Guard Your Stars – There Be Pirates About!

♬  We pillage, we plunder, we rifle and loot
Drink up me hearties, yo ho
We kidnap and ravage and don’t give a hoot
Drink up me hearties, yo ho…♬

Lyrics by Xavier Atencio, music by George Bruns, A Pirate’s Life for Me.

In today’s economic climate, firms are looking at all manner of different ways to bump up the bottom line.  Since one of the top methods of improving a firm’s profitability is to steal top income producing partners, associates and staff from other firms (politely called “recruiting”), you must take steps to protect your income base from being raided!

The first step is to recognize who are your stars among the partners, associates and staff.  In some cases they may be those who are quietly effective, working steadily and consistently at a very high level, like Will Turner.  In other cases they may be flamboyant and a real character – Captain Jack Sparrow, for example. You wouldn’t want a computer or other valuable asset of the firm simply walking out the door – so when it comes to people, you need to ensure that you are reducing the possibility of losing your starts to a competitor.  Consider, then, what you can do from a management perspective, to ensure that your workers are a happy crew!

Remember, people don’t leave a job – they leave a bad captain, partner, supervisor, an unhappy work situation or a bad co-worker. They also may not feel valued by the firm and accordingly, they start looking for another ship on which to sail. The cost of a turnover alone is estimated at about 1.5 times annual salary for non-lawyers and 2 times annual salary, or more, for attorneys.  Factor in the additional lost revenue from a star leaving your firm and you can see that time invested in promoting or rewarding a positive, satisfied and productive crew is time well spent!

A couple of good resources to help you with this are: The Extraordinary Law  Firm:  Making Your Firm a Great Place to Work by Charles E. Stinnett and Keeping Good Lawyers:  Best Practices to Create Career Satisfaction by M. Diane Vogt and Lori-Ann Richardson.

After all, we have learned that the world contains rascals, scoundrels, villains, and knaves!  Drink up me hearties, yo ho!

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