4 Questions You Need To Ask In Your Office
Office culture is largely based on the people who make up your office. Everyone is different in the way they communicate, the manner in which they work, and their interactions with others.
So why is this information important in a law firm? The answer to this question is simple – people are not the same. Without understanding how each person in your firm prefers to receive direction and accept recognition, the way you instruct and reward someone could prevent you from having the best working relationship possible.
Here are four questions for you to ask your staff, so you can learn how to enhance the working relationships in your office.
1 – HOW DO YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE FEEDBACK FROM YOUR MANAGER AT WORK?
Depending on the person, this can create miscommunication and tension in working relationships. Why is that? Think of it like this. Lorena may prefer an e-mail from her attorney describing case related edits, because she likes to refer to the information later. But Timothy could hate e-mails and prefers a quick meeting because he likes to talk about what needs to be done. Maybe Sonia wants you to call her extension, because e-mails don’t help her understand your tone so your message may come across as something negative when it isn’t.
2 – WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEED MOST FROM YOUR MANAGER?
For many this is an opportunity to truly assess what is most important to them. Studies show “good communication” is the most common answer. However, “good communication” is so vague you don’t learn from it. What does “good communication” mean to them? Can they give you an example? This is a great question, but if the response is too broad be sure to follow up.
3 – HOW DO YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE RECOGNITION?
This is important so the way you recognize an employee achieves the best results. Michelle might prefer her manager go to her desk and tell her directly “you did a great job today on the Gonzalez case and I really appreciate your hard work.” And then there is Danielle who would love a surprise gift card to her favorite lunch spot. Or maybe telling someone they can leave work 2 hours early and still get paid makes them the happiest employee ever.
4 – WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINK AND SNACK?
It may sound like a very elementary question to ask, but it is just as important as the others, and has a lot of science to back it up. Every law firm has “one of those days” or “one of those weeks.” Sometimes your favorite soda, coffee, energy drink, or snack can help make things better. If purchasing a drink or snack for under $5 can make a bad day great again, why wouldn’t you do it to help lift your office spirits?!