Boosting morale in your Law Firm

19 Mar 2019
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The legal sector is notoriously high pressured, with long hours and challenging fee-earning activity which can sometimes have a detrimental effect on employee mental health and overall morale levels.  Mazuma, recently reported that just 21% of employees feel strongly valued at work, leaving the remaining 79% of employees feeling as though they’re disposable to their employees – a staggeringly high figure. Studies show that this can have an impact on employee retention rates, as well as levels of productivity. So, for our blog this week, we’re sharing four ways in which you can boost morale in your law firm to maintain a happy environment which can have a positive impact on your bottom line.

 

Bond and build
Team building days can be met with reluctance but doing them can see you and your team reap the rewards. Don’t feel as though you have to arrange a corporate team building day – anything from escape rooms to hosting a fundraiser for a charity voted for by your organisation can bring employees closer together and encourage teamwork outside of their normal professional environment. Traci Ray and Anneka Nelson of Barran Liebman LLP stress that the advantages often outweigh any associated cost: “when people are given the opportunity to really know their co-workers, both inside and outside of work, they work together more seamlessly and gain a better understanding of how to utilize each other’s strengths”. When morale is low, encourage the workplace bond and enhance the community.

 

Upskill your staff
Introducing an effective training and development programme is a brilliant way to both strengthen your workforce and ensure your employees feel valued, by demonstrating that you consider them and their abilities a worthy investment. For example, at Kaplan Altior we recognise that the legal sector is one which requires a commitment to ongoing development in order to ascend the career ladder. Therefore, we offer a CPD Programme ranging from Management and Leadership to Compliance courses delivered in both face-to-face and virtual classroom environments, helping organisations to promote development within which can help to retain and nurture esteemed employees. Digits reports that offering employees continuous learning opportunities will improve staff satisfaction, as it shows dedication to their personal and career development. Additionally, a study by IBM revealed that 84% of employees at the best performing organisations are receiving the necessary training they require, leading an aspirational example for wider firms. 

 

Shout about success
It’s understandable that sometimes people want an acknowledgement of their hard work, particularly after a gruelling case or project. Even in team-heavy industries, it’s important to give individuals the credit they’re due, especially when it comes to something that only they could bring to the table. According to Forbes, recognised employees are happy employees, meaning this can have an impact upon employee retention rates. As well as a high-turnover rate, recruitment can affect your organisation’s bottom line, costing an organisation an average of £5,000 per appointment, something that can be easily avoided. A simple yet effective way to highlight good work is implementing an employee of the month schedule you can share in your internal newsletter and on social media. A gift voucher or bottle of bubbly is always a great token of appreciation, too.

 

Promote and reward
Whether they’re an ambitious go-getter or a laidback, easy-going type, most employees will look towards career progression. Reward your most hardworking employees with bonuses– especially on days like their birthday or their work anniversary to make it more personal –and work with them to construct a promotion plan with timescale, development and commitment in mind. You are building a team, and want your best, most dedicated workers to be on the frontlines with you as you continue to grow your organisation. However, if your budget doesn’t currently allow for promotions or bonuses, Fast Company suggest giving ‘time off vouchers’ as gifts to employees who have gone above and beyond on a recent project. Or alternatively, you can invest in a low-cost reward scheme – Virgin Money reports that 68% of organisations with recognition schemes reported a direct positive impact on retention, helping to keep teams engaged and morale levels boosted.

 

You can get creative with your morale boosting activity, particularly when it comes to team building days. However, the simplest way to ensure employee morale remains high in your organisation is to show your gratitude – don’t forget to thank your team for their hard work and let them know they’re valued whether that’s through recognition or ongoing development – something which can be overlooked particularly during extremely busy periods. One effective way of doing this is implementing training programmes such as Continuing Professional Development (CPD), helping employees to see that you’re investing in their future. So, for more information about our upcoming courses or to book your place, contact us on 02920 451 000 or email us at altior@kaplan.co.uk