10 High-Value Ways to Deploy Idle Staff During The Summer

Michael PlattTax season is over, and firm leaders across the country are meeting in conference rooms to discuss the future and how to deal with the reality of fewer projects during this less-busy season. To help stimulate some ideas for those discussions, we offer our Top 10 list of ways to deploy staff this summer:

  1. Work with your international network to send select staff on a once-in-a-lifetime internship overseas.
  2. Focus staff on day-long reviews of each of your top 25 clients to gather business intelligence and uncover service opportunities once things turn around.
  3. Embed staff in key clients’ operations for a “free” month to review systems and processes. This will inevitably result in a laundry list of chargeable projects for the future.
  4. Assign staff teams to review your firm’s most utilized processes and direct those teams to recommend improvements to those processes.
  5. Take the time now for staff to document case studies highlighting client problems and how your firm helped resolve their problems. Capture these case studies and compile them for a marketing effort later this fall.
  6. Lend your staff to give back to the communities they work in by encouraging community service days. This volunteer service is much needed in each of your communities, will be a rewarding experience for your staff, and will be a good image-booster for your firm.
  7. Assign key staff with a new service or skill to research and present at a firmwide staff meeting. Have all staff weigh-in on how to utilize those new skills in contributing to greater success in the firm.
  8. Upgrade your CRM intelligence. Your staff knows a lot about your clients’ wants, need and preferences, as well as their peculiar quirks and peccadilloes. Focus on capturing that information so the next time the CEO of your favorite client comes in, she is impressed when she is automatically offered the frozen iced vanilla latte she loves.
  9. Give your referral sources a fresh perspective of how your firm handles similar challenges. Have key staff spend a week at a law firm to “shadow” their counterparts in other professions. Direct them to share how your firm handles certain issues, and encourage a reciprocal “peer review” by inviting your referral firm’s employee to spend a week at your firm.
  10. Take the time to upgrade your staff. At the end of the day, not all staff will end up as superstars. If they are a drag on the firm, counsel them out and find someone else who will be a stronger asset for your firm.

There are plenty of ways to deploy staff during a slower summer season that will bring significant value to your firm. Get creative with your ideas and you will have a stronger staff and a stronger firm, better positioned to take advantage of opportunities once things begin to turn around. – Michael Platt