Your Team Must Align With These 4 Areas of Your Law Firm
8–10 minutes to read
“To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.”
— Doug Conant
No matter what industry you’re in, if you don’t have an aligned team behind you, you won’t succeed.
A misaligned team doesn’t just make failure a possibility — it makes it a probability.
If you’ve noticed some of the telltale signs that you have a misaligned team in your law firm, such as a lack of communication, a misunderstanding of the company’s overall goals, or an absence of interest or motivation from your team members, you need to stop what you’re doing immediately and right these wrongs.
We’ll show you how.
In this article, we’re going to go over the four most important areas in which your law firm team must be aligned in order for you all to succeed:
Why Team Alignment is Important
Before we dive into the four areas of alignment, check out a few of these statistics that show just how important alignment is for every team in every work environment:
- Effective communication generates 4.5 times higher talent retention.
- Teamwork is very important for 37% of employees.
- 99.1% of employees want to be part of an organization that nourishes honest communication.
- Teamwork statistics specify that 97% of workers and employers believe that the lack of team alignment influences the success of a task or project. Similarly, when everyone knows their objective and tasks the team becomes unstoppable.
Clearly, alignment goes hand in hand with a successful organization. Now that you understand the importance of it, let’s talk about the four areas where your team needs to be aligned the most.
First things first: Does your law firm have an overarching vision? Do you, your team members, and your clients all know what you stand for or what you aim to achieve?
If you don’t know what your vision is, that’s why your team isn’t aligned on it.
A vision is an aspirational statement made by an organization that articulates what it would like to achieve. Think about it as a guide for your law firm; if you have some goal in particular that you want to reach, then it needs to be written down for you and your entire organization to align with.
A vision statement is not to be confused with a mission statement, however. While both are important, your vision will continually change, grow, and evolve just like you. A mission statement is a definition of your company’s business state and objectives. This typically doesn’t change, which is why clarifying your vision throughout the stages of your organization’s growth is so important.
You are never stuck to just one vision. If you reach a goal, you have the ability to make a new one. If you’ve grown as a person and no longer relate to an old vision, switch it up. If you’re ready for a completely new vision, clarify your ideal one.
No matter what you do or how you change your vision, the number one most important component remains the same: You must keep your team members up-to-date and in-the-know about what it is. The more they know, the better they can help your law firm attract its ideal clients, build its brand, and be successful.
Without a shared vision, team members may have different interpretations of the company’s goals, leading to conflicting priorities and wasted effort. But as stated previously, a team that shares a common vision is better equipped to:
- Collaborate effectively
- Make informed decisions
- Work together towards a shared goal
Having alignment around your law firm’s vision helps to create a sense of purpose and direction among team members. It helps everyone understand how their individual work contributes to the larger picture, fostering a sense of ownership and engagement. When team members share a common vision, they are more likely to be motivated, committed, and enthusiastic about their work. This can then lead to increased productivity, better outcomes, and ultimately, greater success for your firm.
Overall, a shared vision allows decision-making, prioritization, and working to be better than yesterday. When everyone is working together to achieve the same goal, you’ll notice a stronger sense of collaboration, ownership, and commitment to your firm’s — and their own — success.
Core Values Alignment
Every new hire you even consider bringing onto your law firm team must align with your core values, and every team member must operate in alignment with them every day.
Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. They not only help you connect with your ideal clients, but they also help with attracting and retaining the right team members.
Without them, you, your law firm, and your audience won’t have a guiding light.
Don’t think they’re that important to the overall success of your law firm? Think again: Studies show that 77 percent of consumers buy from companies that share the same values as they do. That’s why companies like Whole Foods, Delta, and Apple are all frequently visited by millions of consumers weekly. They promise something unique and then provide it. By doing this, they attract a dedicated audience who stand by what they do.
But that’s not all: According to Forbes, employers should trade 90 percent talent for just 10 percent character. That’s a huge deficit — why would they recommend that?
Because you can teach talent. Character comes from within.
Core values help to distinguish a company’s identity, improve recruiting and retention, influence behavior, help in decision making processes, shape organizational culture, and contribute to the overall success of a company.
So why is it so important for your team members to be aligned with your core values? How does that contribute to your law firm’s success?
Once you have identified your core values, you, your team, and your clients will all be on the same page for what you stand for — and will operate accordingly.
There will be no more cutting corners, no more bringing on cases that aren’t the right fit for your brand, and no more hiring mediocre people just to fill a role. Everything you do will be done with intention, and more importantly, everyone will know what that intention is and act in accordance with it every day.
Unique Value Proposition Alignment
What is a Unique Value Proposition (UVP)?
Simply put, your UVP is your X factor. It’s what sets you apart from your competitors, and it’s the reason why your clients come to you over anyone else.
A strong UVP is the center of your brand, so you must be sure it’s easy to understand and clearly articulates what makes you different from other firms. It should be specific and easy to remember. It should also demonstrate why clients should choose your firm over others in the marketplace.
The best UVPs often include the most critical aspects of your firm’s strategy or what makes you different from other law firms in your market. Consider the following questions:
- What matters most to you individually and/or your firm as a whole?
- How is your firm different from others?
- What makes you stand out from other firms?
Be specific. Highlight the benefits of your firm over others. Prove to your clients and potential clients why you are the perfect person to represent them.
Remember: Your UVP matters to your team members just as much as your clients. They need to be on board with what they’re getting into when they apply to work at your firm. Do they align with the UVP? How will they be able to contribute to the brand’s UVP? How will they be able to help your clients seek justice?
If you want to be a successful firm internally and externally, then your entire law firm needs to have a firm understanding of what sets your firm apart from the rest. You’ll soon find out that it’s your ultimate unfair advantage when hiring and taking on new clients.
Everyone’s got them — but not everyone is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve them.
Here’s the way to make SMART goals every single time:
- What needs to be accomplished?
- Who’s responsible for it?
- What steps need to be taken to achieve it?
- Can you track your progress in a quantifiable way?
- What metrics do you need to capture?
- Where will you source those metrics?
- Is this a realistic goal?
- Do you have all the resources needed to accomplish this?
- Why are you setting this goal?
- How will this better your life, your team, your clients, or your firm?
- When are you committed to completing this goal?
- How will you stay on track?
Every goal you set should check off each of these five boxes.
Then, align your team around them.
Enter: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
KPIs are strategic data used to measure success within an organization. Each KPI is a measurement of progress toward a particular goal, and it’s something that you’ll want to keep an eye on monthly (at the very least).
- Key = crucial to success
- Performance = level of progress
- Indicator = the way in which it’s measured
According to KPI.org, this critical data indicates progress toward an intended result. This involves leveraging quality data to support your strategy and measure your firm’s success. With KPIs, your team focuses on what is important for the overall productivity and growth of the practice.
By leveraging KPIs, you can use that data to identify, analyze, and manage your objectives today and in the future. When performance goes down, you’ll be able to quickly find ways to pick up where you might have lost it to improve the future of your practice.
Everyone in your organization, including you, should have goals. KPIs will help you keep track of these goals and will help your entire team stay on track with their own objectives as well as their teams’.
The more aligned your team is with your law firm’s goals, the more successful you all are destined to be.
Though we just went over four specific areas of alignment, it’s important that your entire team be aligned with every single initiative that goes on within your law firm. Whether you’re planning on rolling out a new marketing strategy, hiring someone to fill a long-open role, or overhauling the office setup, everyone needs to be aware, on board, and on the same page. That’s the only way you’ll be able to be successful together.
If you need help with aligning your law firm, we can help. We’ve helped thousands of law firms across the country set SMART goals, create a stronger team, and be more successful in the long run.
If you’re ready to join them, give us a call. We’re here to help.