The priorities of the modern workforce are here to stay and will continue to evolve. The firm leaders who recognize the emerging opportunities will be the ones to advance their law firm's operations amidst industry turbulence.
The first element is to create a culture of care. The second is to develop a structured environment with systems, resources, policies, and procedures designed to bring out the best in your people. The third is to apply data analytics and KPIs to set high-level goals and map out strategic initiatives.
1.) Opportunity 1: Build a strong firm culture
2.) Opportunity 2: Bring structure to the workflow
3.) Opportunity 3: Use data analytics and KPIs
We will discuss Opportunity 1 in this post, highlighting how "showing up" for your people and building a strong firm culture can facilitate a more productive and engaged workforce.
Opportunity 1: Build a strong firm culture.
To prepare your firm to be a high-performance organization well into the future, leaders must start by fostering a strong firm culture. When your people show up, the firm should too, and vice versa. Recognize the opportunity to be a more vital, more connected organization. Taking advantage of this opportunity will require firm leaders to know how to show up for their people.
Show up financially. You will need to adequately structure your firm’s budget to compensate employees with a competitive salary and benefits package. The compensation model is essential to attracting and retaining the right talent. Having the right compensation mix is imperative to cultivating a positive employee experience. Your people need to know they are remunerated fairly for their labor.
Show up respectfully. The next part should go without saying, but interpersonal interactions within the organization should be positive. Treat people with respect and encourage everyone in the organization to do the same.
Show up as a leader. Strong leadership is key to sustaining culture. The impact of solid leadership resonates in all aspects of firm operations. Aside from the decisions leaders make, the way they communicate has the most influence on the people in the firm. Strong leaders should be able to stimulate motivation within the firm by connecting the firm's values, mission, and vision. A purposeful connection will keep employees engaged when satisfaction generated from compensation diminishes. Aside from motivating the organization, leaders should be able to communicate firm goals and performance expectations. When leaders set expectations for performance, they should also have a planned approach with smart goals to reach success. Attorneys and staff should receive support and have continuous learning opportunities from leadership to build an authentic connection with the people in your firm.
Show up flexibly. Leaders should also foster a flexible, collaborative environment. As mentioned earlier, flexibility is now a priority in the workplace. While many firm leaders prefer in-person work models, firm leaders must recognize that offering a flexible work environment establishes a competitive advantage. The key is to find a way to integrate flexibility into your work model. This does not always mean remote or hybrid work. Law firms can establish flexibility by implementing policies that allow workers more autonomy over how, when, or where they work.
Show up as a team. When you have a flexible work model, you should emphasize collaboration strongly to develop well-connected teams. However, collaboration isn’t only about connecting people in a flexible work environment to get the work done. It is about putting minds together and bringing different perspectives to the table. Building strong teams requires all voices to be heard and opinions valued. Taking advantage of the need to collaborate allows your firm to bring authentic action to DEI initiatives. Encourage and facilitate collaboration by bringing your people together to fill in knowledge gaps and solve problems more efficiently.
By building a strong culture rooted in meeting the needs of the people who work for the firm, the organization is positioned to get a strong buy-in from its people. When employees feel supported and cared for, the connection and commitment to the organization will come naturally. Your attorneys and staff will come to work with the mindset that they want to do their part to make the organization successful because it has established that it is equally invested.
Make sure you don't miss our next posts on other opportunities law firms can take advantage of to stand above the rest:
Opportunity 2: Bring structure to the workflow
Opportunity 3: Use data analytics and KPIs
And be sure you are caught up reading our posts on the fascinating and relevant topic of the evolving legal workplace. Previous posts are listed below: