find the latest legal job
Legal Advisor
Category: Other | Location: All Darwin NT
· Exciting and challenging environment · 3 year fixed contract - Position # LO6
View details
Property Lawyer | In-house | Global UK Company | 3-8PQE | Melbourne
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne VIC 3004
· Be part of a large in-house team · Property experience an advantage
View details
In-house Property Lawyer - 3-6year PQE | Dynamic High Impact Role
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne VIC 3004
· Highly regarded internal legal team · Ideal first in-house role
View details
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Category: Other | Location: Perth CBD, Inner & Western Suburbs Perth WA
· Strategic Leadership Role · Strong Commercial Skills & Knowledge
View details
LAW COMPLAINTS OFFICER
Category: Other | Location: Perth CBD, Inner & Western Suburbs Perth WA
· Statutory Appointment · Legal Profession Complaints Committee
View details
Rules of engagement: Effective strategies for law firms to improve employee engagement

Rules of engagement: Effective strategies for law firms to improve employee engagement

Law firms are yet to master effective strategies to engage staff, but building relationships is a good start, reports Briana Everett.

Law firms are yet to master effective strategies to engage staff, but building relationships is a good start, reports Briana Everett.

SHIFTING GEARS: "Executives aren't getting the basics of performance right,"
Despite the elevation of employee engagement as a top strategic objective, law firms are still struggling to shift engagement levels upwards - a factor that is affecting their ability to retain staff.

"Lawyers are certainly looking to move more than ever given the stability in the Australian market," says Carlyle Perring senior consultant Belinda Fisher.

The main reasons they're proffering to move are first and foremost to progress their career and challenge themselves ... The second and third reasons are mentoring and remuneration. The three things that lawyers want are mastery, autonomy and purpose."

A 2011 Blessing White Employee Engagement Report - which surveyed nearly 11,000 individuals across North America, Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand - revealed engagement levels have increased world-wide since the global financial crisis. However, less than one third of employees are actually engaged and more are looking for new opportunities in 2011 - suggesting that the existing engagement strategies are not hitting the mark.

According to the report, managers are not doing the things that matter the most, suggesting that they focus more on their relationship building, rather than their actual skills or actions.

"Employees' knowledge of their managers as 'people' behind their title appears to impact engagement levels more than manager actions," the report states.

In addition, the report notes that executives continue to struggle in their renewed efforts to engage with their employees.

"Executives appear to struggle with key leadership behaviours correlated to engagement, yet our findings suggest executive behaviours can have a greater potential impact on engagement than manager actions," the report states. "Executives aren't getting the basics of performance right."

According to Fisher, despite increased efforts, law firms could do more to address the employee engagement and retention, particularly with respect to career progression and ownership of work.

"Employers need to show their staff that they trust them to do their job by allowing them to take ownership of their work," Fisher advises. "Thank your employees or praise them in front of their peers when they exceed expectations and see your employees as individuals - not just as part of a broader team of workers."

Fisher adds that law firm managers should help their lawyers to develop their skills for the next stage of their career - in addition to CLE.

"A lack of training can cause bright and ambitious team members to feel unfulfilled for a lack of professional challenges," she says.

"Law firms need to treat their lawyers as assets and not dispensable commodities."

Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
May 26 2017
Coroner’s Lindt Café siege findings to have consequences for criminal lawyers
One of the most extensive coronial inquests in NSW has now concluded, with 45 recommendations concer...
May 26 2017
Lawyers can be humans too, judge says
Judge Felicity Hampel of the Victorian County Court has spoken about the need for lawyers to engage...
Sydney
May 26 2017
Sydney to host international dispute resolution conference
A discussion focusing on the future of dispute resolution will come to Sydney on Monday, 29 May, as ...
APPOINTMENTS
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years...
Angela Lynch
May 9 2017
Women’s legal service appoints chief executive
Women’s Legal Service Queensland has appointed an experienced family lawyer as its new CEO. ...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...