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Employee manuals and workflow

All firms should have an employee manual and workflow developed - even solo practitioners.

For firms of more than one person, it is helpful to get new employees up to speed on operating procedures and office workflow as quickly as possible. It cuts down on the time needed to train the new employee.

For solo practitioners, if you ever hire an intern to help around the office, the employee manual will also help to reduce the time you will need to educate the intern regarding how you run your business.

An employee manual should contain everything you want a new employee or intern to know about your business and what you expect of them. It can include dress code, holiday and vacation times and pay, procedure for opening and closing the office, procedure for answering the phones and how to deal with clients that walk-in, etc.

A workflow is basically a set of instructions for tasks that are done on a regular basis that requires no deviation. In my office, I set up a workflow for how to open and close a new client matter, how to scan using the office scanner, how to print and copy using the scanner, how to print labels and stamps for shipping and even how to put together an uncontested divorce packet.

If you start putting an employee manual and workflow together now, it will save you time down the road when you expand and new employees come in. Contact the Law Office Management Assistance Program at (857) 383-3250 to learn about resources and reference materials that will make developing your office manual easier.

This tip is courtesy of Gabriel Cheong, attorney at law, owner of Infinity Law Group.

Published January 21, 2010

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