standards.
For this reason, the temptation of many law firm owners and managers is to simply it do it themselves. In other words, if the employees are not going to do things as the law firm owner or manager likes, some may think it is easier just to do it themselves versus delegating.
From an accuracy perspective, this might make a lot of sense. If you want things done your way, do it yourself. The reality, however, is this can result in a lot of long-term and short-term problems for the law firm.
If a lawyer firm owner or manager does everything themselves, it can result in a serious backlog. In other words, if everything is running through one person or a couple of persons, many items will simply not get done. The larger the law firm, and/or the busier the law firm is, this more true this will become.
It is also true that others will not learn how to complete tasks the way you like. So, instead of learning to complete tasks in the way the law firm owner or manager likes, employees can get use to doing unsatisfactory work and then simply expecting that the law owner or manager will scoop it up and finish it up for them.
This can result in employees not taking ownership for tasks. It can result in employees not making sure they have put together a fantastic final product.
Instead of doing it yourself, think of ways you can show your employees how to do it better. This might mean that you stop doing it all yourself. So, when you are handed a project that is not up to your standards, mark it up and hand it back to the employee for fine-tuning. Or, meet with the employee and explain what your concerns are and have them work to make it better.
Over time, if you do this, employees will begin taking ownership themselves for their work because they will learn that the project will simply make it’s way back to them if it is not done in a satisfactory way the first time. This will inevitably result in a better work product being given to the law firm owner or manager over time. This, in the end, will help the law firm as a whole by ensuring that projects are done better by all employees and that efficiency is maintained in the law firm.
So, if you are tempted to quit delegating and do it yourself, resist the temptation and learn to hold your employees accountable for producing a better work product and taking ownership for what they do.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.