New research from Legal Week suggests that more lawyers than ever are working from home. Almost Three Quarters of Lawyers at Large Firms Now Work From Home, Law.com, 25 September. However, are firms ignoring other strategies that could keep their top talent engaged and motivated?
The newfound love for work/life balance in the legal profession is to be welcomed. It isn’t, however, the key to motivation. Indeed, high-flying lawyers are just as likely to be motivated by earning respect for their work as they are by more time working from home.
Kedge Martin’s article in Solicitors Journal, explains why.
A worrying trend
In recent weeks we have seen a spike in the number of partners moving from UK to US firms; a sure sign of the talent war raging in the profession.
It’s more important than ever for firms to devise working practices that boost retention – particularly if it doesn’t want to wave goodbye to a leading rainmaker.
Putting the offer of a work/life balance front and centre certainly appeals to millennial lawyers. However, those higher up the career ladder have different drives.
The prospect of earning respect and being given new challenges is more valuable to them.
The challenge for firms is to come up with a project that is aligned with the individual’s skill set and interests. The only way to do this is by taking the time to get to know your people again.
It is not uncommon for managerial well-being to be overlooked in the mistaken belief that having achieved partnership, everything is rosy in the firm’s higher echelons.
How best to cater to the top level?
Offering annual independent ‘work and life audits’ to partners is an effective way to do this. They identify the individual’s professional and personal challenges so you can work together to find solutions for managing them.
For more on this topic read Kedge’s article in Solicitor’s Journal: Why challenge is equal to work/life balance for lawyer wellbeing.