Aon | Professional Services Practice
Release Date: June 2022
Claw Back Your Culture
Does your firm have work-from-home/in-office policies in place? How often did you make changes to that policy and how many of those changes were in the last year? Did you vet those policy changes, and with whom?
What does all of this have to do with your culture?
- Office-comfort zones, socialization, networking, bonding, firm-first mentality...
As firm leaders, did you look for buy-in from your lawyers or from your professional support staff? Younger lawyers and staff are looking for direction in these confusing times. Unfortunately, more often than not, they look to the left, they ask to their right, but they do not seek answers from above. The workplace that we knew no longer exists. But your office workplace is where your firm culture was established and built over the years. Do your newer lawyers even know your firm culture, the one that took so many years to develop? The one that leadership is so proud of? The culture that enabled your firm to build your client base and client loyalty? Those same clients that you serve on a daily basis and, hopefully, the ones with which you are communicating your re-structured work/life policies.
It’s time to claw back your culture, enhance it with younger leaders and a well thought out succession plan. Diversity, equity, and inclusion will help you get there.
Firm leaders need to talk this out and get behind a plan for in-office attendance by department, by practice area, in a well-developed scheme that will withstand the test of time. Most of all, firm leaders need to be visible to and engaged with the younger lawyers. Build team camaraderie, firm spirit, and community involvement. If you start in smaller units such as practice areas and departments, it will build firmwide. Consider involving your clients, asking them to partner in your initiatives surrounding firm culture. There is no such thing as over-communication when it comes to client relationships.
Long after the effects and remains of the pandemic are behind us, your culture will define you as a firm. Take the time to make it a culture that your entire firm will be proud of and continue to build upon.