Immigration Practice Management for Non-Profits –Creating an Accountable Staff

Last month, we talked about the importance of developing transparency in how staff members utilize their immigration tracking and case management software. Click here to read the article. This week, we’ll discuss how to foster accountability at the staff level.

FOSTERING ACCOUNTABILITY IN IMMIGRATION PRACTICE

Previously, Mary, Jane and Beth worked at the local non-profit organization. Mary recently left the organization but upon her departure, the Executive Director needed to resolve a client issue. In the past, all three paralegals had shared one software user account, so it was difficult for the Executive Director to determine who was ultimately responsible for the client error.

Upon Mary’s departure, the Executive Director decided to re-train both Jane and Beth since there was no way of knowing otherwise who the truly needed training. No one was actually reprimanded as a result of the prior month’s client error because there was still no way of pinpointing which paralegal performed what duties because the user license had been shared by multiple individuals. The foreign national’s case that was affected was eventually remediated, but only after performing additional work at the expense of the organization.

The Executive Director also decided, moving forward, that each paralegal would be provided her own user account. However, new tracking and training procedures would have to be implemented in order for everyone to use the software successfully.

Had the Executive Director adopted the per-process pricing model software earlier on, each paralegal could have had their own user account to track her own productivity and accomplishments at a much lower cost to the organization. If a particular type of case received USCIS approval, the Executive Director could transform that case into a template process for future similar cases.

The benefit of staff members each having their own user accounts is the ability for staff members to have control over their own work product. This accountability allows staff members to get the recognition they deserve for a job well done, which is a great non-monetary reward to staff members.

Another benefit of the per-process pricing immigration software, aside from its lower cost to the non-profit, was to allow the Executive Director to pinpoint areas where staff members needed additional training. Staff supervisors could have evaluated the productivity of its staff to determine who needed additional assistance in training and to identify key staff members who were power users that could serve as mentors and trainers. This is the most cost-effective method to improving and replicating office efficiency. For staff members who are new, or are struggling to leverage the technology, re-training is a great investment and recognition of value to staff members.