In April 2021, nearly 4 million Americans quit their jobs, breaking a 20-year record. At the time, this raised eyebrows…but not yet alarms. Employee loyalty had remained steady throughout the pandemic, and few experts — if any — expected what would follow. In May, a further 3.63 million said adios, followed by 3.87 million in June, more than 4 million in July, 4.27 million in August, and 4.63 million in September. By Halloween, employers were in a panic, desperate to figure out how to stop the bleed. As you probably already know, they failed and — all said and done — nearly 40 million workers gave their notice in 2021. Naturally, everyone is asking if 2022 will be any different.
The answer? It depends on you.
Employee loyalty is not some intangible asset that increases in response to hopes and prayers; it is a direct reflection of your law firm’s culture. If you want to be successful at retaining talent, you need to put the work in. Plain and simple.
Three Steps to Enhancing Employee Engagement and Retention
1. Top Tier Onboarding
As the stats indicate, there is a lot of shuffling around happening on the job market. This means there’s a lot of talent out there, and if you’re prepared, you might be able to snap some up. Keeping top talent means offering a top-tier onboarding experience, however.
Nearly one-third (31%) of employees quit their job within 6 months of starting. If you wish to avoid this when making a new hire, you need to provide a tailored acclimatization plan that not only introduces the position and your firm’s culture, but that also projects avenues for growth and professional development.
A next-level onboarding process is not a “welcome, here’s what you need to do.” It’s a “we’re psyched you’re here and this is how we’re going to support you in making our mutual dreams come true.”
2. Work-Life Balance
Workers in all industries are done with the days of being chained to a desk. The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored life’s fragile nature, and many months of remote work have shown that things can be different. If your firm doesn’t step up and acknowledge this change, your team will step up and walk away.
Demonstrating that you value work-life balance means providing not only flexibility, but also genuine consideration.
Does someone on your team have a long commute? Allow them to work from home a few days a week.
Do you have a diehard hiking enthusiast onboard? Offer the possibility of working longer days and a shorter week so that they have more time to get out and do what they love.
Such perks won’t go unnoticed, and will often be appreciated far more than a generous salary and benefits package. After all, the latter can be found anywhere. Genuine consideration, however, is harder to come by.
3. Recognition Where it Matters
Employee engagement and retention is not just a matter of bespoke perks, but of letting your team know you see their effort. Take pains not only to pat employees on the back when they perform well but to acknowledge their hard work in personalized ways.
Does a top performer thrive on public acknowledgment? Give them a shout-out at your next team meeting.
Is a valued employee more of the heartfelt thanks type? Write them a short “thank you” card referencing their contribution.
Despite the frightening stats, retaining talent and enhancing employee loyalty is not a lost cause; however, it is an urgent concern. Keeping your team together and your firm moving forward needs your attention now. Don’t wait to book a call with me, Hiring & Empowering founder and best-selling author, Molly McGrath, today. We can discuss your legal staffing and employee development needs, and develop a plan that is guaranteed to turn your firm around, fast.