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How to build a healthy workplace culture in your law firm?

Published On : July 19, 2022




Burnout. Have you heard of this word before? You probably would have, especially in these modern times. Now, what exactly is “burnout”?

When professionals / employees experience burnout, it can often result in emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion, disengagement, decreased productivity, isolation, and more. This is called employee burnout.

Coming to the legal sector, unfortunately, many legal professionals have battled burnout at some point. In fact, the World Health Organization has officially recognized “workplace burnout” as a medical condition.

So then, how can companies take care of their employees, especially in industries / sectors characterized by long hours and demanding schedules?

The best solution is to build a positive, healthy law firm company culture that keeps employees energized to work. People instinctively want to feel that they are heard, seen, appreciated, and respected. Without promoting an inclusive culture that allows people to show up as their whole selves, your employees may not feel supported. This, in turn, can significantly impact their well-being and work performance.

So how exactly do you develop and maintain healthy, happy and self-motivated employees? Read on to find how…

Promote happiness in your workplace

We all know that employees just can’t perform at their maximum potential when they’re not happy. Well, the good news is that there are several effective ways to boost employee happiness — even when they work remotely.

Bringing people together is an excellent way to promote a sense of community and inclusion. In-person events are great for connecting with team members face-to-face. But, for firms working remotely, organizing virtual happy hours or trivia nights for example, are wonderful opportunities to have fun together as a team. This allows all your employees to connect and take some time off from their responsibilities.

Yet another way law firms can boost employee morale is by recognizing both team as well as individual achievements regularly. When navigating endless to-do lists and deadlines, it can be easy to miss celebrating big and small accomplishments. Sharing these wins across teams recognizes employees for their hard work and promotes a culture where employees motivate one another.

Enabling employees to stay connected

Building connections between your employees is critical to the success of your law firm. Ultimately, human beings want to feel a sense of belonging. Employees who feel connected to their organization often feel more aligned with the organization’s vision and consequently, more engaged.

With the sudden shift to remote work, many organizations were forced to re-evaluate and devise new ways and means through which their teams can continue to feel connected. Here’s how law firms can make their employees feel aligned and connected with their firms:

  • Bringing in an open-door policy.
  • Implement a variety of leisure activities for employees.
  • Implement a bi-directional feedback system between management and employees.

Promote work-life balance

We spend a big part of our lives in the workplace. However, life isn’t all about work. One of the best ways to support your employees is by recognizing that they have priorities outside of work. But practicing a work-life balance isn’t always easy. But sensible leadership and built-in organization policies that encourage this balance make it much more attainable.

Additionally, studies have shown that employees who do not have a work-life balance tend to burn out more quickly. It’s then no surprise that your firm’s organizational structure should support your employees’ professional and personal needs. Examples include offering flexibility by providing hybrid or remote work options, generous parental leave policies, substantial paid time off, and mental health days.

Listen to your employees

It may sound simple, but just listening is arguably one of the most valuable ways companies can show up for their employees.

Taking out specific moments to ask your employees and listen to what they have to say regularly demonstrates that your employees are truly valued as individuals and not just as members of their organization. Also, creating a plan of action based on their feedback shows that you are serious about their well-being, happiness, and growth — and want to see them happy and successful.

Every individual deserves to have a trustworthy leadership that prioritizes the wellbeing and best interest of its employees. But even as your business grows and your own responsibilities increase, do not forget to step back and reassess where your company culture stands. Take intentional steps if necessary, to support your employees and build a healthy law firm company culture.