Retaining good staff is essential for any successful business, especially in the legal profession. With more competition than ever and the increasing pressure on law firms to deliver results, it’s essential to keep the right people on your team.
When it comes to finding and retaining the right staff, there are a few key considerations to bear in mind.
Firstly, it’s important to provide a clear career path and development opportunities. This means creating a culture where employees can feel confident that their hard work and loyalty will be rewarded and that there’s growth potential.
Secondly, it’s important to create a supportive, collaborative working environment. Lawyers and support staff need to feel that their colleagues are there for them and that the team is dedicated to helping each other succeed. This also involves providing regular feedback and recognition, so that staff are continually motivated and feel that their work is valued.
Finally, it’s important to ensure that you are competitive on salary and benefits. This helps to increase job satisfaction and ensures that you’re able to attract the best talent.
Use the below checklist to ensure you are doing all you can to retain your talent.
1. Encourage your Heads of Department to schedule monthly or quarterly meetings with EVERY member of their team. This doesn’t need to be a long meeting, a regular, short 10-15 minute 1-2-1 will allow your staff to talk openly and allow them to discuss any “irks” that they may have, agree on any training needs, and importantly, for your managers to PRAISE your staff.
Ask your Head of Departments to report back to HR/Practice Manager/Managing Partner with anything significant that arises from the conversations. If you don’t know how your staff is feeling, how can you change things? Then act on it – giving them support on action points and also holding them accountable for implementing these changes.
2. Have regular staff surveys/suggestion boxes – giving staff the chance to have an opinion and a voice within the business increases engagement. It can help if these are done anonymously as sometimes people will open up more. But it can also help for it to not be – then you can address things on a personal basis.
3. Communication is key – people want to know what’s going on in the background. Yes, you can’t divulge everything, but a regular newsletter or company-wide “all-hands/town hall” meeting (virtual or in person) can help to encourage engagement.
4. Be clear about when pay reviews happen. There is no right or wrong (some firms do annual reviews, some do bi-annual reviews, and some more than this) but be clear so everyone knows where they stand. Ensure that you have relevant information on what the market is currently paying – this can be done through salary guides, or even better, asking your friendly Recruitment Partner to guide you – most will not charge for this.
Overall do not wait for your staff to resign before reviewing their salary (i.e. counter offering) – you should be paying them what they’re worth already!
5. Review your benefits package, at least annually. Is it fit for purpose? Are you paying for perks that staff aren’t using? Are your staff even aware of the full benefits package? Regular reminders of what your benefits package includes can be very useful.
6. Continuous training and professional development is important – at all levels - even Partners. Consider external and internal training methods. Make it relevant. If you are considering professional qualifications, it’s OK to request that employees sign a “clawback” contract if you are paying for the qualification – most are OK with this and it demonstrates a mutual commitment.
Gerrard White is here to help you and your business succeed. We can provide you with support and advice on how to keep your staff happy and engaged. Please reach out to us for more information.
Cam d'Espagnac - Recruitment Manager - Legal Division - 07850 469000 | Cam@gerrardwhite.com