As a small firm, it can feel as you are punching above your weight trying to compete with larger enterprises for top talent. After all, it’s easy to suppose that deep pockets are essential to retaining the best and the brightest. While not insignificant, it turns out that the age-old adage, “money isn’t everything,” carries more truth than you might realize.

A survey from Harvard Business Review recently reported that a full 9 out of 10 people would take more meaningful work over more money any day. Likewise, a study by Cornell University analyzing job satisfaction-to-productivity ratios has demonstrated that nurturing work-life integration generated an additional $9,078 per employee, per year. Take that, deep pockets!

Large, multi-national firms may be able to offer compensation packages beyond the reach of smaller players, but they can’t compete with the individualized attention required for knitting meaning into each employee’s workload. The reason being that “meaning” signifies something different for everyone, and cannot be rolled into a package deal. For some, it may be stimulating work, for others, it may be positive social impact, and for others still, it may be creating time to attend to family matters as they arise.

Embracing that employees’ lives extend beyond the workplace creates value that supersedes financial gain. In turn, worker productivity jumps up as job satisfaction increases. This not only assists in retaining top talent, but also drives up the firm’s bottom line. Indeed, a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that 91 percent of HR professionals agree that “flexible work arrangements positively influence employee engagement, job satisfaction, and retention.”

So, how can you make work-life balance a priority at your small firm…without breaking the bank or losing focus on the big picture? Here are a few simple ideas that go a long way in showing your employees that you care as much about their wellbeing outside of the office as you about their performance while on the clock:

Support their physical health: This goes beyond offering good health coverage. Consider partnering with a local gym to offer discounted memberships to your employees, or even chipping in a portion of their membership fee. Bonus points if your firm provides healthy snacks at the office, or invests in a corporate wellness program.

Be flexible: Allowing employees to work remotely can make a huge difference in their lives, especially for those employees who have a spouse and/or kids at home. The same goes for offering flexible hours. Nine-to-five-Monday-through-Friday isn’t convenient for everyone. Give employees the options to work four 10-hour days each week, or make it possible for them to come in early so they can leave early enough to get their kids off the bus.

Offer training and development: Learning feeds the mind, and a structured training and development program not only serves to show employees that they are valuable members of your team, but also better equips them to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Our Team Empowerment Academy is a virtual training and development program for law firm leaders and their teams—the only nationally-recognized program of its kind—and is guaranteed to generate measurable results within 8-weeks or less.

If you are a smaller firm struggling with holding on to top employees, it should come as some relief to learn that it may not be because you are playing out of your league. Rather, it is possible that you need only to tweak your staffing strategy such that you offer benefits of enormous value beyond the reach of larger players. Click the button below to schedule a free 30-minute discovery session with founder, Molly McGrath, to learn about immediate steps you can take to better empower your team members and turn your law firm around today.

THE fix my boss workBOOK



This workbook is intended to be used in conjunction with the book, "Fix My Boss" to cultivate respect, risk courageous conversations, and increase the bottom line. The exercises and activities provided will guide you through a step-by-step process of understanding, analyzing, and taking action to create positive change in your workplace.

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