How to Cope When Team Members Leave

Our legal support team has lost a few key members recently, andI’vebeen struggling to cope without them. What’s the best way to deal with this kind of change?

Retirements, illnesses and paralegal career opportunities elsewhere — there are many reasons a legal support team might suddenly find itself short staffed. Whatever the cause, the effects can ripple through the entire firm. Here are a few tips for dealing with a personnel loss in terms of managing your own workload as well as helping the organization as a whole cope:

  1. Seeopportunitiesrather than a crisis.
    On the down side, you may have more work than you can handle when your office is down one or more staff members. On the up side, taking on extra duties can be good for your paralegal career. It can show senior attorneys you have initiative, are a team player and work well under pressure. So take a deep breath and dive in. And keep this legal career advice in mind: If departing employees held more senior positions, this might be a great opportunity to move up in your paralegal career.
  2. Request temporary staff, as needed.
    You and the remaining legal support staff should not have to pick up the entire workload of those who left the firm.Temporary staff can help ease the immediate burden, takin on necessary duties while your manager recruits full-time replacements. In fact, a temp-to-hire model is a great way for hiring managers in your firm to have a longer period than just an interview to evaluate potential new employees.
  3. Expand yourknowledge.
    In your paralegal career, it benefits you and others if you gain experience in a variety of job functions. So instead of always going to the “go-to” person and asking them to do things for you, occasionally ask them toshow you how it’s done. It will make life much easier if that person ever decides to leave. And it’s practical legal career advice: The more skills you have, the more employable you are.
Turnover is a fact of office life, and most workplaces occasionally find themselves shorthanded. The situation is challenging, but staff changes are also a chance to advance your own paralegal career if you make the most of the opportunities