When disaster strikes, an effective crisis management strategy could be the difference between a profitable corporate pivot and bankruptcy. For many law firms, the coronavirus represents their largest crisis to date. The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the face of the industry – ushering in a new era of remote work, personnel moves, and changing business practices. In the wake of these changes, law firm leadership must act quickly and commit to a crisis management strategy.
In this article, we’re going to share the crisis response tips that you’ll need to create a customized, holistic approach for your business.
1. The Short-term
For most people, short-term solutions are the first to spring to mind when faced with a crisis. In fact, this is actually a useful strategy when it is paired with a mindful awareness of long-term goals. This is because short-term solutions produce tangible results, which boosts the morale and confidence of your employees. By taking immediate action, you may even be able to prevent conditions from worsening. For example, when news of the coronavirus appeared, some law firms opted to transition to remote working immediately. That choice reduced the overall risk of exposure for their employees and ultimately may have prevented them from contracting the virus.
2. The Long-term
In conjunction with short-term solutions, an effective crisis response includes consideration for long-term goals. The choices you make in the moment should fit neatly into your vision for the firm’s future. At the same time, try not to limit yourself to traditional solutions. For example, coronavirus placed many law firms in the position of needing to accept electronic payments. This is not standard practice, but firms soon discovered that it is possible to use ACH processing to save on processing fees. Accepting electronic payments was a short-term solution, but ultimately it has been adapted as a long-term solution that allows for more efficient billing.
3. The Communication
After you’ve settled on your strategy, the next step is communicating those ideas to the rest of the firm. Focus your attention on providing consistent, clear, and transparent guidance. Be considerate of any emotional reactions employees may be having. The right message is critical, and this is the moment to exhibit leadership. When you calmly outline your plan for resolving the crisis, you’ll gain their trust and respect.
At the heart of every crisis is the feeling of uncertainty. Your employees will look to you for guidance, and you’ll need to meet them with adaptability and an open mind. Times of crisis can be challenging and exhausting, but they can also change our perception of what is possible.
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