Retaining top employees is the lifeline of law firm success, and yet doing so is easier said than done. The following post pulled from a paralegal group on social media not only shows why this is so important, but illustrates how terribly wrong things can go when you forget about employee job satisfaction. We hope these words didn’t come from anyone in your office, but even if they did, it’s not too late to right ship:
“I worked for an attorney that couldn’t keep an employee for more than a month. I was there reaching my one year. I was just so mentally drained from defending myself and my coworkers constantly from his narcissistic and micromanaging ways. I always spoke up when disrespected until I decided to put my two weeks notice. He wanted to be a child and take whoever was staying to a luncheon, leaving me because ‘only those who are staying here should go.’ Petty right? Well, Queen Petty packed her sh*t while they were gone and bounced. My coworkers left shortly after.”
At first glance, you might read this and think that the moral is simply to not treat your paralegals (or any other team members) like dirt; however, there is much more to be gleaned from this post. Employee retention depends not only on steering clear of micromanaging and narcissistic tendencies, but on never losing sight of the golden rule of leadership: care for your employees.
Human beings, by nature, thrive in communities, and the workplace is no exception. Community is nourished by exchanges of care, so in order to generate job satisfaction and bolster employee retention such that your firm does not just attract top talent, but keeps it, you need to invest in your team’s well-being. Tangibly speaking, this means the following:
1. Provide a Safe and Comfortable Workspace
Especially in a post-pandemic world, a safe and comfortable workspace is paramount to job satisfaction. This is not only due to the life-threatening risk posed by Covid-19, but because young, standout legal talent is increasingly tuned in to the dynamics of racial and gender-based discrimination. On top of this, a majority of office workers are only just beginning to return from working from home where, after more than a year, they have grown accustomed to such creature comforts as having a coffeemaker on hand, a comfortable sitting space, dictatorial control of temperature, and the ability to go for a walk around the block whenever need be. Tune into these needs, and your team will feel as at home at work as when working from home.
2. Offer Training
Employee satisfaction depends not only on having a comfortable place to work, but on discovering that work is also a place to grow. High-achieving professionals look for more than a job: they look for a launching pad. When you provide this through skill-enhancing training, you attend to this need and are rewarded by partaking in the upward momentum it provokes. What’s more, the legal field is ever more driven by technological advancement, so ensuring your team stays on top of such developments ensures your firm stays at the top of the game.
3. Listen Generously
Great employees have great ideas, and listening to them (even if you don’t always implement) is an important part of supercharging your success. In addition, shining talent craves recognition and all human beings wish to feel as if they are part of something bigger. Listening generously to your teams’ ideas (and especially to their concerns) meets both of these needs, and further provides tangible proof that you do, indeed, care.
When your team feels cared for and supported, not only will you not need to worry about them sh*t-posting on social media, but you won’t need to worry about them bringing anything less than their best to the office, either.
To learn more about leveling up your firm’s employee leadership and employee retention, secure your spot in the Hiring and Empowering Solutions 66-Day Law Firm Turnaround program, which guarantees law firm leaders and their teams tried, tested and proven improvements with a measurable impact on your people, processes, production and Profit…in 10-weeks or less, guaranteed.