Law Firm IT SupportNot long ago I wrote an article for this blog entitled “Why Law Firms Need an IT Policy for Data Security” and it discussed young employees’ (specifically, millenials) computer behavior and how it is impacting Law Firm IT Support and data security.  Check out these stats:

    • Seven out of ten (70%) young employees break their companies’ IT policies regularly.
    • 33% don’t think they are doing anything wrong
    • 22% feel they need access to unauthorized applications for their jobs
    • 19% cite lack of enforcement
    • 18% cite a lack of time to think about the policies, 16% say policies are inconvenient, and 15% ‘forget’ to abide by these policies
    • 61% say the responsibility for protecting information and devises falls on the IT service provider and not on individual employees

These numbers are alarming and highlight the need for updating IT Support policies as the next generation of employees take on a greater role in your firms.  The single most important step to ensuring your IT security is safe is communication of your policies on computer and internet usage.  And if you don’t have policies in place and written, do soe.

It is not just in the area of IT Support that companies and law firms need to work with multi-generational issues.  The Greater Cleveland Partnership shared this piece earlier this month which addresses other areas employers should pay particular attention to:

For middle-market managers, creating a cohesive team is a challenge as different personalities, different genders and different life experiences come together. One of the biggest issues may be generational, as different generations are now sharing the workplace.

Three generations—Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials—bring different styles of leadership, communication, motivation and work ethics to the office. Meshing these differences is the key to creating a harmonious group so that business can get done seamlessly.

What should a manager do to be proactive in addressing and minimizing these differences?

1.  Build a team:  Start with team-building exercises. A day-long team-building session, preferably away from the office, is a great way to begin.

2. Hold regular meetings: Middle-market managers should not get too satisfied with just one great day of intergenerational discussion. After a dynamic session of training, the cohesiveness of the team can easily be lost without follow-up. One way to work subtly in follow-up is to hold regular staff meetings that not only address tangible to-do items, but also allow for open dialogue, so any misunderstandings can be addressed. This is a much more positive approach rather than waiting for a problem to emerge and then holding a meeting to fix it.

3. Create balanced teams: Finally, managers will also have to monitor their choices as they form teams or committees. It is important that those groups be a mix of ages and genders, so all voices and viewpoints can be represented. Consistently creating working committees that favor one generation over another will destroy the goodwill and team building that the talk session created.

Young employees are a great asset for law firms, as they bring fresh ideas and new perspectives, as well as endless vigor and energy.  But steps must be taken to ensure they are fitting well and adding to the efficiency of your firm.  Taking steps to create a good work environment across generations, and having written rules for internet and network usage can go a long way in both your IT security and your firm’s security for the future.

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